Psychologists Explain Things We All See in Dreams

Psychologists Explain Things We All See in Dreams


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Humankind has been trying to solve the mystery of dreams for as long as they’ve existed. Today there is even a special discipline in the study of dreams called oneirology. Those who prefer the esoteric side of things over science love to interpret their dreams according to various dream books and believe that they can predict the future. But psychologists think that dreams accurately reflect our current condition and that our subconscious tries to tell us something important via dreams from time to time.

There are dreams that are common for all of us. Each of us sees these types of dreams every now and then. These dreams are caused by our ancient instincts, a cultural code, the experience of our ancestors, and personal experience. A psychologist and an expert in the field of dreams, Patricia Garfield, calls them “universal dreams” and says “Like a hearty stew that is rich with local produce, the universal dreams differ among different peoples, but they are all nourishing variants of the same wholesome meal. They are as old as humanity and as widespread as our globe.”

1. Falling

In adulthood, we see falling more often than flying. According to the psychologist Ian Wallace, a dream about falling symbolizes the fear of losing control. You can’t control something in your life anymore because some drastic changes that you were not ready for took place in your life. Think about what sphere of life (work, relationships, finances, health, etc.) you feel most suppressed or vulnerable in as well as the ways to correct it.

Some scientists explain dreams about falling with simple phyysiology. As the body is sinking into sleep, the nerve system starts to calm down, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease and your falling asleep brain (especially if it was overwhelmed during the day) can perceive this physiological change as danger or an approaching death and therefore, makes you wake up suddenly.

The opposite version of this dream is flying which signifies freeing oneself from some hard burden and getting the desirable freedom.

2. Teeth that fall out, injuries, and death

Our subconscious interprets teeth as a weapon, the indicator of strength, and an ability to “bite off” a piece of the world. “Perhaps, you have recently been feeling unarmed and helpless in the real world,” which is how Penney Peirce explains it.

Another expert studying dreams for many years named Patricia Garfield connects dreams about falling out teeth with hidden anger. As a rule, when we suppress anger, we squeeze our jaws, and our teeth might start creak and grind. This dream might be signaling that it’s high time to get rid of negative feelings.

Very often, we may have dreams where someone close to us is wounded, sick, or dying. Those dreams cause consternation, however, from psychology’s point of view, everything is not that bad. It’s simply our fears of the future and inevitable changes that happen with those close to us. If you see your own death, it means that some part of you is dying and staying in the past to give space to something new.

“Opposite” dreams about birth and recovery usually appear when something new is taking place in a person’s life (like a new job or project) and symbolize a new experience.

3. Failure at an exam or public performance

You’re about to take an exam and suddenly realize that you don’t remember anything or you can’t say a word when standing in front of a big crowd. These dreams might be experienced not only by students and school kids but also by people who have graduated a long time ago. It’s likely that you had some stress shortly before going to sleep or was extremely worried about something. In this case, it’s better to take a short break and relax.


Source: Bright Side