The meaning behind your dreams

Strange sleep scenarios are your brain attempting to process past events and interactions. Photo / Getty
Strange sleep scenarios are your brain attempting to process past events and interactions. Photo / Getty

Falling, losing teeth, being chased or busting for the loo with no hope of relief... dreams, especially reoccurring ones, can be scary and downright weird.

However, according to a dream analyst, most dreams have a pretty simple explanation.

Those strange sleep scenarios are just your brain processing various events and interactions that have happened over the past 24 to 48 hours, as the grey matter tries to compare things with past experiences and make sense of it all.

Speaking to news.com.au, dream analyst and author of 101 Dream Interpretation Tips, Jane Teresa Anderson explains the meaning behind the 10 most common dreams.

• Teeth falling out

If you have a dream where you are talking and suddenly start spitting out teeth mid-sentence, it may be a linked to a feeling that you've said something you can't take back.

Or, it could reflect a lack of confidence when it comes to speaking and communicating.

Those unnerving dental dreams could also be linked to childhood memories of losing our baby teeth.

"Losing a tooth as a child can be quite scary," says Anderson. "The emotions around that time are really strong. We're becoming independent, we're learning to stand on our own two feet, but we're still children. Your mind goes back to those emotions."

• Being chased

This usually plays out as you being followed, and running away rather than turning to face the thing that is chasing you.

"This could mean that you're running away from a problem that you've been avoiding," Anderson says. "It's always better to work out what you're running from. It might be smaller than it is in your imagination and you might be ready to face it."

• Feeling unprepared for an exam

Often, if you're having this type of dream, you're a high achieving, well-organised sort of person. But cast your mind back a few days; was there a situation where you felt unprepared for something?

"It might be a presentation, or a conflict with a friend, or a dilemma someone has thrown at you," Anderson says. "You feel like everything is riding on being able to do this thing.
The dream reveals your feelings of vulnerability about not being prepared."

However, despite the stress you may have felt mid dream, it isn't all bad. "It's your fear of being unprepared that actually drives you to being totally ready to perform."

• You're busting but you can't find a toilet

"This usually means you literally want to let the crap out of your life. It's about decluttering and letting go - you want to release something or someone," Anderson says.

"It can also just mean that you need some space and privacy. In a lot of these dreams you can't close the bathroom door and go to the bathroom in peace.

"You might just need some time to process your emotions and have some peace and quiet. It's about getting rid of what you don't need so you can move on."

• Flying

This all depends on how we feel during the experience, Anderson explains.

"Is it an amazing feeling? That comes when you feel like you've achieved something. You've literally lifted yourself to a higher potential or beginning to feel better. Because when you're flying you have a wider perspective of everything."

However, if you're heading into a cliff face mid-flight, it can be a different story.

"You feel that something is taking off but it's not quite there yet. It could be a relationship or a job - it's the details in the dream that really explore your feelings on a deeper level."

• Death

According to Anderson, dreams about your own mortality, or the death of someone you know, are very common.

"Dreaming about death often means that you feel something is coming to an end in your life. How you react to the death in the dream can tell you a lot," she says.

"If you have an 'out with the old and in with the new' attitude it could be something that you're ready to let go from.

"But if you feel like 'I need to resuscitate this thing that is falling apart' then you're not quite there yet."

"All dreams are symbolic and not always reflective of reality. Just because someone is dying in a dream, doesn't necessarily mean that's going to happen in real life."

• Falling

Again, it all depends on how we feel as we're taking a dive. According to the dream expert, if it's a horrible experience, look back to what happened over the past couple of days.

If you've been going through a period of change, it could mean that you're feeling things shifting, and you're looking for more solid ground.

"If the feeling is positive and carefree, that means you've let go of something and you realise that change is a good thing and it's taken you to a better place," Anderson says.

• An out-of-control car

If you're the type of person who is scared of things being out of control, this one might be familiar to you.

"The dream comes up when it's time to get more of a balance in your life between letting things happen and guiding them in the right direction," says the sleep analyst.

• Finding an unused room

"If you find a room and it's like 'Look at this amazing new room!' then it probably means you've discovered some new potential in your life," Anderson says.

"If you go into the room and it's spooky or scary, that means you've realised something about yourself that's unexpected. It can be something old that you haven't looked at before."

• Having sex with a co-worker, ex-partner or your boss

While "awkward" hardly begins to describe this one, Anderson says it's not an indication that you actually want to sleep with that person.

It can be linked to an unfulfilled sex drive, but the sleep expert says it's who you're dreaming about that's the interesting part.

Think of three words to describe the person in your dream.

"Usually if the sex is good, those three words will be positive qualities you admire in that person and you want to welcome in your own life," Anderson says.

If those three words are negative, it could mean the person represents qualities that you don't want in your friends or in yourself.

"It doesn't always mean that you want to have sex with them. It's your subconscious assessing their character."

- nzherald.co.nz

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