We all dream when we sleep; some more elaborately and vibrantly than others. And while many of our dreams seem to be drawn from our own personal thoughts and experiences with people and the world around us, there are still a few common dreams that we all seem to have at one point or another in our sleeping lives.
I mean, we’ve all, at one point, had that awful dream where we’ve been preparing for the big meeting or presentation at work – or worse, back in high school. You step into the room, in front of all of your peers, walk up to the front of the room to begin speaking…only to look down and discover you’re completely naked.
So what do these kinds of dreams ultimately boil down to; in other words, what do they actually mean, and how do we go about trying to make sense of them? According to the International Association for the Study of Dreams, the more bizarre a person’s dream is, the more likely it is to contain juicy information of their daily life.
However, since the rational part of a person’s brain is shut off while they’re asleep at night, dreams tend to fold out like a metaphor, telling their stories by borrowing images from that person’s waking life and rearranging them in ways your conscious mind wouldn’t even, well, dream of. And while most dreams are unique to the individual, certain common themes crop up in everyone’s dreams from time to time that many experts have attempted to analyze and explain. Here are just a few of the most common ones:
· Falling. Some believe dreams that involve the dreamer falling is an analogy for the loss of support in a major area of their life (such as a relationship or job/career) and the uncertainty of their future.
· Fire. Everyone feels pretty anxious about a fire burning out of control, and dream scholars posit that dreams involving fire are a metaphor for urgent situations in a person’s life that require immediate attention.
· Water. Dreams about water are commonly linked to how a person deals with their emotions. For example, dreams featuring huge tidal waves are suggested to represent that person dealing with a large wave of emotions they might not know how to handle.
· Naked. Those dreams about showing up to school or work in your birthday suit? They could suggest you’re feeling exposed or insecure about something. The good news though, is that if no one else in the dream notices you running around unclothed, it likely points to the insecurity being entirely in your own mind — just like the rest of the dream.