Nightmares are an unfortunate fact of life, something that we all experience at some point or another. Even as we grow older the power of a nightmare to truly terrify us and wake us up in a cold sweat never really fades away. Because nightmares are a manifestation of our internal conflicts; they have a unique ability to affect us in ways that speak to our innermost fears and worries.
The science of dream interpretation is one that has always been controversial but has many proponents. Perhaps most famously the noted psychiatrist Sigmund Freud was a lifelong proponent of dream interpretation as part of his psychoanalysis of patients.
In this article, we take a look at five of the most commonly reported nightmares and what they represent.
Teeth Falling Out
One of the most common features of bad dreams is teeth falling out, in fact, there’s a whole site dedicated to it, or in some cases melting. It is believed that nightmares that revolve around teeth falling out reflect deep-seated anxieties about our physical appearance and how we are perceived by those around us.
Teeth are used to chew, bite, and tear our food. We associate large teeth and fangs on other animals with power and danger, consequently; the loss of teeth in a dream represents feelings of helplessness or losing power.
Being chased in a nightmare represents us running away from something in the waking world which is a major source of anxiety for us. Although the effects of anxiety are often very clear and apparent, the shortness of breath, the tightness in the chest, and the thumping heart rate are will all be sadly familiar to those of us who experience severe anxiety.
However, the causes of anxiety are not always immediately obvious and when these anxieties are preying on us subconsciously we often misattribute the source of anxiety. If you are experiencing frequent dreams where you are being chased without an obvious source of anxiety; it could mean that there is an issue causing you worry that you are unaware of.
Dreams where we are falling represent a deep-seated feeling of fear and insecurity. The falling signifies that there is something in our life that we think we need to change. Dreams where the dreamer enjoys the feeling of falling shows that the dreamer is unafraid of these changes and could even be a positive.
People who know all about dreams and nightmares will know that falling is a very common feature, even in good dreams, and correspondingly there is a wide range of interpretations of it.
Another common way that internal feelings of anxiety and worry manifest themselves is through dreams of us; being late or realizing that we have missed an appointment. Being late in a dream often represents us realizing that we are running out of time to do something important; our unconscious mind is trying to tell us that while time is running out there is still time to make a change.
Nightmares can be truly terrifying, but they can also represent an opportunity to learn about our subconscious fears and desires.