What Your Dreams Are Really Trying To Tell You

For as long as humans have existed, we have pondered the meanings of our dreams. The ancient Egyptians believed dreams could predict the future. In ancient Greece, dreams were thought to be inspiration or communication from the divine. 


Today, dream interpretation isn't just the realm of mystics. Psychologists and scientists have joined the pursuit. Sigmund Freud, widely regarded as one of the pioneering figures in the field of psychology, made significant contributions to the understanding of the human mind and its intricate workings. Among his groundbreaking ideas, one of the earliest and most influential was his proposition that dreams held the key to unlocking deeper insights into the complexities of the human psyche and unconscious mind. In his book "The Interpretation of Dreams," he outlined various dream motifs and their possible meanings for dream-bearers. 

Since Freud's time, more people have explored the cause and possible meaning of dreams. Some neurobiologists have theorized that dreams are a side effect of neurons firing and the brain sending signals while asleep. Other people continue to investigate dream analysis and what dreams might mean about your inner life. Here are 11 common dream motifs and what they could be trying to tell you. 


Seeing a deceased loved one

Dreams where you see a lost loved one can be emotionally intense, particularly if the loss is recent. Sometimes, the presence of a departed loved one in a dream is a physiological response to the recentness of your loss, according Mental Health Center. Their appearance can be a reflection of your grief, your longing to reconnect with them, or even a manifestation of your struggle to accept their absence. If there were unresolved issues with them, your subconscious might be seeking closure. 


However, it's important to note that such dreams aren't necessarily negative. In fact, many Eastern cultures interpret these manifestations as signs of good fortune. If you find yourself navigating a challenging or perplexing phase in life, the appearance of a departed loved one in your dreams might be your subconscious's way of providing guidance and protection through this time. It's as if your inner self is reaching out for wisdom to help you through this trying period.

On other occasions, encountering a loved one in a dream serves as a way to bid a spiritual farewell to their physical presence, providing a unique form of closure and solace.

A haunted house

Does spooky season live in your head rent-free? There may be a reason for that. When life gets tough, we may be more prone to scary dreams. 

A commonly recurring nightmare is that of a haunted house. According to California Psychics, haunted house dreams tend to creep into the picture when you're feeling stuck or struggling to resolve a real-life issue. Being trapped in the metaphysical realm could be a reflection of feeling trapped in your waking life. It's as if your subconscious is trying to tell you that you might be grappling with something that's holding you back. So, what's weighing you down or keeping you from moving forward? Taking some time to ponder the chains that are binding you in real life might shed light on the situation.


But not all spooky dreams put you inside the haunted house; sometimes you're outside looking in. This perspective shift can signify that you're facing an unfamiliar or intimidating situation in your real life. Your dream could be encouraging you to confront your fears or anxieties about a new or unfamiliar situation head-on.

Experiencing a natural disaster

Dreams often have a mysterious way of hinting at the future, but not necessarily in a literal, crystal ball sense. For instance, dreaming of a natural disaster doesn't mean you're about to become an unwitting victim of a real-life disaster. Instead, these dreams often serve as a mirror reflecting the tumultuous nature of your emotional state


Imagine a hurricane swirling in your dream. This vision may signify that real-life events have set your thoughts awhirl. It's a hint that you're going through an emotionally charged period, experiencing some inner turbulence. If you're confronted by a giant tornado in your dream, consider it a signal that change is brewing. A crashing tsunami can serve as a metaphor for an enormous emotional issue surfacing in your life. And then there's the dream of an earthquake, where things are literally falling apart or are about to crumble. Dreams of floods are often a reflection of an emotional overflow, a signal that you're dealing with a deluge of feelings. Meanwhile, an erupting volcano in your dreams can symbolize someone, perhaps even yourself, who's about to blow their top due to pent-up anger or frustration. It's like your psyche's way of saying, "Warning: emotional eruption imminent." 


But not all dreamy predictions are gloomy. For example, dreams featuring an asteroid, comet, or meteor shower. These metaphysical visions of cosmological events often signal a new era in your life, signifying fresh beginnings on the horizon. 

Being pursued by a monster

Did the monster hiding in your closet show up in a nightmare? If monsters are on your heels in a dream, it's a clue that you might be feeling a consistent sense of disruption in your waking life. But here's the silver lining: these setbacks and obstacles are like life's boot camp. They're there to make you stronger and more enthusiastic, so you can tackle the real-world challenges with gusto.


We all know that monsters, as real as they can seem in a dream, don't actually exist. Monsters in dreams, although they appear real and menacing, are a representation of life's problems and obstacles. They're a fantastical embodiment of the hurdles and distractions you encounter in your waking life. In essence, your dream self serves as your guiding light, reminding you that you have the power to overcome these difficulties and emerge victorious. 

Being in a car accident

Ever since cars hit the scene, they've made our daily journeys from point A to point B a breeze. But what if, all of a sudden, they crash? According to professional dream interpreter Lauri Loewenberg on MindBodyGreen, this vivid dream scenario might have a deeper message. 


A dream featuring a car crash isn't just about vehicular mishaps; it's often a symbol of an abrupt and probably unforeseen conclusion to something in your waking life. It's as if your subconscious is trying to flag an unexpected ending, urging you to pay attention to this potential turning point. 

Things can get deeper with certain specifics. If you were the driver and the car crashed, perhaps you are feeling guilt over the outcome of a situation you were involved in. On the other hand, if you were a passenger, you may be placing blame on someone else for something that's occurred. Without healthy confrontation and resolution, you may crash and burn IRL. 

Meeting a celebrity

Celebrities serve as symbols of affluence, embodying the allure of a luxurious life that many aspire to attain. So, when you find yourself dreaming about meeting a celebrity or perhaps being BFFs with a celebrity, it's as though your subconscious is conveying a positive message — a subtle wink from your inner world.


Within the realm of dreams, an encounter with a star can often signify that you're standing at the threshold of a life you've long yearned for. It's akin to your dream gently nudging you to acknowledge that your aspirations may be closer to fruition than you think. 

Another possible interpretation is that these dreams can also mirror your internal contentment and a favorable self-image. Meeting a celebrity in your dreams might signify a sense of self-assuredness about how you perceive yourself. It's like your subconscious is extending a virtual high-five, celebrating your confidence and optimistic outlook.

Missing an important event

When you find yourself dreaming about missing crucial events, it's not just a whimsical nighttime tale, according to Dreams Directory. In the dream landscape, this anxiety-inducing scenario can symbolize an aversion to authority, a yearning for protection, or the quest for justice. It's like your subconscious radar alerting you to elements in your life that require attention. 


One potential interpretation is that you might need to emotionally distance yourself from a situation, creating a healthy boundary to regain control, structure, and order in your life. It's a call to bring balance and stability back into your world. Additionally, such dreams might suggest that there's an aspect of your life that has rendered you speechless or has left you grappling with self-centeredness. It can also indicate feelings of guilt and shame stemming from your actions, and a sense of isolation or a lack of support and influence.

Being trapped or imprisoned

Dreams of being locked up or imprisoned are often symbolic of a broader sense of feeling stuck, confined, or trapped in various aspects of your life, according to Practical Psychology. These dreams tend to reflect our deep-seated feelings of helplessness when we struggle to resolve conflicts or challenges in waking life. 


When you find yourself dreaming of incarceration, it's worth contemplating the issues that might be causing frustration and insecurity in your real life. The dream could reflect the sensation of being confined and restricted, as well as feeling overwhelmed by the weight of responsibilities or powerless in the face of daunting circumstances. These dreams can serve as an indicator of your emotional state, shedding light on areas where you might be feeling overwhelmed, powerless, or unable to break free from responsibilities. Use these subconscious reminders to help you unlock doors and possibilities that could free you from the chains currently holding you back.

Being lost

Getting lost is a dream motif that most of us can likely interpret. Your subconscious may be telling you that you are feeling lost, or need guidance, in real life. 

Now, the meaning of getting lost in your dreams can take on various shades, depending on the details of the dream. For instance, Dreams Directory suggests that finding yourself lost in the dark can symbolize that you are feeling guilt or perhaps a plan has been unraveled, causing upset or confusion about your next steps. 


On the other hand, you may have dreamt about getting lost in a crowd. This is actually a common dream experience, according to Dreams, whether you're lost amongst people you have never met before, or lost with people you recognize from real life. These dreams often direct you to reflect on your social relationships: are you feeling anxious about a situation with someone? Do you feel insecure? Is there a conflict that needs to be resolved? These dreams may be telling you that this is the case. 

Losing a loved one

Dreams about death are a common and often deeply unsettling experience. In these dreams, we might find ourselves facing mortality, either as the one passing or as an observer to someone else's passing. When the person in these dreams is close to us, the emotional impact can be profound. 


It's important to note that dreaming of someone's death doesn't necessarily predict a grim reality. As noted by BetterSleep, these dreams can relate to changes in our relationship with that person, but these changes aren't inherently negative. Perhaps your relationship is pivoting for the better in an unexpected way, or you are entering a relationship you didn't predict. 

Dreams of a loved one's death can also offer insights into how we perceive our relationships. If you've been experiencing difficulties or a lack of communication with someone close, seeing them pass away in a dream might symbolize the turbulence or potential deterioration of that relationship.

Plane crashes

Airplanes in dreams typically signal a trajectory toward success. However, if your dream takes a turn for the worse, it may indicate a deviation from the right path. In the case of a plane crash in your dream, it can serve as a metaphor for inner turmoil in your waking life.


When aircraft crashes play out in your dreams, they can act as a spotlight on unforeseen events that might trigger intense emotional responses. The turbulence you experience could be emblematic of strong emotions within yourself or someone close to you, perhaps a family member, a parent, or a romantic partner. It may suggest that these emotions require careful management to prevent potential fallout.

Conversely, a dream of a plane crash could be a cautionary signal, urging you to confront issues head-on before they lead to relationship breakdowns. It's a nudge to address the challenges life throws at you with determination and persistence. Such a dream can signify that you possess the resilience to emerge renewed with a new sense of power.