Dreams have always fascinated me, probably because I have some doozies. I’m talking crazy dreams where the sweet little old lady from my childhood sneaks into my adult house and cuts off my long hair. Or there’s the one where I’m kidnapped and taken up into the world’s tallest treehouse and my dad comes to save me in a hot air balloon.
So many times I’ve awoken, scratching my head wondering, what’s wrong with me? Granted, I’m a cerebral person with a wild imagination which is like giving my subconscious a loaded gun. Still, I’ve often wondered what my dreams mean and how much stock to take in them. If you have some crazy dreams too, here are six common ones that people experience and some possible explanations into what they could mean.
6 Common Odd Dreams and What They Could Mean
1. Teeth Falling Out
A recurring dream I constantly battle is the one where my teeth fall right out of my mouth. Sometimes it’s when I’m about to give a speech, other times I’m just sitting down to dinner and there they go, one by one into my hand. It’s a nightmare, really, because I realize that that’s it…no more teeth. Ever.
Dreams about teeth falling out are quite common actually. Although nothing in dream analysis is concrete, losing teeth in dreams usually signals stress. After a dream like this, evaluate what is causing strain in your life and try to live more freely.
2. Can’t Run
I bet you’ve had this one before—the dream where you’re being chased or trying to run and your feet feel like 50 pound barbells or your legs turn to Jell-O. Slow motion running dreams are very common.
The Sigmund Freud theory is that your dreams express thoughts, fears, and desires that you are repressing during the day. If your legs weigh you down in your dreams, maybe you have some fear holding you back in daily life or an obstacle challenging you.
Did you know that most mammals dream too? I wonder if a cheetah ever dreams of slow-motion running? That would be terrible…for a cheetah.
3. You’re back at Your Old Job
One recurring dream I have—and one many other people have too—is where I’m back at my old college job. I’m a server at a busy restaurant and the customers are piling up and I can’t seem to get anything right. It’s funny because I haven’t been a server for over ten years!
Work-related dreams are most often due to stress. Your subconscious mind’s way of processing that stress is to take you back to a time when you felt similar anxiety. Thus my dreams of being a frantic server again could have been triggered by a quick deadline I had to meet. If you have work-related dreams, take a look at things about your current job or life that are getting you flustered.
4. People from Your Past
Have you ever had a dream about someone from your past—someone you haven’t seen or even thought about in years? I have these dreams a lot and always wonder what they mean to me.
The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that dreams are our mind and imagination working together to make a full sense of our world. He believed some dreams give us messages about lost or neglected parts of ourselves that need to be found again.
If people from your past pop up in your dreams, it could be that you were late-night scrolling through your Facebook feed and caught a brief glimpse of that individual. Or it could mean that an event from waking life triggered a memory from your past. Old memories fire up neurons in the brain that can lead to dreams of past friends, enemies, and even lovers.
Ha! Here’s a funny one that I have every so often—swearing dreams where I am really laying into someone. Usually, it’s someone very innocent like my mom, grandma, or husband. I’m not a swearer by any means, but in these dreams I let loose a thick string of profanities that would make a sailor blush.
What do swearing dreams mean? Well, if you believe Sigmund Freud’s dream theory that our dreams are an expression of emotions we repress during the day, dream profanity could mean some ill feelings you are harboring toward someone—not necessarily your mom, grandma, or spouse. The next time you are cursing in your dreams, take a look at the people or situations in your life that are making you angry. (Side note: I asked my husband If I swear out loud…nope. Phew!)
6. Kissing Someone Else
The dreams I come away feeling the worst about are racy ones where I kiss someone other than my husband.
Sigmund Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams contains all of his dream theories. He believed that any sexual dreams were our mind’s attempt at “wish fulfillment.” Dreams are the desires we repress during the day. Well, Freud also believed boys were sexually attracted to their mothers. Gross, Freud!
Since Freud was basically a pervert, let’s move on to a more reputable psychiatrist. Carl Jung believed that dreams are a natural expression of our imagination. He rejected Freud’s theory that our dreams are a product of repressed taboo sexual impulses.
I’m with Jung on this one. There’s no correct interpretation of a dream, but kissing or being kissed could mean that the dreamer has come to a realization in life. Maybe a breakthrough at work, maybe a problem solved.
Maybe dreams give us insights into our waking lives or maybe they are just an extension of our wild imaginations. I stopped reading into my dreams so much and just try to enjoy the ones where I find a buried treasure or make it onto The Voice. Believe me, dream version of Adam Levine is even better than real life.