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Dream Interpretation: 17 Most Common Dreams Explained

by Joan Newsome

Throughout history, people have been fascinated by dream interpretation. What does it mean when you fly in your dream? Why do people dream about things that never happened to them in real life?

Ultimately, when you dream, it’s like you’re sending a message to yourself through your subconscious. In some cases, interpreting the meaning behind your weirdest dreams can even end up helping you overcome some obstacles in your life.

If dream interpretation is something you’re interested in, you’re in luck — this article will explain the meaning behind 17 of the most common dreams, and even suggest how to use dream interpretation to your advantage.

Dream Interpretation: Understanding Your Emotions

Before you dive into my list of the most common dreams and their meanings, it’s important to understand how dream interpretation works.

What you need to keep in mind is that the way you feel in your dream will determine its meaning. How you feel when you wake up is equally important too.

If your dream evokes feelings of sadness, you should consider what aspect of your dream is making you sad. It’s possible to dream about a happy occasion but feel sad throughout it.

For example, dreaming about your birthday is often a happy dream. However, if you feel sad throughout it, you’re most likely dreading something about that day. Additionally, you might be sad about growing older. Perhaps you feel as if you haven’t accomplished enough in your life, and that time is slipping away from you.

On the other hand, maybe someone in your dream is making you feel sad, or the feeling could be linked to something entirely different. For instance, your sad dream could be reminding you of an unhappy time in your life that still haunts you to this day.

If you still feel sad after you wake up, that means an emotional wound is still healing. Keep in mind that if you have recurring dreams that cause you to be sad throughout the day or even wake up crying, you should consider talking to a professional. That may be the best way to turn your sad dreams into happy ones.

17 Most Common Dreams Explained

1. Being In an Accident

Dreaming about being in an accident can be a warning about something in your life. You need to consider where the accident happened, who was involved, etc. Remembering as many details as possible can help you get a more precise interpretation of your dream.

For example, if you got in an accident while running, cycling, or driving, your subconscious could be telling you to slow down in your waking life. You may be taking on too many responsibilities at once.

On the other hand, losing control of your vehicle in the dream or getting run over by a car could mean that you’re in a situation you cannot control. Remembering the scene of the accident could help you determine what that situation is.

If you dream of getting in a car accident near your workplace, you most likely have some work-related problems. When the scene of the accident is your home, you may be worried about someone in your family.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Whether you’re dreaming about being in an accident or losing control of your vehicle, your subconscious is trying to tell you to take control of something in your life.

For starters, make a list of your responsibilities. Then, take a good look at each one and determine which should be prioritized. Also, try to come up with a daily schedule you can stick to ― one that includes time for relaxation too.

This may seem like a strange way to deal with a dream, but there’s a good reason to try it. Most people only think they’ve taken on more responsibilities than they can handle.

In some cases, it’s just a matter of reorganizing and prioritizing those responsibilities. Creating a schedule will help you get a clear picture of your life and give you some peace of mind.

2. Running From Something/Being Chased

Dreaming about being chased or running from something are common themes that mirror a situation that’s troubling you in your waking life. You need to consider who or what you are running away from in your dream. For example, victims of bullying often dream about being chased by a ferocious dog or a wild animal.

The way you deal with the thing or person you’re running from in your dream can give you valuable insight into your problem. If you end up confronting the thing you’re running from, or you manage to drive it away, your subconscious is telling you that you have the power to overcome the problem (whether it’s a bully or something else) in real life.

If the dream ends while you’re still running away, this could mean that you’re too scared to face the thing (or person) that’s bothering you.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your problem is the best way to resolve it. Your dream is most likely telling you to take action instead of running away (both literally and figuratively).

3. Running Toward Something/Chasing Someone or Something

If you dream about chasing after someone, that could mean you’re interested in someone in your waking life. However, you most likely don’t want him or her to know that you like them.

When you dream about running toward something, you should especially pay attention to the end of your dream. Did you reach the thing you were running toward, or does your dream end with you still chasing after it?

For example, if you dream of reaching your goal, that probably means you’ve accomplished something in your waking life that you’re proud of.

However, if you don’t get to your goal by the end of the dream, that could mean you’re trying your hardest to accomplish something, but you’re not quite there yet. What’s more, something could be standing in the way of your success.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

If there’s something you want to achieve in your waking life, now is the time to do it! Your dream is telling you to try harder and not give up.

Furthermore, if you have feelings for someone, it’s time to express them. Your subconscious is urging you to take a leap of faith and see where life takes you.

4. Pulling Your Teeth/Losing Teeth

Dreaming about pulling your teeth can have several meanings. On a physical level, it may be reminding you to visit the dentist. Similarly, if you’re a teeth grinder, you might dream about having a toothache.

Symbolically, teeth are associated with our self-image. If you dream about pearly white teeth, that indicates that you’re happy with your life. Rotten teeth suggest that you’re unhappy with something.

When your teeth are loose or falling out, that could mean you’re losing something important to you in real life. Furthermore, if someone is pulling out your teeth, this could indicate that someone is trying to take something away from you. On the other hand, if you’re the one pulling out your teeth, you might be trying to cut someone out of your life.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Ultimately, it may be time to take a look at the people closest to you. Is someone trying to take something away from you? Or, are you trying to get away from someone in your family?

If something in your life is bothering you, it may be time to talk to a professional. Understanding the problem could help you get rid of those horrible images of rotting teeth in your dreams!

5. Flying

Dreaming that you’re soaring high in the sky is a wishful-thinking dream that symbolizes your hopes in real life. The higher you fly in your dream, the higher your goals and ambitions are in your waking life.

If you can still see the ground in your dream, this means your goals are realistic, and you still have a firm grasp on reality. Ultimately, your dream is telling you that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

However, if you’re soaring high above the clouds, and you can’t see the ground, your dream is telling you that you’re being unrealistic.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Try to assess your goals in real life. If your expectations are unrealistic, you may need to set the bar lower. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams, but rather try to manage your expectations.

Subconsciously, you know you’re being unrealistic about something, but you may be struggling to admit it to yourself.

6. Falling

Falling is a pretty common theme that many people dream about. These dreams often start just as we’re drifting off to sleep, and our body is slowly relaxing.

If you dream about falling from a great height, that could mean that something in your life isn’t going as well as you hoped. Furthermore, it could be a warning that you should rethink some of your life choices.

Another possibility is that your dream is reflecting your sense of insecurity or lack of confidence. For example, you could be afraid of failing an exam and letting someone down, or you may be insecure about an upcoming event.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

If you’re constantly plagued by dreams of falling, think about the various aspects of your life that are making you feel overwhelmed. Do you have a work-related problem that’s making you miserable? Are you worried about a relationship or a friendship?

Ultimately, gaining insight into the problem will help you deal with your worries and fears, as well as give you a sense of empowerment. Once you feel confident that you can deal with them, the dreams will most likely stop.

7. Acting/Watching Someone Act

If you dream about acting on stage or in a movie, that could mean you have a strong need for attention. This could also indicate that you’re frustrated with someone for not appreciating you.

Alternately, if you dream of watching someone else act, you may be second-guessing someone’s intentions. For example, you may be suspicious that your friend is lying to you, or you may think someone is hiding something important about themselves.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Recurring dreams about acting could suggest that you’re looking for a change of career. You may secretly wish for people to start appreciating what you do for a living, or you might quite literally wish to work in the entertainment industry.

Try to dig deep and find out which aspect of your life is making you feel dissatisfied. Also, think about who you’re craving attention from.

Are you feeling neglected by your partner, or are you looking for attention from strangers? If your partner is giving you the cold shoulder, it’s time to talk with him/her. Talk about how you feel and try to come to an understanding.

On the other hand, if you crave attention from strangers, this is a clear sign that you should reconsider your career choices. Maybe you don’t feel content working a nine-to-five job and would like to explore other options.

8. Kissing

If you dream about kissing, the main thing you should focus on is who is doing the kissing, and who is being kissed.

For instance, dreaming about kissing one of your parents, siblings, or other relatives could mean that you’re going through a happy time in your life and that you feel content. Kissing a baby can suggest that you’re hoping something you’re working on will turn out all right, or that a problem will be sorted out.

However, if you dream that your boyfriend/girlfriend is kissing someone (other than you), you may be jealous or insecure about your relationship.

Alternately, if you dream of kissing someone you dislike, that could mean someone is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do in your waking life. For example, your boss may want you to work overtime, or someone in your family may be nagging you to do extra chores.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Dreaming about your partner kissing someone else is perfectly normal from time to time. However, if this is a recurring dream, you most likely have some deep-seated insecurities in your waking life.

If this is the case, the only way you can deal with them is by working on loving yourself and embracing all your flaws. Overall, this dream most likely has nothing to do with your significant other, but rather about your feelings toward yourself.

On the other hand, if your dream is about kissing someone you dislike, then you’re most likely facing a task you’re not comfortable doing in your waking life.

In that case, the best solution is to tackle the situation head-on. However, if that isn’t possible, try discussing your problem with someone and coming up with an alternative solution.

9. Fighting

Dreaming about being in a fight could mean you’re struggling with a problem, or you’re facing a conflict in your waking life. Also, it could indicate that you’re dissatisfied with how your life is playing out.

If you keep losing the fight, you’re probably plagued by a problem you think cannot be resolved. However, if you end up winning, that could mean you’re confident about finding a solution.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Everyone struggles with problems, but what matters most is how you deal with them. If you regularly dream about being in a fight, you’re probably having trouble expressing your true feelings in your waking life.

Try to communicate your feelings more often, rather than complying with everyone’s wishes. If you’re not happy about something, say so.

Ultimately, your feelings of unhappiness are creeping into your dreams and warning you that it’s time to do something about them.

10. Dreaming About Eyes

If you dream about having something stuck in your eye, slightly losing your vision, or going completely blind, you’re most likely not facing facts in your waking life.

Similarly, if you dream about closed eyes, that could mean that you don’t see what’s going on around you. Perhaps someone is lying to you or trying to deceive you in some way.

On the other hand, if you dream about someone watching you, you may feel as if you’re being scrutinized. Maybe you feel guilty about something you’ve done and are afraid someone will find out about it.

If you dream about bright, clear eyes, you may be suspicious about something that’s going on around you. Your dream might be trying to show you that you ought to trust your gut.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Ultimately, your dream could be telling you that you don’t see something that’s right under your nose. It may be time to pay closer attention to things that go on around you.

However, if you’re dealing with guilt, it may be time to come clean. Guilt is a powerful emotion and one that you come face to face with both in real life and dreams.

11. Dreaming About School

Unsurprisingly, kids often dream about school since they spend most of their time there. Sometimes, a dream about school is simply a replay of something that recently happened there, and nothing more.

Yet, since a school is a place where you learn things, your subconscious could be trying to tell you something or teach you an important life lesson. In other instances, this dream might be trying to draw your attention to some information you missed during the day.

If you dream about being late to class, your subconscious is telling you that you’re afraid of losing an opportunity in your waking life. But, if the reason you’re late to class is that you keep making wrong turns along the way, your dream might be trying to show you that you’re indecisive about something.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Dreaming about being late is, without a doubt, incredibly frustrating. However, it can end up helping you in your waking life.

Are you putting off making a huge life decision? Sometimes, dreaming about running late can end up being a much-needed wake-up call. Whether it’s about your career or your life in general, it’s time to make a decision and go for it.

12. Dreaming About Christmas or Another Holiday

Dreaming of a Christmas scene with a decorated tree, tinsel, and presents suggests that you’re excited about an upcoming event. Ultimately, you may be exuberant about the actual event you’re dreaming of (Christmas or another holiday) or something completely unrelated.

Overall, this dream usually means that you expect to have fun and for good things to happen.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Since this is a good dream, enjoy it to the fullest!

13. Dreaming About Your Parents

Dreaming about being in any situation with your parents can simply be a replay of recent events. For example, if you dream about arguing with your parents, you might be replaying your most recent argument in real life.

However, if your dream is about an argument you never actually had in real life, you may be angry about something or even disappointed in your parents.

If you dream about hugging one of your parents, you’re most likely dreaming about your feelings of love toward them.

In some cases, our parents are also a representation of other people or feelings. For instance, fathers often represent authority figures in your life, such as teachers, while mothers can symbolize comfort and nurture.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

If you’re angry with one or both of your parents about something, you should express your feelings to them the first chance you get.

Let’s be honest — dreaming about arguing with someone you love can sometimes turn out to be the worst nightmare imaginable. So, talk about what’s bothering you and try to resolve your issues.

14. Throwing a Party/Going to a Party

There are plenty of things you need to consider in order to interpret this dream. For example, where is the party? Who is the host/hostess? Are people having a good time at it?

If you’re the host/hostess, and everyone is having a great time, this could mean that you’re popular in your waking life and that you have a lot of friends.

However, if you’re the host/hostess and no one is having a good time, no matter how much effort you put into everything, this could indicate two things:

1. You’re seeking the approval of your friends, parents, or someone important in your life, but it isn’t going well.
2. You wish you were more popular in your waking life.

On the other hand, if you dream about going to a party, this could suggest you’re excited or nervous about an upcoming event (depending on the context of your dream).

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Think about what’s bothering you. If you’re unhappy about your social status, consider what’s more important ― being popular or being surrounded by people who love and respect you?

Sometimes, you need to reconsider what you think you want in your life so that you can move forward. The same thing goes for seeking someone’s approval. If you’re happy with your progress in life, why is it important what others think?

15. Choking

Dreaming about choking on something usually means you’re having trouble coping with a situation in your waking life. If you’ve suffered a loss in real life, you may be experiencing some feelings of denial. In that case, your dream might be telling you that you need to deal with those feelings.

However, if someone is choking you, you need to consider who that person is. If, for example, a family member is choking you, this could mean you have some unresolved issues with that person. Maybe you feel as if your parents are “suffocating” you, or you’re constantly arguing with one of your siblings.

Also, since choking involves difficulty swallowing, this dream may mean that you’re having trouble swallowing your pride. For example, maybe you argued with someone and refused to admit that you’re wrong.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

If your subconscious is telling you that you have some unresolved issues with someone, the only way to deal with them is to talk to that person.

Whether you’re the one in the wrong, or it’s the other way around, have an open and honest discussion about your problem. Share your feelings. No matter the outcome, facing the problem head-on will give you some peace of mind.

However, if you’re having trouble coping with feelings of denial, you should consider talking to a professional. For some people, grief can be overwhelming and even lead to depression. Your dream could potentially be telling you that it’s time to seek help.

16. Abandonment

Dreaming about being left behind is fairly common, and even more so if you’re going through a rather lonely period in your life. You may have this sort of dream after arguing with a loved one, or if you’re facing a new chapter in your life. For example, you may dream that you’re out shopping with your mom, and all of a sudden, you’re all alone in the store.

This dream could be a replay of actual events too, but it most likely represents how you feel about something in your waking life. For instance, most teens will dream about being abandoned around the time when they’re about to leave for college.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Although this dream can be categorized as a nightmare, it’s simply a representation of your fears in real life. If you’re moving somewhere far away from your loved ones, it’s perfectly normal to be scared.

However, keep in mind that this is a new chapter in your life. Think about all the good things to come, and all the new people you’ll meet. Ultimately, you have the power to turn your nightmare into something positive!

17. Dreaming of Colors

People don’t always dream in color, and more often than not, when they do, they don’t even notice it.

Sometimes, one particular color may hit you with its brilliance! When this happens, your dream is most likely trying to draw your attention to the symbolic meaning of the color.


Red is the color of passion, and it can represent both anger and love. In a dream, red can depict the love you feel for someone (a loved one, a friend, etc.). However, if you dream of something bright red, and you feel frustrated throughout your dream, this most likely means you’re angry with someone.


Dreaming of something that’s bright orange means you’re looking for attention. This color is bright and vibrant, which also symbolizes confidence. Ultimately, your subconscious may be urging you to believe in yourself and your abilities.


The color yellow represents creativity and talent. Dreaming about something bright yellow is a sign that you’re creative in real life, and that you’re sure of your abilities. However, if you see a washed-out yellow in your dream, this can mean that you lack confidence.


The color green can have two meanings. On the one hand, it’s a soothing, healing color that symbolizes health. On the other, it can symbolize envy.

If you dream about green grass, leaves, or bushes, that means you’re feeling healthy and full of energy. But, if you dream of someone with vibrant green eyes, this could mean someone is envious of you.


Light blue is associated with cooperation, good communication, and teamwork. If you dream of something bright blue, this is a sign of hope. Yet, if you dream of something dark blue, this could mean you’re moody or possibly even depressed.


In dreams, black is considered a negative color, as it brings on a sense of gloom and negativity. If this color is very prominent in your dreams, it suggests that you’re going through a difficult time in your life and that you’re sad.


Dreaming about something white means that you’re ready to take on a new challenge in your life or possibly turn over a new leaf. Overall, it symbolizes new things to come.

However, if you dream about a flashing white light, this could mean you’re searching for an answer to a problem.

How to Use This Dream Interpretation to Your Advantage

Ultimately, if you regularly dream about black objects, your subconscious may be telling you to rethink some aspects of your life. Maybe you’re unhappy with something, but you lack the courage to do something about it.

Similarly, dreaming about bright blue objects could be a sign that you’re going through a sad time in your life. Try to figure out what’s causing you to feel this way. Also, consider speaking to a professional if you can’t deal with your feelings on your own.

Final Thoughts

Dreams act as safety valves that help release the frustration and tension you feel throughout the day. What’s more, they may even let you replay your most cherished memories.

Of course, dreams can be thrilling at times, and they can also be quite frightening. However, it’s how you choose to interpret them that matters the most.

If you analyze even the most horrifying nightmare, you might end up finding a solution to a problem in your waking life. Ultimately, dream interpretation brings you a step closer to realizing your hopes, fears, and of course, dreams.

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