What did you dream about last night? Did your teeth fall out or did you fly? Maybe you died or someone you know did. Or maybe you were back in high school and realized suddenly that you were naked. These are among the most common dreams people report, said Ivy Norris, field director for the Oklahoma Schools of Metaphysics, and they all mean something.
Many dream researchers, Norris included, think that understanding your dreams can lead to significant improvements in your waking life.
"If people know what the symbols represent, then they know what part of themselves that they’re running from or that they need to face or need to embrace,” Norris said. For example, dreams of death represent changes in your daily life, as do babies in dreams. Cars in dreams represent the physical body and can indicate health problems. And animals represent habitual behaviors that can be detrimental and need changing.
People in dreams represent aspects of the dreamer. People of the opposite sex represent subconscious aspects of the dreamer while people of the same sex represent aspects of your conscious mind with which you’re more familiar.
Dreams are a universal connection, Norris said, because almost everyone dreams and a "symbolic universal language of mind” applies to anyone at anytime. Many dreams have very specific interpretations. Here are some of the most common dreams and their interpretations or symbolism.
→Dreams of flying. Dreams of flying represent feelings of freedom that may result from an instance when you overcame a limitation or obstacle. Usually, children have more flying dreams than adults, Norris said, because children are more open to their possibilities, and adults have often accepted limitations imposed by society.
→Teeth falling out. Food in a dream is symbolic of knowledge because food nourishes the physical body and knowledge nourishes the soul. Teeth are a means to break down food or knowledge. When your teeth fall out in a dream, it could signify that you feel ill-equipped to break down the knowledge that you have available, that the way you break things down has changed. That change can be either positive or negative.
→High school dreams. Either you’re woefully unprepared for a big test or you’re naked. High school is a place of learning from the past, Norris said, and dreaming of being unprepared for a high school test can indicate a struggle to access information you need to handle in your life.
Being naked in a dream indicates open and honest expression. Clothes represent how we express ourselves and the face we show the public. If your dream nudity makes you feel embarrassed, this could mean that you need to work on being more open and honest in your daily life. If your nudity doesn’t bother you, you are more comfortable with your self expression.
→Recurring dreams and nightmares. Recurring dreams are your subconscious mind’s way of trying to get your attention. A recurring dream is a step down from a nightmare that is a louder, more insistent way your subconscious mind communicates. If you have a recurring dream, Norris recommends trying to stop in the dream and identify what the dream is trying to tell you. That could mean asking someone who is chasing you what he or she wants as in the case Norris recalls of a woman who dreamed for years that an old, haggard woman was chasing her around her home. When she finally stopped in the dream and asked the old woman what she represented, the old woman suddenly turned into a beautiful young woman and replied, "I represent your question of ‘what if?’”