As part of the launch of the best selling dream book, The Top 100 Dreams, this article was published in the Daily Mail. Although it has my name on the byline, I didn’t actually write it and it has been hacked down by an anonymous hack.
As with most pieces on dreams, the journalist has been keen to add their own interpretations and facts such as ‘Over the age of ten we have four to six dreams per night. They can last from five minutes to half an hour’. This is not entirely true as childhood dreaming starts long before the age of ten and there is evidence that foetuses start dreaming during the third trimester of pregnancy.
However, with most popular journalism being drawn from Wikipedia or the first page of a Google search, it’s not surprising that rigorously researched facts are often overlooked in the journalistic process. Anyway, here is the unknown journo’s piece on The Top Ten Dreams.
Preparing to sit an exam we’re not prepared for, our teeth falling out, finding unused rooms in our houses – our dream world throws up bizarre and confusing images that make little sense. Yet, after analysing more than 100,000 dreams in my 30-year career as a dream psychologist, I’ve found there are ten dreams that recur the world over. They reflect fundamental life patterns and, by understanding them, you can see your life in a new light. Here’s a guide to the dreams we all have and what they mean…
YOU’RE BEING CHASED
DREAM: You find yourself being pursued by something or someone you feel is going to harm you. No matter how fast you run, or where you hide, you can’t escape them.
MEANING: Whatever is chasing you is an aspect of yourself, which is why you cannot escape it. It represents a part of you or a situation you are scared to confront.
ACTION: Identify what is causing tension in your waking life. It might seem easier to avoid it but, you need to be assertive and resolve it. Then, rather than being pursued, you become the one to chase your chosen opportunity.
YOUR TEETH FALL OUT
DREAM: You notice that some of your teeth are becoming loose and starting to fall out. Or your teeth crumble into powder. You might also be looking in the mirror and realise your teeth are decayed or that you have grown vampire fangs.
MEANING: You show your teeth when you smile and when you bite, so they reflect how self-assured and assertive you feel. Teeth falling out indicate that a situation is causing you to lose confidence. Crumbling teeth means your confidence is waning because you aren’t taking care of your self-esteem. Vampire teeth indicate you are relying on other people to provide your self-assurance.
ACTION: You should be more confident in whatever situation is challenging you. Rather than seeing the unknown as a threat, relish it as a challenge.
YOU CAN’T FIND A LOO
DREAM: You are desperate for the toilet. The only ones you can find are in strange places or in public view. You might find yourself in a queue and when you finally get there, the toilet is unusable.
MEANING: You have a need you are unable to express. Queuing means you are putting the needs of others before your own.
ACTION: You hope your needs will be met if you look after other people’s wants. But the best way to resolve this situation is to put yourself first. This may seem selfish, but it is much easier to look after other people’s needs when you attend your own.
YOU’RE NAKED IN PUBLIC
DREAM: You are surprised to find yourself naked in a public place and are making frantic attempts to shield your body. Everyone else is fully dressed but they don’t seem to notice your condition.
MEANING: You feel vulnerable and exposed, perhaps in a new job or relationship. No one sees your nakedness because you seem secure and confident to them.
ACTION: The dream usually indicates a positive and healthy progression in our lives, as we are being invited to step into unfamiliar territory and display our talents. If you are wary of opening up to people, you may appear cold. It might be nerve-racking, but express your true self without thinking about how people are judging you.
YOU’RE UNPREPARED FOR AN EXAM
DREAM: You are sitting an important exam but are shocked to realise you have done no studying. It’s too late to do anything and you are disappointed.
MEANING: Your lack of preparation shows you usually prepare meticulously for every task. You set yourself high standards and feel a constant anxiety that you will end up with a poor result. But it’s not others that are judging — it’s you.
ACTION: When you judge yourself too harshly, you will feel like a failure, no matter how successful you are. The best way to move on from this dream is to consider what makes you happiest and most fulfilled in life — this is often something joyous and spontaneous, which doesn’t require endless preparation. Now do it.
DREAM: First you have the sensation of floating, then you soar into the sky and fly through the air. You have a tremendous feeling of exhilaration.
MEANING: You have been released from circumstances that were weighing you down. You are free of constraints, making you feel ‘as free as a bird’.
ACTION: Although you may regard this feeling of liberation as luck, you created the opportunity yourself. Consider other chances in your life where you could go off into the realms of new possibilities.
DREAM: Everything seems normal, but then you suddenly feel your legs give way as you stumble and fall. Sometimes the fall is minor, other times you tumble downstairs or plummet off a cliff into a chasm.
MEANING: This signifies a fear of losing control. Falling suggests you need to let go of responsibilities that are dragging you down.
ACTION: This dream is often triggered by stress and so is encouraging you to take a more relaxed approach in certain areas of your life. Muscle tension can make you feel like you spend most of your day braced for impact. Try relaxing your muscles before going to bed.
YOU’RE IN AN OUT-OF-CONTROL VEHICLE
DREAM: You are in a vehicle that is spinning out of control. You desperately try to slow down because you are scared of crashing.
MEANING: You’re thinking about the path you are taking in life, usually in your career. While you may have a plan, circumstances are getting out of control. An imminent crash shows you are going to be in contact or conflict with something unavoidable.
ACTION: Rather than abandoning your present position, consider the areas where you do have control. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help; they can help you get back into the driver’s seat. Accept there are some situations over which you have no control.
YOU DISCOVER AN UNUSED ROOM
DREAM: You are walking through your house when you notice a door you haven’t seen before. You open it to find a room you had completely forgotten about.
MEANING: Homes in dreams symbolise ourselves and different rooms are aspects of our character. The unnoticed door indicates you have a chance to step into an exciting new possibility. The size of the room reflects the size of the chance.
ACTION: You might think you know your achievements and limitations, but you have talents you have yet to discover. Be open to even the most unexpected opportunities.
DREAM: You are on your way to an appointment and realise you are late. On the way you get caught up in obstacles and distractions. You keep looking at the clock and are alarmed at time passing. You feel as if you’ll never get where you need to be.
MEANING: You are worried you are missing an opportunity and that time is running out to carry out a plan, such as starting a family or achieving a career goal. The obstacles and distractions show you are procrastinating, that you have been filling your life with lots of other activities, but they are not getting you anywhere.
ACTION: Commit to meaningful action rather than involving yourself in meaningless action. Once a decision has been made, your direction will become clear and your time becomes your own, rather than being subject to the whims of what is happening around you.
As ever with these pieces, the comments are both fascinating and hilarious.