A nightmare is a common type of dream that can reveal a lot about ourselves. As a rule, our pleasant dreams stem mostly from our aspirations and desires while nightmares tend to be a manifestation of negative experiences such as stress and anxiety.

In the nightmares, as well as in all kinds of dreams, everything we see is symbolic, so you should never interpret them literally. Their interpretation can help you decipher the important messages that your subconscious is trying to send you.

Here are the top ten most common nightmares and what they mean:

1. Lost or trapped

The feeling of being lost or trapped in a dream indicates similar feelings experienced in real life in a certain situation. Does anyone make you do something against your will? Do you have exhausted all possible solutions to a problem and feel despair?

Mind that this dream can be a direct warning of emotional problems, so you should indicate the issue before it is too late.

2. Falling or drowning

Do you feel too much pressure or responsibility? These disturbing feelings can lead to a nightmare about falling or drowning. Dreams about an infinite fall or drowning are among the most common nightmares that demonstrate your inner confusion or concern about something. Your specific response to this nightmare, most likely, is a mirror of your feelings about a certain situation in waking life.

At the same time, dreaming about falling or drowning is a great opportunity to turn your nightmare into a lucid dream. If you realize that you are dreaming, you can control your fall/drowning and turn it into flying/swimming. After all, in your dream, you can do anything you want!

lucid dreams

3. Broken computer or phone

Have you ever had a dream where you call someone and hear nothing but endless ringing out? Or maybe a dream where your hard drive goes dead at the very moment when you try to save an important Word document? Although these dreams may not sound terrible enough to be called nightmares, for some people, hard drive failure is equivalent to a car crash.

If you dream about a technology-related problem, especially if it has to do with communication, it may mean that you are not able to reach someone on an emotional level. Have you lost touch with a good friend? Or maybe you feel like there is a wall between you and your special someone? If you have such a dream very often, take the time to analyze your relationship and identify the areas that need to be “fixed“.

4. Being naked or dressed inappropriately in a public place

This is one of the most common nightmares among people of all ages. This kind of dream symbolizes your level of self-confidence. In this case, the function of clothes is to hide those things that you do not want others to know about you.

If you feel “comfortable” being naked in your dream, then you feel secure about revealing your feelings and have nothing to hide. If you feel confused, it shows your vulnerability and may indicate feelings of guilt or shame. And finally, if you do not pay any attention to your nakedness, it could mean a lack of self-awareness.

Thus, if you are hiding something from others and are afraid that one day, they will find out, be prepared to have this type of nightmare.

5. A natural or human-made disaster

Regardless of whether you dream about it or experience it in reality, being in the midst of a natural disaster is a terrible experience. Such disturbing nightmares are among the most common ones and are always very important, as they can say a lot about your emotional wellbeing.

Usually, they signal an impending emotional breakdown in real life. Perhaps you are afraid of not being able to cope with a problem, so you are lost in a lot of debris left after a natural disaster in your dream. If you have dreamed about something like that, think about what you are currently overburdened with and try to solve the problem efficiently.

6. Failure at an exam or inability to solve a problem

test anxiety

Even if you have long forgotten your school or college years, you still can occasionally have dreams about failing at an exam and similar back-to-school situations. Anxiety about failing at important exams is among the most common nightmares, and the grade you get can tell a lot.

If you fail at the exam, it may describe your feelings about whether you deserve the things you have achieved in life. If you could go back and get an estimate for all of your accomplishments, would you be satisfied with the result? If your answer is yes, but on the exam in your dream, you feel that your score was too low, then your dream symbolizes your confusion about what you have achieved so far.

7. Damage to your house or other property

This is quite a common nightmare. A house in your dreams is a representation of yourself. The front of the house is the part of your self that is exposed to others, while the interior is your inner self.

If your home or other possession is damaged or robbed in your dream, it may mean that you have self-esteem issues and have mixed feelings about yourself. It could also mean that someone in your life violates your personal boundaries or your inner peace is in danger.

8. Problems with the car

Having problems with your car is a disappointing experience, but if you dream about it, it could mean something more serious than just a flat tire in waking life. Vehicles in a dream are a physical shell of a person, but they can carry the emotional load. As well as the dreams about a house, the way your car looks in your dream can be the image of yourself you show to the world, while what is under the hood symbolizes your inner feelings.

Perhaps you are driving a surprisingly beautiful car and suddenly find that it does not work properly. This situation can reveal your feelings about yourself. At the same time, dreams about a road accident or a car crash may indicate feelings of helplessness or lack of control.

9. Suffering from an injury, illness, or death

death drive

Dreams about you having a serious illness or dying are among the most common nightmares and can bring you a lot of distress. However, do not worry. Although death in your dream can be very disturbing, in fact, it can mean a change or a new beginning. Death can also mean the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Yet, not all dreams about death have positive meanings. In some cases, dreams in which you get injured, ill, or die can mean emotional pain or the fear of getting hurt. This kind of dream may also indicate that you are no longer able to handle the situation yourself, and you need to ask for help or advice from other people.

10. Running away from someone who attacks you

It is another common nightmare that haunts many people. If you dream of yourself being attacked or haunted, it is a signal from your body that it is either ready to encounter danger face to face or is going to “run away”. Such a reaction is natural for the human body since it always needs to make a choice when faced with dangers and fears.

Sigmund Freud described such dreams as “typical for people who are in trouble.” This anxiety may be associated with either serious and insignificant problems in your waking life. Since these fears are represented by a ghostly abuser, the actions you take to avoid the danger give a clue about how you deal with your issues in real life.

These are the most common nightmares and their basic meanings. However, interpreting your dreams goes far beyond that and you need to take into consideration many different details in your dreams. Which of these nightmares have you had on a recurring basis? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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