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Updated on September 7, 2013

Analyzing your dreams is the frist step for a better understanding of yourself

For years, I had this dream where I saw myself drowning in dark waters. It always started with a gigantic wave coming straight from the horizon. In my dream me and other people I had never seen before were running away from the beach screaming in fear. It was terrifying and when I finally woke up, I was short of breath and covered in sweat.

The dream stopped when I turned 30 years old, and I always wondered why. Not too long ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a college professor who had studied the meaning of dreams for years. According to him and some books I've read, a dream may translate in memories, fears, past experiences and even health issues.

We all have had dreams we never understood. However somehow, one day we realized that the dream we had, either came true, or was some kind of warning for us. Either way, paying attention to your dreams, was considered wise by old civilizations, and even today dreams constitute a very important part of life, for some cultures.

Sigmund Freud firmly believed that: dreams were all forms of “wish fulfillment”, in other words, dreams were attempts by the unconscious to resolve a personal conflict of some kind: in the present time, or some kind of unresolved issues from the past. He also concluded that, in order to interpret dreams, the use of analysis and free association, were absolutely necessary.


Remembering dreams in order to analyze them is not easy. Once we are wide awake the dreams fade away in our memory, and the accuracy of the details turns into a very difficult task. A good way to keep the dreams fresh in our mind is to write them down as soon as we wake up. In order to achieve this, keeping a notebook and pen, on the night stand next to us, is a very useful habit. Taking advantage of that period of time right before we regain complete consciousness, will allow us to write the dream exactly as it happened, keeping all the details, or at least most of them.

Once you have gathered your dreams in a piece of paper, and you start analyzing them, they will start to gradually make sense to you. Some dreams repeat over and over again like mine did. This kind of dream could be more like a warning. Sometimes we are facing some health issues and we are not even aware of it. I read somewhere once, the story of this woman who was terrified of falling asleep, because she would dream every time, that she was completely covered by ants. Then her long time dead cousin would come and save her, by scaring the ants away with a white sheet. A year later she had a heart attack caused by a blocked artery. The doctor explained to her that the blockage had been there for years, and due to her bad circulation problem, her heart had been deprived of oxygen. The woman told her doctor about her nightmare, and he advised her that one of the symptoms of bad circulation translates in a "pin and needles" sensation on arms and legs. She didn't think nothing about it, until her mother mentioned how her cousin, the same one who scared the ants away in her dream, had died of a blockage of the arteries. Supernatural? Not really!

The explanation on that article was that the woman already knew how the cousin had died, and she related that information to the sensation of pins and needles on her legs and arms, due to the lack of circulation. Sometimes when we hear information, we don't immediately process it, instead it goes directly to our subconscious, and it remains there storage until something retrieves it again. This is called "free association" and it compares to a specific smell that reminds us a specific time in our life, or a place, or even a person. The smell triggers memories, and automatically our brain tries to search in the brain, to identify the source.


In order to be able to learn how to interpret our dreams, the first thing we need to know, is how to link the details in the dream, and if it is a dream that constantly repeats over and over again, we need to account the times, when certain details appear in the dream.

Let's take my dream as an example. The big wave coming from the sea, the people screaming and running away from the beach, the feeling of fear, terror. And the most important detail, the difficulty breathing and the extreme sweat, which was transferred to reality when I woke up. I spent years trying to analyze my dream, and I was able to come out with some answers on my own about it. Like the people screaming in fear, which I finally related to sleeping with the TV on, and the interference of the noise in my sleep. Sometimes, we don't even realize how disturbing it is to fall asleep hearing whatever is going on the screen, or the kids playing, or even someone talking on the phone next to us. Apparently somehow, the exterior noise can definitively distortion our dreams. The feeling of suffocation and the sweat, I attributed to apnea, which I was diagnosed with years later. However, the big wave still a mystery to me.

Some old religions believe that catastrophic dreams are nothing but memories of past our lives, that somehow we dragged to our present existence. Digging in this theory would be extremely interesting, but time consuming too, so let's just say that there is a possibility that dreams, are much more complicated than we think.


For centuries, dreams have been given a specific meaning, good and bad, tragic and lucky, happy and not so happy. Here are some dreams and their meanings, true or not, we all have dreamed about these things at least once in our lives. When you search for the meaning of a dream, though, remember to analyze them, and use the free association technique, for a more accurate answer.

- Snakes: They are usually associated with betrayal. Not necessarily announcing that someone will betray you, but this dream could be translating your own fear to be betrayed.

-Black cats: For years, black cats have been associated with magic, witches, and mystery. Dreaming with black cats is a manifest of insecurity, and fear to the unknown. They are also unfairly associated with bad luck, which could be a warning of your subconscious for something you are waiting for, like a job, a lottery ticket, the results of a medical diagnosis, or even a marriage proposal.

-Dark waters: Usually means problems to come, a possible crisis of just about any kind (money, family, etc.) If the water is choppy means is really close, or you are already in the middle of the crisis.

-Falling teeth: Some people believe that when the teeth fall off in the dreams, that someone really close to them is going to die. However, a night tooth ache, while we sleep, can trigger the worst nightmares too.

-Insects: Dreaming with ants has always been associated with prosperity, but it can also mean other things, like the woman's dream, we talked about before in this article. Spiders, in the other hand are known to be unpredictable. I remember an old French saying about this, which translated would mean: "Spiders in the morning are worries, spiders in the afternoon are hope, and spider at night delight". Dreaming with spiders usually means that life is fixing to get interesting.

-Death: According to some cultures, if you see your own self death in a coffin, it means you will have a long live. If you see someone you love dead, it is probably because you worry for that person's well being, for some reason. Maybe that person lives far away from you, or perhaps, you haven't been able to communicate with her/him. Anxiety causes most of these dreams, remember no one can determine when someone is going to die.

-House: Having a house means stability for a lot of people. When you dream with a house, depending how the house is, it means you are probably worried about you financial stability. Dreaming with an empty house might mean that you are feeling eager for company, and love. To dream with a huge house and that you are lost in it, means that you have too much to handle in your life, and you might be feeling overwhelmed.

There are so many dreams and meanings, you would need a special dictionary to find them. Here are too very useful! Learn how to manage your dreams, and don't let them manage you. If you are determined to know about yourself through your dreams, remember that a dream, is not to be taken lightly. Do not analyze them one per one, dreams are meant to be analyzed in a sequence, using the free association. Listen to them, they might be warning you, or they might be announcing that something is going to happen to you. Either way, your dreams are part of you, and learning how to interpret them, is a huge step to learn how to know yourself better. Good luck!


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