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Interpret dreams: the most important symbols in dream interpretation

In advance in the video: Dream Interpretation - the most common symbols

Video by Aischa Butt

Psychologists and psychoanalysts attribute an important role to dream interpretation. Fantasy experiences during sleep help to restore the psychological balance. Interpreting dreams also means that you get valuable information about your subconscious and your personality.

Whether we remember it the next morning or not, we all dream at night. These can be beautiful dreams that we would rather not wake up from. Nightmares that brutally wake us up. But also completely incomprehensible dreams that we do not understand at all. And that's terribly frustrating at times! Even more so when you know that our dreams are anything but trivial.

And that's exactly why we're giving you some tips to help you with dream interpretation. Once you know the most important dream symbols, it is of great help in interpreting your own dreams.

Interpreting dreams: a dream diary helps

If you want to interpret your dreams, then you should get yourself a dream diary. This is nothing more than a notebook or notebook in which you write down your dreams and the symbols that appeared in them when you wake up. With the help of the dream diary you can recognize recurring patterns that can play a decisive role in dream interpretation. This also makes it easier for you to draw conclusions between what you dreamed and what you have experienced.

Tip: There are also special dream diaries with preprinted pages to buy, in which you can write down your dreams and which also contain instructions for interpreting dreams. There is a well-rated dream diary on Amazon!

Interpreting dreams: what is it good for?

Dreams contain numerous clues about our needs or about a previously unknown psychological reality. For example, a dream about the opposite of what is desired can reveal a suppressed need that is otherwise repressed due to moral constraints. A dream interpretation works like a translation of encrypted symbols.

Dream Interpretation: The Most Important Dream Theories

With the invention of psychoanalysis in 1900, Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for modern methods of dream interpretation. Freud assumes that an unconscious need is satisfied in the dream and that this wish fulfillment cannot be interpreted spontaneously. In order to be able to interpret one's own dreams, one must first separate the individual elements from one another and then put them back together again with regard to personal life and environment.

Carl Gustav Jung developed a slightly different approach to interpreting dreams: According to his theory, every person is guided by a collective subconscious. For him, the symbols and messages of dreams are identical in all people and form a kind of universal language.

Interpreting dreams: 7 steps to dream interpretation

Our dreams reflect our subconscious and our fantasies. They are, so to speak, the outlet through which we express fears, worries and needs that build up in us during the course of the day. Here are seven tricks that will help you better understand, analyze and use your dreams in a positive way.

1) Not a complete interpretation
A dream can never be fully interpreted. Only certain elements can be deciphered.

2) No interpretation at any cost
Do not compulsively try to find a deeper meaning in every dream. Certainly some dreams can stimulate us to think about a certain situation. But there are also dreams that have no profound meaning.

3) As precise as possible
In order not to falsify the interpretation, the dream must be reproduced precisely. Therefore, every time you wake up, write down as precisely as possible what you have dreamed - including the details that seem rather insignificant to you. Keyword: dream diary.

4) Find out dominant symbols
Try to isolate as much as possible the dominant image or symbol in your dream that has confused you the most. Think about its meaning: what could it refer to: your past, the present, or the future?

5) Look at small details too
Once you have isolated the central element of your dream, you can move on to the details because these are also interesting. Minor characters, landscapes, dominant colors - all these elements are parts of the puzzle and make it easier to interpret dreams.

6) Don't be too hasty
Do not be carried away to hasty conclusions. The symbols and their meanings can vary from one person to another. There are no hard and fast rules, just ideas for reflection and food for thought. The interpretation must be made taking into account your real life.

7) See the big picture
Do not trust any literature on the subject of dream interpretation. Get yourself a lexicon that looks at the dream symbolism across different cultures and ages.

The most common dream symbols and their meanings

1. Interpreting dreams: flying

Those who dream of flying often experience it as a kind of intoxication. You feel light, above everything else, unassailable. Sigmund Freud interprets the dream of flying as an erotic wishful thinking and as a need to overcome boundaries (also self-imposed) or conflicts.

In modern dream research, the desire for changes in the dream of flying is no longer so much in the foreground, but self-confidence. Depending on how high the dreaming flies, one assumes a differently strong exaggerated self-confidence. The danger of falling is always taken into account.

Those who float weightlessly over landscapes that cannot be precisely defined in their dreams may try to turn their eyes away from stressful things in life, to close themselves off and to suppress the unattractive. Flying in this case is something like an escape from yourself and your own problems.

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Video by Jane Schmitt

2. Dream Interpretation: swimming

In dream interpretation, water is generally a symbol for everything emotional, so it is associated with feelings. Freud sees the water as unconscious psychic energy, as a sign for the unconscious.

When interpreting swimming in dreams, a distinction must first be made between whether one is swimming in clear or cloudy water. Swimming in clear and / or flowing water indicates balance, contentment and a state of happiness that can be characterized, for example, by love or professional success. Cloudy water, on the other hand, can mean fear of, for example, an exam. It symbolizes insecurity or a lack of self-awareness.

Statistically speaking, women dream of water particularly often. For example, anyone who has already experienced pregnancy will consciously or subconsciously remember the child's movements in the amniotic fluid, which in turn can trigger positive dreams about water. If women dream of water, it can also mean that they feel a strong desire for a change in their life.

3. Interpret dreams: cheating

Anyone who dreams of cheating on their partner need not panic immediately that they will really do so in the near future. But you should think about whether you are really happy in your current relationship situation.

Dreaming of infidelity indicates that you are not in tune with your personality and have problems that you may not have admitted to yourself. There is something in your life that prevents you from serving your needs.

Another way to interpret this dream: This is where feelings of guilt are expressed. However, these do not necessarily have to relate to your own partner, but can have other causes. If the dream is extremely sexually charged, it can simply be about not being able to live out your sexual needs sufficiently - and wanting to change something.

4. Symbol in dream interpretation: pack suitcase / travel

If you dream of packing your suitcase and / or going on a trip, you may long for a change in your life. The further the journey leads you in a dream, the greater the desire for change.

The journey in a dream can also represent the desire to explore one's own personality. In any case, such a dream always has something to do with shaping your own path in life. A departure indicates a new beginning. When you are behind the wheel, you enjoy being in control. The nature of the travel destination can also provide information about the future wishes of the dreaming.

5. Interpret dreams: quarrel

As banal as it sounds: Anyone who dreams of a quarrel is dealing with internal conflicts for which they do not yet have a solution. A distinction must be made here between who is arguing with whom and whether or not one is involved in the dispute.

If you only attend a dispute as a spectator in your dream, you may be experiencing a turbulent phase of life that you cannot escape. Those who are at the center of the conflict may feel pushed into a corner in their current life situation - or the dream is an indication that one should be more flexible towards other people.

6. Interpret the dream: falling

In general, the fall symbol in dream interpretation is associated with fear, insecurity and self-doubt. The dream of falling can refer to the fear of not being able to meet the demands and expectations of others.

A fall can also symbolize current problems, which were caused by a significant change in the life of the dreaming. Who falls into the void or from a staircase, can interpret this dream as an indication of a certain emotional emptiness or as a fear of the future.

Read also:The symbolism of money in our dreams

7. Interpret dreams: teeth / tooth loss

In general, dreaming about teeth indicates sexual or material needs, because teeth represent an important instrument of power and aggressiveness. Anyone who dreams of having white and healthy teeth is probably going through a positive, successful phase in their life.

The dream of wobbling or pulled teeth can symbolize the loss of power and the fear of any powerlessness (affective, sexual, professional). The tooth loss can also be related to a lack of vitality. Tooth loss can mean strong emotional excitability and lack of self-confidence, which prevent the dreamer from developing his personality.

8. Dream Interpretation: naked in public

Anyone walking around naked in their dream has at least two options to interpret this. By the way, neither of them has anything to do with sexuality, although 'nudity' suggests it. If you feel comfortable in your nudity and are being observed by others, then you may want to show (even) more of your true self than you normally do.

Anyone who feels good naked in a dream and is completely alone and unobserved is at peace with himself and has no problem with expressing it freely.

Who walks around naked in the dream and is ashamed of it (alone or under observation), may have a problem with exposing himself (mentally or physically). So this dream is related to a feeling of fear, possibly also to a lack of self-confidence. Often this dream also indicates how much importance the dreaming attaches to the opinion of others.

9. Interpreting dreams: being pregnant

If women dream of being pregnant, this can indicate the most obvious: a desire to have children. But the environment can also ensure that women dream that they are pregnant through constant pressing questions about a pregnancy.

But the dream symbol "pregnant" can also mean something else. Pregnancy symbolizes a new beginning or personal growth. In addition, the symbol of pregnancy is also associated with creativity. The phrase "let an idea mature" is no coincidence. If you dream that you are pregnant, it can also indicate an upcoming personal change or a creative process.

10. Symbol in dream interpretation: death

Anyone who dreams of death, be it their own, that of a close relative or a friend, often wakes up with the uneasy feeling that this could be a premonition. Don't panic, these dreams are not about a dark prediction!

Dreams of death are rather a sign of a new beginning or the end or the fear of the end of a relationship of whatever kind with someone important to us. So it can be about a love that we have known for a long time that it no longer has a future or about our fear of losing the good relationship with our sister, for example, because lately we have not got along with her at all .

Dreams of death can also be a sign that you want to change something in your life path, but have not yet consciously realized it. In general, it must be said that dreams of death belong to those dreams that are the most complex and that allow a great many interpretations, depending on what exactly one is dreaming.

Reading tip: The 10 most common nightmares and their meanings

11. Dream Interpretation: snake

Was there a snake in your dream? This dream symbol can have very different meanings, depending on which snake it is or how you interacted with the snake in the dream.

For example, seeing a snake can be a symbol of a false friend in the interpretation of dreams. Or it is a warning that someone around you is betraying you. If a snake crawls towards you in your dream, it can predict the impending disaster.

And the type of snake itself can also provide information about what your dream means. Do you dream of one Choke snakegripping you, it can mean that you feel trapped, that there is something in your life that is overwhelming you. This can be the partner who is jealous and controls you, or the job that you feel trapped in.

In your dream comes one Venomous snake before, it usually has a completely different meaning than you might think. Because the poisonous snake can stand for unfulfilled erotic desires. In addition, being bitten by a poisonous snake in a dream can mean that the topic of jealousy plays a big role in your life.

Reading tip: 7 sex dreams and what they REALLY mean

Book tip: You can find even more dream images, symbols and tips for correctly interpreting dreams in "What is the polar bear doing in my bed ?: Interpreting and understanding dreams" by Margarethe Letzel. The paperback is available here on Amazon!

12. Dream Interpretation: Spider

Hard to believe, but true: dreaming of spiders generally means something positive. Because in the interpretation of dreams the spider is a symbol of luck. Anyone who previously thought that the crawlers would herald an impending danger can rest assured.

A spider can even dream of an early windfall. So it can be interpreted as a good sign if you dream of a spider before the salary interview with the boss.

By the way: a dream in which you are trying to catch a spider can mean that you are striving for happiness. If you have actually caught the spider, it can be a symbol that a difficult situation has been solved and that you have a firm grip on your life.

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