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Common Stress Dreams Caused By Anxiety

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Are you having a weird dream, maybe a recurring, stressful dream? Learn about common stress dreams, what these stress dreams mean, and how you can reduce the occurrence of stress dreams.

Common Stress Dreams

If you are having one of these common stress dreams, it’s very possible that you are experiencing some anxiety in your life. Whether you are a person who is prone to anxiety or not, the stresses of day to day life can creep into our dream lives, and for good reason.

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However, there may be times that these common stress dreams are happening often, even nightly. This is fairly annoying, especially because if we’re stressed out, we want sleep to be restorative and relaxing! In this case, you may need to actively work to reduce the amount of stress you are under, or the amount of anxiety you’re feeling.

Many believe that the reason we have these stressful dreams is because we are avoiding dealing with issues while we’re awake. Dreams are cool like that! Dealing with the anxious feelings in our dreams can help our brains to sort things out, and reduce the stress that we are having while we are awake. The art/science of dream interpretation is built on research by psychologists Freud and Jung, and is not an exact science, but I believe you can learn a lot about yourself by witnessing the things that your brain does while you’re sleeping.

5 Common Stress Dreams and What They Mean

Dream of Being Chased

Being chased is a common dream, and typically feels like a nightmare. Maybe you are being chased by someone you know, or a character you’ve seen. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re running from. You might feel like your legs are made of concrete, or you’ve forgotten how to run properly. Generally, during this dream we feel scared, stressed, exhausted, and confused.

Why am I dreaming I’m being chased? Well, it’s likely that this dream is a reflection of feeling unsafe in some way. This can be literal, like there is an actual risk to your life, or more figurative, such as a deeper problem that is making us feel unsafe or in danger. From the safety of our beds, the chaos chasing us in our dreams is just as scary as in reality. This type of dream indicates that you need to reduce the overall stress in your life, or change some aspect of your life that is making you feel unsafe.

naked legs of a white woman on a gray background

Dream of Being Naked

This common stress dream usually finds the dreamer naked, or missing some important item of clothing in a public place. Maybe you’re at school and realize you forgot your pants, or you’re on stage without a costume.

Why am I dreaming about being naked in public? Nakedness in dreams is likely related to a feeling of vulnerability, or a fear of being exposed. To reduce this type of dream, it can be very helpful to find a friend or therapist with whom you can be vulnerable with, or some way to express any feelings that you’ve been holding inside.

Dream of Teeth Falling Out

This one is the worst! If you’ve had a dream where your teeth are falling out, I’m sure you remember it. Teeth dreams are also a manifestation of fear, typically fear or anxiety of how we are perceived, since teeth are an important part of our faces and our outward impression.

Why am I dreaming my teeth fell out? Teeth falling out in dreams can also represent a feeling of loss of control. The same way you have no control over the teeth falling out of your head in the dream, you may also feel like you don’t have control of some other important life aspect.

Dream of Forgetting Something

This is a dream that I’ve personally had often, and in a variety of ways. They are called “back at school dreams“. In one dream, I’m in high school. it’s the end of the year and I’ve somehow not done any of the papers/tests that I needed to do all year in order to graduate. In another, I’m in college, sitting down for a final exam, but I never attended the class or even cracked open the textbook. I’ve also had a dream that I was getting married, but I never planned the dinner or wrote my vows.

Why do I have this dream where I forget something important? Likely because you are forgetting something important! It could also be that you are worried about something going really wrong. Setting better boundaries in your life can help to alleviate these dreams.

a view from underwater.

Dream of Being Underwater

This is a very scary stress dream. You may dream that you’re drowning, or that you are under the sea and can’t come up. You might not be able to breath or you might be scared that you won’t be able to come back to the shore.

Why am I dreaming about being underwater? Underwater dreams almost always signify that you are under a lot of pressure in some way, while dreams about giant waves can mean that your emotions are getting out of control. Dream expert Lauri Loewenberg says that dreaming about Tidal waves means that you are in way over your head.

Why Am I Having Stress Dreams?

You might be having stressful dreams because your mind cannot process the underlying issues that are causing you to be stressed in real life. Maybe you’re aware that you have some issues and you aren’t actively trying to resolve them. Or maybe you aren’t even aware of the issues and the dreams are helping to bring them to the surface so that you can try to address them.

Stress dreams or anxiety dreams, can happen to anyone, and will generally happen during times of stress. There are many different reasons for you to feel stressed. For example, you could be working too much and not taking time to de-stress; you may be afraid of something that has already happened; or you may be worried about something that could happen in the future.

What To Do If You’re Having Stress Dreams?

You can prevent these common stress dreams by finding ways to reduce and manage your levels of anxiety and tension: yoga, mindfulness exercises, journaling, regular exercise, and deep breathing techniques. It’s also worth considering cognitive behavioral therapy for more long-term results.

Bottom line, if you’re having any of these common stress dreams, it’s time for you to do some self-reflection and identify ways to reduce the stress in your life. Once you address the real-life cause of the stress, you will find that your dreams become less stressful.

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