It might seem strange that we talk about, and even dream about, celebrities almost as much as we do our own group of friends and family, but evolutionary psychology has a solid theory to explain it: If we see or hear about a person a lot, even if it’s on TV or in magazines, our brains cannot distinguish between whether we actually “know” the person, or if we just think we do. Thus, we can feel like a celebrity or public figure is a member of our “tribe” even though we’ve never met them. So, having a dream about hanging out with Jack Nicholson is not necessarily more significant than dreaming about hanging out with a college friend you admire (unless, perhaps, Jack is in character from The Shining). However, if you have a dream where you feel a rush of pride or elation because a celebrity is showing you attention, this could mean you long to attain a higher social status, possibly due to low self-esteem.
22. Can’t Make a Phone Call
Although telephones don’t resemble the form they did 20 or even 10 years ago, we are still dependent on our phones for much of our communications, whether it’s via text or using it to actually speak to someone. In fact, you could argue that we’re more addicted to our phones than ever before in history. As in real life, a phone in a dream represents communication. Thus, the common dream of not being able to get through to someone over the phone indicates communication problems or fear of not being able to connect with the person at the other end. Perhaps you are having communication issues with this person in real life. On the other hand, you might be a little too dependent on using your smartphone as a primary means of communication and could benefit from some in-person human interaction. (Ever heard of meeting for coffee?)
23. Being Paralyzed
You try to move, but your legs are paralyzed or physically trapped. Or maybe you try to speak, but can’t make the words come out. Whatever the exact context of the dream, you are unable to use your usual tools to flee a threat, go somewhere, or express yourself. According to thecuriousdreamer.org, paralysis dreams can indicate that you feel unable to progress in a certain situation because something is holding you back, possibly even self-sabotage. As a result, you may be exerting a lot of effort but still “going nowhere.” Try to figure out what obstacle you feel is hindering you in real life.
24. Can’t Find the Bathroom
In some cases, the common dream of not being able to find a bathroom could have the same meaning as being exposed to the public when trying to use the bathroom: you seek privacy so that you won’t have to feel vulnerable or embarrassed. However, in many cases, people have this dream when they need to use the toilet in real life. If you frequently have this dream and wake up with an urgent need to go to the bathroom, or worse, you find and use the bathroom in your dream, but not in real life, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to make sure you don’t have any, um, plumbing problems. If the dream is unrelated to a real-life urge to use the bathroom, it could symbolize that there is an issue in your life where you are finding it challenging to express your fundamental needs, according to Wallace.
25. Being Frustrated
A general feeling of frustration is perhaps the most common theme in dreams. Maybe you lost your car keys and can’t find them, or you can’t figure out the answer to an important question, or you can’t cry out for help when you need it. Or maybe the context is so nonsensical that can’t even figure out why you found it so frustrating once you wake up. This theme runs through most “bad” dreams, including many of the dreams discussed above. According to threat-rehearsal theorists like Keith Stevens, these dreams motivate us to be persistent and overcome challenges in real life. However, if you have these bad dreams so often that they are causing you significant distress, this could indicate that you have severe stress or a psychological condition, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. In such cases, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. If your dreams have you tossing and turning every night, you might also want to talk to your doctor about taking a natural sleep aid to achieve more restful, restorative sleep.