25 Common Dreams and Their Meanings

6. Flying

Superwoman flying

According to Russell Grant and Vicky Emptage, authors of The Illustrated Dream Dictionary, dreaming about flying has to do with your sexual ambitions. Flying high and proud means you’re happy with and even boastful of your sex life, while trying to fly and failing might mean that you’re striking out a lot or feeling sexually inadequate. Alternatively, psychologist Ian Wallace says being able to fly in a dream is about the desire to “rise above” difficult circumstances or a heavy responsibility in your waking life. Finally, Keith Stevens theorizes that dreaming of flying is about feeling superior to others. Think of the advantage you’d have if you actually had this super power! Dreaming of being able to breathe underwater is in this same class of “superiority” dreams, says Stevens.

7. Being Pregnant/Giving Birth

Pregnant couple

This is a very common dream, especially (but not exclusively) among women. On a basic, human-instinct level, these dreams stimulate a woman’s instinct to reproduce, says Keith Stevens. From the perspective of Ally Mead, a self-proclaimed psychic who has studied dream interpretation at the Jungian Institute of Los Angeles, pregnancy dreams are about creativity; the dreamer has an unacknowledged desire to come up with a new idea, create a piece of art, or embark on a new creative project. Men who dream of being pregnant may be craving the power that women are able to wield by becoming a mother, says Mead.

8. Death/Dying

Grim Reaper

A dream about dying could be a subconscious contemplation of your mortality, or the death could symbolize an end, change or absence. Dying in a dream could symbolize that you are looking for a new start or are going through a spiritual transformation, whereas dreaming about the death of a loved one could mean that this person is no longer part of your life, or that you lack a certain quality that this person embodies. Looking at death dreams as a straightforward representation of death itself, Keith Stevens says these dreams stimulate our survival instinct, and dreams about the death of a love one encourage us to protect and cherish the ones we love.

9. Being Lost

Young woman with city map in hands

Being lost in a labyrinthine building or unfamiliar city is a very stressful and very common type of dream. In many cases, the dreamer may be worried about “getting lost” in her own life circumstances. These types of dreams may occur when you feel anxious or insecure about “finding your way” in a new life situation, such as when starting a new job or moving to a new city, according to Cathleen O’Connor, Ph.D. and author of The Everything Law of Attraction Dream Dictionary. You may be especially prone to dreaming about being lost if you are embarking on a new challenge that you feel unprepared for, or are struggling to get accustomed to a situation where the rules are constantly changing. Dreaming that another person is lost could mean that you have unresolved feelings about this person, according to the dream dictionary at smartgirl.org.

10. Water

Beach water

According to psychotherapist and author Jeffrey Sumber, dreaming about water reflects change, renewal and purification, sometimes symbolizing a change in consciousness accompanying some life transformation. Context is important, however. Says Sumber, if you dream about offering water to others, this could represent that you are offering new life or positive change to others, whereas if you dream about being caught in a typhoon, you could be feeling overwhelmed by a life change.