Your kid’s not doing well in school, your workload at your job has doubled because some of your co-workers were let go, you’re not sure you’re going to be able to pay the rent on time this month and your mother in-law won’t stop meddling… grrrr! At least you can escape all this stress at bedtime. Well, maybe not. Unfortunately, the stress we deal with during the day tends to follow us to bed at night and plays out in our dreams. Can we ever escape? Why yes, yes we can. Our stressed out dreams are actually giving us clues on how to deal with and manage our waking life stresses… once we can understand them.
Below are the five most common stress dreams we all get, what particular stress they are connected to and the lessons they provide.
Missing a plane or bus – If this is your stress dream, you’re in good company! Diane Sawyer once told me she gets this dream. The stress this dream is connected to is deadline stress. Perhaps you’re like Diane and your job consists of constant deadlines you have to meet. Otherwise, this dream can be connected to self imposed deadlines such as losing a certain amount of weight in time for the office Christmas party or reaching a career goal by a certain age, etc.
The lesson – Time is slippery and often gets away from us. This dream is letting you know you’d best be on your toes and learn how to manage your time and do what is necessary so you can meet that deadline or grab that opportunity when it comes your way because it will be here before you know it.
Losing your car or car gets stolen – This stress dream is connected to uncertainty or loss of motivation. Your car represents your “drive” and motivation to continue to move forward in some area. If this is your stress dream you need to ask yourself what in your life you no longer have the desire to continue with. Is it your job? A relationship? A project? If that doesn’t fit, ask yourself what is causing you to feel uncertain and directionless. Maybe you can’t find a job and no longer know what to do or perhaps your kids are unruly and you don’t know which path to take in order to deal with them.
The lesson – Whether it’s lack of motivation or uncertainty, your dreaming mind wants you to find a new path, and get your drive or mojo back, which is why it keeps taking your car away from you in your dream. Time to try something different because the direction you are headed in now isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Tidal wave – If this is your stress dream then you have something in common with CNN’s Piers Morgan because he gets it too! The stress this dream is connected to is being overwhelmed by too many responsibilities. Just as the tidal wave surges over your head and threatens to sweep you away, so are you getting in over your head in waking life responsibilities that threaten to pull you away from any down time. Less often, this dream can be connected to an emotional situation that is overwhelming you. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, these dreams can be a heads up than another bout is on the way so prepare!
The lesson – Like the wave, your dream is showing you that your responsibilities or your anxiety are getting bigger than you are. It’s time to take something off your plate, ask for help or delegate some of your responsibilities to someone else. If it’s anxiety or depression, make plans to go see a comedy or spend some time outside with friends who make you laugh. Like the wave, if you don’t lighten your load or lighten your mood… you are headed for a crash!
Tornadoes – Weather in dreams is connected to your emotions because your emotions are the weather of your mind. The tornado represents worry and anxiety that is beginning to spin out of control. People who frequently get the tornado dream are also proud card carrying members of the worry wart club! These dreams are a reflection of what is really going on inside their psyche and are showing the dreamer that – just like a tornado – worry and anxiety is a destructive force.
The lesson – Time to channel your inner storm chaser and meet your worries head on and think of Dorothy. On the other side of her tornado was a magical place called Oz, and once you ride out your current storm of worry, there will be a magical place for you too… called “peace of mind.”
House fire – This is the classic stressed to the max dream! This dream is not connected to any one particular stress but rather is a warning sign that you are on complete overload. You see, your house, to the dreaming mind, is you! It is your state of mind, your personality construct. If your house, or any house for that matter, is on fire in a dream it means you have reached a frantic state of mind and are in urgent need of a cool down.
The lesson – You are on the verge of being completely and utterly “burnt” out. Your dreaming mind can’t scream any louder than this dream so now more than ever you MUST get some me time. Have the kids stay the night with grandma, turn your phone off, whatever it takes, just find a way to unwind before you become a burnt out hollow shell yourself.
Stress and anxiety are growing problems in this day and age. Pay attention to your dreams because they can let you know what is going on with your health and stress before you notice the signs. Keeping a dream journal in tandem with a day journal will help you connect the dots between your stress dreams and the waking events that trigger them. Being able to monitor and manage your stress, depression and anxiety is the key to overcoming them, and your dreams are happy to help you out!
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