6 Common Dream Themes & What They Mean

Your dreams may hold the key to success in your waking life. Though each dream is unique, many of its symbols carry universal meaning that can be decoded. Psychologists offer these six common themes and symbols:

Entrances
Anything that can be entered, such as a cave, room, drawer or tunnel, general represents a woman. At least that's what Sigmund Freud thought. He also said that anything that is phallic shaped, such as a baseball bat, cigar, club or obelisk, represents a man. But the legendary pioneer of psychotherapy also said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." So dreaming about these shapes can mean other things. Entrance can represent new beginnings or a journey. You may be revisiting the past, or have concerns about future travel.

Running
If you're being chased by someone or something, or fleeing an unknown terror, it means you are avoiding a confrontation or putting off an unpleasant task. So maybe it's time to clean the garage, confess to your boss that you've blown the deadline, or tell your deadbeat brother-in-law to get off the couch, take his incontinent collie and find a place of his own.

Water
A clam, serene pool of water represents the serenity of the womb. Nice dream if you can get it. But if you're like most people, it's probably a turbulent, fearsome whirlpool. Or perhaps you're drowning in a blood-filled hot tub. Troubled liquid signifies personal turmoil and a feeling of being overwhelmed. You might try building a bridge over that trouble water, by dating someone without a prison record and getting a job.

Falling and flying
If you take a free-fall tumble, it generally means a lack of connection with a person or situation. So invest in seat belts or a guardrail if you sleep in a bunk bed. Flying can mean fleeing or escape. Book a trip fast.

Teeth falling out
This very common dream can mean many things. It generally suggest that the dreamer has trouble communicating clearly and needs to brush up on conversational skills. It can also mean the dreamer runs on at the mouth and needs to watch what is said. The dream could also symbolize a loss of power from aging, as in the well known image of the toothless lion. Of course, it may just mean it's time for a trip to the dentist.

Persistent Dream
One in which co-workers and/or bosses are brutally slain. It's time to get out that resume.