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What do dreams mean?

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Quick Answer

Researchers do not have a consensus on the meaning of our dreams, but common theories include wish fulfillment and information processing. Dreams as wish fulfillment would represent the desires of the unconscious mind, while information processing dreams might serve as reflections of issues and fears individuals are dealing with in their personal lives.

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What do dreams mean?
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Full Answer

Psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung often spoke of images in dreams as symbols for thoughts in the unconscious mind. Jung believed that many of these images, such as the child representing innocence or the old man representing wisdom, were consistent across cultures. Scholars like G. William Domhoff theorized that dreams are a cognitive process the brain utilizes to highlight problems in the individual's life. For example, dreaming of falling might indicate that the individual feels a loss of control. A dream in which teeth fall out, on the other hand, might indicate insecurity, according to the Real Meaning of Dreams website.

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Related Questions

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    How do you interpret dreams?

    A:

    One method of interpreting dreams is to write the dream down immediately upon waking, taking note of the emotions, people and activities that occur in the dream, and how these images relate to waking life. Dream images are interpreted based on personal experiences or traditional meanings.

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  • Q:

    What are some common types of dreams and what do they mean?

    A:

    Some common types of dreams are running from something or someone, representing anxiety or unaddressed problems in life, and dreams about water that represents the state of a person's real-life emotions. In addition, vehicles are common dreaming topics that stand for the direction a person thinks her life is taking, while paralysis in a dream means that a person feels a lack of control in her life.

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    What does it mean if you dream of snakes?

    A:

    Most modern psychologists agree that meanings derived from dreams are highly subjective and their relevancy or accuracy should ultimately be decided by the dreamer. For those who do put stock in some universal associations, however--snakes are often regarded as representations of strong, unconscious psychic energy. The image of the snake could be potentially threatening or healing depending on the perspective of the dreamer.

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    How do you interpret dreams with numbers?

    A:

    Interpreting dreams with numbers requires you to have a basic understanding of what different numbers represent. Understanding that every number could hold a deeper meaning can help you interpret why numbers are significant in your dreams.

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