Dreams 101: A Primer on Dream Interpretation and the Meaning Behind Choking Dreams

By Staff WriterLast Updated May 27, 2020 7:29:37 PM ET
Choke
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Human beings have wondered about the meaning behind their dreams for centuries. At one time people believed that dreams were a bridge between the human world and the gods. The Greek and Roman civilizations thought that dreams could foretell the future.

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Although it's widely looked at as an anecdotal, ancient practice, there is an art and science behind dream interpretation. Learn more below.

Choking Dreams Interpreted

Choking is a common dream. What could it mean? In general, dreaming about choking represents something that's blocking you in your everyday life.

Subconscious Unwillingness

People often receive ideas or suggestions that they don't want to face or accept. Their struggle carries into their subconscious minds. This unwillingness to accept ideas or outcomes can result in dreams about choking.

Difficulty Expressing Yourself

Some people find it hard or nearly impossible to express their feelings, thoughts, and personality traits. Burying those impulses and traits that make them who they are leaves the subconscious and conscious minds at odds. This can lead to dreams about choking or being choked.

A Need to Overcome Fears

Dreaming about choking could be rooted in fears or people that you need to confront in your waking life. It could also be a symbol of hostility for someone else or ideas that are symbolically choking you.

Feelings of Confinement

Are you feeling trapped by ideas or physical limitations? That can manifest itself in your dreams as you choke on the things weighing you down. You may also be choking on situations that prevent you from moving forward the way you want to.

Types of Choking Dreams

There are many different ways people dream about choking. Whether you're dreaming about general choking, choking on a substance, or being choked by someone else, potential meanings include feeling a subconscious unwillingness to face something.

Dreams About Being Choked

Dreaming about someone else choking you suggests that you're in a relationship with emotional stress. It's possible that you're feeling a little suffocated by that person, or you're having trouble expressing yourself.

Dreams About Choking Someone

If you're choking someone else in your dreams, you might be feeling some unexpressed negativity toward him or her. You might want to expose that person or stop them from possibly hurting others around you.

Dreams About Choking on Something

Dreams about choking on chewing gum could suggest that you're taking a passive role in your life. Choking on blood in your dream symbolizes possible danger ahead. Dreaming about choking on worms may mean that someone in your inner circle is jealous of you or making plans against your best interest.

The Father of Psychoanalysis Weighs In

Sigmund Freud is often considered the "father of psychoanalysis." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that much of his work centered around the theory of the mind as a complex system of energy. That work spilled over into the dream world. Freud believed that dreaming allows people to work through their unresolved wishes. It was a way to deal with things that they long for but bury deep within their subconscious. He believed that dreams contained hidden symbols. 

Carl Jung was Freud's student. He saw dreams as a valuable tool for the mind to communicate with the individual. He believed that dreams were an open expression of subconscious wants and desires.

The Modern Science of Dreaming

Dream interpretation was mostly theory until a 2011 study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers at the University of Rome discovered that the brain activity in participants' front lobes was similar to the brain waves of someone who is awake and retrieving memories that they've seen or experienced. The findings suggest that at least some of the ways the human brain functions during dreaming is the same as when humans create and recall memories while awake. 

Other modern research studies suggest a strong link between emotions and dreams. Some of the latest dream science reveals that dreams may very well be an outlet for humans to process emotions. The brain allows you to create and store memories of dreams and experience the emotions as if they are real, according to Scientific American.