Welcome to our monthly Understanding Dreams series, where we take a look at the most common dreams we have and what they mean. This month, the theme is falling. This is one of the most common and frightening dreams; it’s estimated that people dream about falling to their deaths on average around five times in their lifetime.
You’ve more than likely experienced the feeling of being woken up suddenly by a jerk after a dream in which you are falling. This feeling has a physiological explanation; as you fall asleep, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease, and this causes the falling sensation. However, these dreams often still have deeper meanings, along with those falling dreams from which you don’t – or can’t – wake up from.
A loss of control
Falling is something that is out of our control; we never intend to fall (unless we jump), and it is something that can lead to hurt or distress. If you dream about falling, it suggests that you are feeling like things in your waking life are slipping from your grasp and that you are losing control of situations that are possibly causing you stress.
To get to the root of what it is that is causing your worries to spill over into your subconscious, it’s important to examine the different areas of your life and find out what it is that is causing you to feel overwhelmed or vulnerable, and unable to control what is happening to you. Perhaps you’re going through a difficult time at work and are under a lot of pressure, or maybe you’re having trouble at home or in your relationship, and you are feeling frustrated because things aren’t going the way you want. Or maybe you’re having difficulty with finances and are worried about what is going to happen.
Any of these things could be causing you to dream about falling. However, it’s also important to examine how you are falling in the dream to figure out exactly what is going on and how you feel about the situation.
Falling because you lost your balance or grip
If you are falling in your dream as a result of losing your balance or grip, it is a sign that the problem lies internally. You may be feeling unstable and unsure of yourself and your abilities, and lacking in confidence. Perhaps you have recently been through a period of change that you feel like you’re not coping with. You need to find a way to recenter yourself and get your confidence back so that you can face the situations and challenges in your life without fear of failure.
Holding on tightly
If in your dream you are holding on tightly to something or somebody to try to stop yourself from falling, it is a clear sign that you are trying your hardest to hold on to control of a situation in your waking life. You may be in a difficult situation that you are trying to fix, but are failing to do so because somethings are simply out of your grasp and there is nothing you can do about them.
Sometimes, this dream is a message that you are holding onto something that isn’t meant for you, but that you are scared to let go because you don’t know what will happen when you do. Often, this is linked to a relationship; people tend to stay in relationships or cling to an ex simply because they are afraid to be alone or worry they’ll never find anybody else. Or perhaps you’re facing a big change such as a move or a new job, and are clinging on to your old life because you’re scared of what will happen in the future.
Holding on so tightly to the past is causing you stress and pain, and this dream can be a sign that you need to let go. Though it’s scary not knowing what will come next, sometimes taking a leap of faith is what you need.
Falling because you were pushed
If you were pushed in your dream, it is a sign that the feeling of losing control is due to an external issue, such as another person. Do you know who pushed you? If you do, then examine what they are doing in your waking life to make you feel stressed and out of control. The person could be your boss or a colleague who is putting pressure on you at work, or perhaps it’s a loved one who you are at odds with.
This dream could be a sign that you feel like you’re being pushed into doing things you don’t want to do in your life. If you do know the person who pushed you, you need to examine how they make you feel in real life, and what you can do to take back the control or change the status quo.
If you don’t know the person who pushed you, or didn’t see them, it could be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard and are feeling the negative effects. Are you working too hard? Maybe it’s time to slow down and give yourself a break before you push yourself to breaking point. Take a step back, breathe, and evaluate what you need to do to regain your balance and your control so that you can tackle the problem.