How to Interpret Dreams: What Your Dream Means

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Are you ready to learn how to interpret dreams? When you understand your dreams, you can use this knowledge to help guide you through life decisions and challenges.

In this article, we will share some ways you can learn how to interpret dreams and become your very own dream interpreter – no dream dictionary necessary!

Why Should We Learn How to Interpret Dreams?

Dreams provide valuable insight across many aspects of life, and can deepen our knowledge and understanding of ourselves and the challenges we face each day. One of the most effective ways to understand what your dreams mean is to learn how to interpret dreams on your own.

When you learn how to interpret dreams, you can start using this insight with all sorts of things in your life.

Some Ways Dream Interpretation Can Help You:

  • Understand a Situation More Clearly
  • Gain Insight for Your Career
  • Learn How to Improve Your Relationships
  • Use Dreams to Identify Your Emotions
  • Personal Growth & Spiritual Development
  • Develop & Trust Your Intuition

Since dreams are so highly personal in nature, it is important for you to remember you are the best interpreter of your dreams.

In this simple guide, we will share the basics of learning to understand your own dreams.

How to Interpret Your Dreams and Learn What They Mean Step By Step

how to interpret your dreams

Step 1: Write the dream down with as much detail as possible.

The more details you can provide about your dream, the easier it will be to make associations and connections in defining your own symbols and meanings.

Need Help With This? See Related Articles:

Take note of anything that stands out to you. You do not always have to write everything down, but it is important to pay attention to the details. The more details you can provide, the easier it is to understand what your dreams might be about.

Use adjectives to describe what you see. Are there any colors or numbers that stand out from the dream? Pay attention to the condition of things you see – are they broken, rusty and worn or are they in good shape and appear to be new?

Step 2: Go back and read the dream you just wrote down.

Say it out loud if that helps. Look for any words or symbols that stand out to you. Make a list of these words.

It can sometimes be helpful to go through the dream with a pen or pencil and highlight any words or themes that stand out to you. You can see example of how to do this with our colored pencil method for dream interpretation.

While reading the dream, determine what type of dream it might be – whether a simple release dream, a message dream, etc. If you’re not sure what type of dream it was, see our article on Types of Dreams.

It is also very helpful sometimes to think of your dreams as a story. Think of your dreams as a story where there is an obvious setting, characters, and plot. This can make it a lot easier to find themes and identify potential symbols and metaphors in a dream.

Once you’ve identified what things stand out the most, make a list of the important symbols in the dream. This could be characters, a setting, or even an action.

Now that you identified the focus points of the dream, you are ready to start interpreting what it may mean.

Step 3: Start Making Associations With the Symbols

While we offer dream symbol look-up here for a number of popular dream symbols, the best way to truly understand what a dream means is to come to your own conclusions on how the symbol relates to you and your life.

Ask yourself some basic questions about the symbols:

  • What personal experience do I have this symbol?
  • What emotions or thoughts do I have about this symbol?
  • How did this dream make me feel?
  • What current and past events in my life relate to these similar thoughts and feelings?

Once you have answered these questions about the symbols, you will have a greater understanding of what they mean and will likely be able to make a connection on how this dream relates to your waking life.

More Tips for Interpreting Your Own Dreams:

Don’t Give Up!

It can take much practice to be able to interpret a dream – and some dreams it may even be a few days before it finally makes sense to you.

Make it a regular practice to write down your dreams and what they may mean to you and you will start having more and more success in understanding their meanings.

Consider Waking Life Events and Triggers

Many dreams are based on what you think about right before falling asleep, or can be caused by events or stress in your daily waking life.

Ask yourself – what is happening in your life right now that might be influencing or causing this dream to occur?

Look at the Past

Sometimes dreams can cause us to bring up old feelings of the past. It’s not uncommon for your dreams to surface emotions from old things that happened a long time ago.

It may be time to release these old emotions and move on.

Track Your Moods, Feelings, and Emotions!

Often times, if you wake up with strong feelings when you wake up after a dream, this is a message for you to understand an important aspect of your life better.

Keeping track of your mood in dreams and in your regular waking life can often help you with understanding what you can do to help improve your life and stay on track with your goals.

Do you have any questions on how to interpret your dreams? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

23 thoughts on “How to Interpret Dreams: What Your Dream Means”

  1. Last night December 18th 2022 about 3am I had a dream that yellow birds with black accent on it’s side and wing were trying to enter my home through the kitchen window they were persistent, I was able to chase it or them after several minutes and close the window.
    What is the meaning of this dream, is someone trying to communicate with me ??

  2. Hi,
    I remember several other smaller dreams before this one which is unusual but this last one jolted me to life. I was in my home with my Mum in the background.
    I had tiny red backs crawling all over me. My legs and arms and I kept brushing them off feeling quite afraid. I eventually noticed the spiders were coming out of me and noticed a infected wound of my wrist and spiders coming out. I clamped my hand down on them to keep them in and finally showed my Mum who said, well that really is an emergency and I needed to go to the hospital. A second later I saw another leg coming out of the would and screamed. I think I screamed when I woke. I was terrified.
    I have a personal policy that spiders are important and will only kill red backs or white tails because they are venomous and I don’t want my dogs (or me) to get hurt. But other then them I quite like spiders.
    I’m a little confused and scared about what this all means.
    I’d really appreciate any understanding you could offer. It is a dream Id rather forget but don’t think I ever will.

  3. I recently loss my mother last year and its hard not to see her and be with her because of the pandemic. I know she will visit me in my dreams. My dream started as i fell into a lake. the lake turns into powder green color. as i swim across the shore the lake went completely empty. and from a distance arrows start shooting and landed exactly at the edge of where the water meets the shore and it was so precise and inch in between with strings attached on each arrow and sprays green powder. so i wondered what happen to the living things in the lake? they were taking care of in another pond but they are all together happy and very large looking turtle was flipping and his eyes are close but smiling. then water sprouts to the lake and everyone jumps in the lake. As i look towards the people around i saw my mother and i hug her and tell her i miss her. She grab me back and walk towards a door and she hug me tight and bump my chin. soon woke up.

  4. I had this dream about a friend with benefits. I am now single and he is living apart from his family.
    I met him through my ex.
    We used to be neighbors.
    Then we moved.
    Haven’t seen him for more than a year.
    The one day he came by looking for my ex. and left. A week or so later he came by again to see me and we talked.
    Since then we been bf w/benefits..
    However in my dream he came over drunk w/ some friends. At the same time the neighbors adult child came over. I gave him and the other s the boot except my friend.
    Any thoughts of what it means?

  5. I am interested in a dream i had a long time ago… i was walking with my friend and laughing and started running down a steep (like the cliff was straiht down) sand cliff and then we started just falling to roks and i veiwed it in third person and in slow mode… any idea what it means?

  6. In my dream, I’m in a train car with all Chinese people and I can understand them and they can understand me. I am telling how to achieve peace in their lives.

  7. I was at someone’s wedding in a park
    After started to clean people (this is in first person.)
    Somehow I had all my memories out for everyone to see. Like they had a machine that captured the memories for the wedding or something.
    Someone who had just passed Chris little boy around 10ish. (I don’t actually know anyone matching this description in real life)
    We had a lot in common. I felt super close to him.
    This was in 3rd person kind of.
    Someone Was scrolling through my memories and scummed through a ton of memories of me and this kid Chris talking back and forth like we were on the same wavelength.
    From nikos (Niko is my little brother in real life) perspective we are walking away from the wedding set up because I felt like I was done. I was still myself but seeing through nikos eyes. Kind of assuming what he’s thinking of me. Or somehow hearing his thoughts.
    But someone told Niko who the kid was in my memories. They said “He was like a little brother to him. They were so similar. He in a way converted Dylan to the church and he wasn’t even a member” and Niko could see the sadness in my eyes as I teared up walking away from those memories (debating scriptures or just any random conversation feeding off of each other building off ideas of each other) but not letting them fall thinking no one could see.

    I could feel what I felt for this loss but I was seeing it through nikos eyes…. I genuinely miss this kid and felt like I had a major loss as I woke up even though I don’t actually know anyone like him.

    I felt so impacted by the dream but I don’t really know what to make of it.

  8. I have a huge problem in my life right now. I had a dream that my deceased dad came to me held my face in his hands & was kissing my face all over & saying your good your good it’s ok. I’m pretty sure I know what this means but I want to make sure. Thank you

  9. Hello I had a dream of robin Williams as my taxi driver I don’t no where I was going and can’t remember what we where talking about but when i got out I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for getting me through my childhood he started tearing up saying oh thankyou thankyou very much it means so much what does that mean

  10. I had a dream and what I can remember is someone I once cared about was in my dream I felt love and devotion from this person. Then I can remember a run away van that I was able to jump into and stop this happened 2 times in my dream. Then there was an object that the guy in my dream gave me that turned into 1 medium diamond the a smaller diamond appeared then turned in 3 initials BAH. I don’t know anyone with those initials or an object either.

  11. In my dream my daughter paid $75.99 for a clearly very cheap back pack (should have cost $15) for her little brother. She said, “It’s too late, it gone through,” but I was angry that she’d been taken advantage of & I lost my temper & flicked a box of playing card packs of the counter. There was a military man being served by someone else, he was staring at me the whole time, I felt he “was going to be part of us” (this is exactly what I wrote as I wrote down the dream). I felt I embarrassed my daughter.

    I have Anger management issues and a tendency to say what’s on my mind, when things are unfair. I suspect this dream is what I call “my snap out of it stupid!” wake up & stop doing these things dream. The military man has me completely stumped though so can you please help?

    • Hi Jeni, you might want to check out our post on the meaning of shopping in dreams. The military man could be a symbol for your desire to control the situation or not having better control over your temper or speaking your mind. It can take a lot of work to overcome feelings of anger in your everyday life, but it sounds like you are using a dream journal as a tool for self improvement and that is a great step in the right direction! Hope that helps and thank you for sharing your dream with us!

  12. In my dream I was with my sister and we were pushing a box alongside moving cars, we didn’t have a car but the box had wheels and was easy to push. Suddenly it no longer had wheels and was very heavy though my sister continued to push. I saw an old car in front of us and suggested we ask for a lift. She ran after it and had to run down a stony, long cliff in order to get the car. I remained stuck at the cliff, not able to go down not able to go back up. Looked around for people to help me but in vain. I called out to God to help me. I woke up before getting help

  13. My son recently went through a break up after 4 years and an engagement. He told me he keeps having this dream that in one part he is happy with his loved ones and in the next part his loved ones are crying next to his headstone. Besides the obvious what else could it mean?

  14. i dreamt of a handsome guy wbo did appear dirty…he suddenly turned into an attractive woman vampire and finally managed to bite the top of my left hand but it affected her negatively more than jt affected me. Her face started bleeding and i felt a shift in myself…i woke up…

  15. Theres this guy i really like and i care about him hes my ex i hd this dream about him hes actually living with someone new can you please help me with this dream ive had this same dream 2 times now:

    There was 5 girls including that one girl and marvin was coming down stairs with them they were at his house and then i was walking by and like he was quiet he smiled at me and said hi very low…. and i said hi back and one of the girls started to cuz at me and insult me they told him to get back in his house or it was gonna go bad on him then he disappeared the girls started laughing even the one girl….then they are like see we have him in the palm of our hand he does whatever we want

  16. I recently had a dream about a man that use to be a friend, a friend with benefits, and possibly a lover. We came close to being something 2 years ago but he couldn’t let go of an ex.

    In this dream, it was like he was playing a game of cat and mouse with me. He would say he wanted me but his actions would say he didn’t. He would be hot one minute and then cold the next minute. He had this small fling with my sister at one point in which I got angry and punched her.. But he eventually told me it was a front to make me jealous and he actually loved and wanted me.

    He is currently with someone and so am I. Does this mean that I am unhappy in my current relationship? Does it mean that he may want me? Do I still have feelings for him even though the last 5 years have been nothing but hope and heartbreak?

    I have been thinking of him recently – Especially when a certain song plays or I see a certain number – But we have not spoken for almost a year now.

    I somewhat feel like I am longing for him even though I can’t see myself with him.. Possibly because I’m unhappy?

  17. When my husband appeared he lost some teeths I asked to him what did you do where are your teeth I can not understand what are you talking to me now because you lost your teeth. He said to me his best friend hit me on my head and the teeths fall out no pain no blood. What did it mean this dream please help me.

  18. My daughter in law had a dream she spoke to her dead mother, as her mother told her she had to do it! Over dose of pills, my daughter asked her why did you do this to me. this happened 14 yrs ago and all her mom said was I had to do it, she is my daughter now and I love her like my own and I see so much pain in her face..please help me with this so I can help her, when she came in my life she was broken…and now I see nothing but sadness .she remembers everything a out the dream, the house and my daughters bedroom where my she found her body when she was just 9years old …ty

    • She should not be sad over her mothers decision to over dose. Her mother is simply letting her know that it was her way to go, she felt she had to do it. The daughter should feel love after her mother came to her in her dream. Her mother is trying to show her love she could not give her in the real life.

      I hope she knows her mom is with her anytime she wants or calls on her. Its truly a spiritual world we live in an she needs to embrace any dream or message from those she loves that’s passed over.

      Hope this helps, my response is based on my own experience and what I have learned. God wants us all to know it will all be alright and he has called on our love ones for his work we will see them all one day for sure. My granny always said that’s one trip we all have to make.

    • This mean this child is depressed , broken to not see her mom. So she wished to be with her . do something fun with her to take her mind off it . let her released balloon to her mom in the sky . show her u care about her feeling. Because suicide could be her thoughts .


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