Some dreams are happy and filled with sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops, but others are those nightmares in which you are being chased. When you awaken, you may not remember who or what you were running from, but you likely remember feeling shaken. The feeling of being pursued, even in a dream, is not one that is easy to forget, but what do these dreams really mean?
Nightmares about being chased are some of the most common, in the top five with dreams about being back in school and having your teeth fall out of your mouth. Chase dreams, and others like burglaries, terrifying interactions, and being stalked, cause our inborn fight or flight instincts to kick in and express our fears, anxieties, and inner relationship concerns to arise in a dream state. At times, these dreams are the way our brains react to the trauma of experiencing real life danger. The dreams about being followed, chased, and pursued in a scary manner are common among those who have PTSD.
The most important thing to remind yourself after you have had one of these dreams is that it is just a dream. It may be a sign of something you are trying to work on something internally, even though you are safe in the waking world. If you want to understand the meaning behind the most common scary dreams then read on.
Dreams of Being Chased By Humans
This highly common dream of being chased by another human is usually tied into fears about specific situations that are occurring in our waking life. This may be a situation we are trying to outrun, but sometimes it is us running away from some aspect of our own personality. It is often the space between us and the pursuer that reveals the details of what is truly bothering us. If the pursuer is gaining on you, it can mean that the issue you are facing is becoming even more pressing. In addition, these types of dreams are common for those who have PTSD.
Dreams of Being Chased By Animals
Animals like an angry tiger, lion, or emu chasing you in a dream can be scary. When animals attack our unconscious, it can be symbolic of repressed anger. In this type of dream, our subconscious has basically taken all of our negative feelings and turned them into a wild animal.
Dreams You Are Chasing Someone Else
If you happen to be the one doing the chasing in your dream, then you may be trying to catch up with someone else in life. You may feel someone has left you behind and it is unlikely to be worth it.
Dreams of Being Stalked
If you have experienced stalking in real life, dreams about it can be the mind dealing with the trauma in its own way. If you have not been stalked, dreaming about someone or something spying on you and following you may imply that there is some issue in your waking life that you are trying your best to ignore. It is time to face whatever you are avoiding.
Dreams of Being Held Captive
Having a dream that someone is holding you hostage or has trapped you in some way can be symbolic of being trapped by some aspect of your daily life. This may be an aspect of your general existence, your partner, or even your job feeling like it is out of control and you cannot change it so you are subconsciously handcuffed to it. Captivity dreams may also be linked to something you are denying in your waking life, but in some way, you feel it controls you.
Dreams of Being Burglarized
Dreaming about your house being robbed or just broken into is usually signifying that you feel helpless in some waking life situation. Maybe you are still adjusting to some major life change and it is affecting your dreams.
Dreams of Fighting an Attacker
Not all nightmares are about feeling completely helpless. In some nightmares, we fight back against the attacker, even if the attacker is faceless or the face is hidden. Fighting in a dream can be significant of inner turmoil. The specific attacker you are fighting may be symbolic of an element of yourself that you are avoiding or a waking life situation that is bringing you trouble. For example, if you try to fight, but find your arms limp, it can indicate a self-esteem issue. Similarly, is you are physically trying to fight, but are unable it may be sleep paralysis. This is a phenomenon in which you are half-awake, but not yet able to move. Do not automatically assume that a lost fight in a dream means you have low self-esteem, it could mean something was just waking you up, but you were not fully awake.