Your kid’s not doing well in school. Your workload at your job has doubled because some of your co-workers were let go. You’re not sure you’re going to be able to pay the rent on time this month. And your mother in-law won’t stop meddling. At least you can escape all this stress at bedtime. Right?
Unfortunately, the stress we deal with during the day tends to follow us to bed at night and plays out in our dreams. Can we ever escape? Why yes, yes we can. Our stressed-out dreams are actually giving us clues on how to deal with and manage our waking-life stresses – once we can understand them.
The following are the five most common stress dreams we all experience, what real-life stresses they are connected to, and the lessons they provide.
Stress Dream: Missing a Plane or Bus
If this is your stress dream, you’re in good company! Diane Sawyer once told me she has this dream. The stress this dream is connected to is deadline stress. Perhaps you’re like Diane and your job consists of constant deadlines you have to meet. Otherwise, this dream can be connected to self-imposed deadlines such as losing a certain amount of weight in time for the office holiday party or reaching a career goal by a certain age, etc.
The Lesson: Time is slippery and often gets away from us. This dream is letting you know you’d best be on your toes and learn how to manage your time and do what is necessary so you can meet that deadline or grab that opportunity when it comes your way – because it will be here before you know it.
Stress Dream: Losing Your Car or Your Car Gets Stolen
This stress dream is connected to uncertainty or loss of motivation. Your car represents your “drive” and motivation to continue to move forward in some area. If this is your stress dream, you need to ask yourself what in your life you no longer have the desire to continue with. Is it your job? A relationship? A project? If that doesn’t fit, ask yourself what is causing you to feel uncertain and directionless. Maybe you can’t find a job and no longer know what to do. Or perhaps your kids are unruly and you don’t know which path to take in order to deal with them.