1. Headline
  1. Headline
By "Today" contributor
updated 1/27/2005 11:18:48 AM ET 2005-01-27T16:18:48

Q: I often dream that I am falling. I’ve heard this type of dream reflects feelings of insecurity — and I certainly have those, since I’m worried my partner will leave me. To gain more insight from my dreams, what should I look for?

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Mila Kunis,  Ashton Kutcher welcome baby girl

      Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcomed a baby girl Tuesday night, People magazine reported. No name was announced.

    2. 9 things we learned from Brian Williams' Facebook chat
    3. Plaza producer: TODAY's #PinkPower event was 'my best day on the job'
    4. Guess who's most likely to hand out candy, and which kind they've got
    5. Lunch box hero: You've got to see this dad's amazing napkin art

A: You’re correct in thinking that dreams of falling reflect feelings of insecurity. Such dreams might be prompted by a sense of failure or impending failure in a love relationship.

Dreams, of course, have a logic all their own, and can be quite disturbing. But they reflect our wishes and conflicts, and can be a tremendous source of information.

Dreams can help you decipher the messages you don’t even know you are sending yourself.

There are six common dream themes. Along with dreams of falling, these include dreams of:

Being naked.
Clothes conceal. Without them, you’re exposed. So this dream symbolizes feelings of shame or vulnerability. Whether or not you are hiding something, you might be feeling that people can see through you. Or you might fear showing your true feelings in a relationship.

Problems with teeth.
In a dream, are your teeth falling out? This symbolizes rejection. Or you might be feeling powerless, unconfident, inferior, unattractive and unable to hold on to someone important to you.

Being chased.
You might be trying to avoid something. Can you identify the chaser? This might clarify what you’re trying to avoid.  If the person or thing chasing you is identifiable as a part of yourself, the dream might involve a fear from within, such as an unhealthy relationship or unhealthy behavior.

Flying.
Some flying dreams are terrifying; others are exhilarating. Dreams of flying can reflect a sense of control. This includes wishing you had control over something you don’t, struggling to stay in control or fearing you wield too much control.

Test-taking.
This is a classic anxiety dream — that you are taking a test you haven’t studied for, playing an unfamiliar instrument, or forgetting your lines in a play. You could be worried you aren’t measuring up to your own or others’ expectations. You might feel unprepared for a challenge or unsure of your abilities. On the other hand, a pleasant test dream could mean you have overcome a challenge or exceeded an expectation.

Dr. Gail’s Bottom Line: By viewing your dreams as a tool, you can further your understanding of yourself and your relationships with others.

Dr. Gail Saltz is a psychiatrist with New York Presbyterian Hospital and a regular contributor to “Today.” This column was adapted from her new book, “Becoming Real: Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves That Hold Us Back.”  For more information, you can visit her Web site, www.drgailsaltz.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The information in this column should not be construed as providing specific medical or psychological advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Copyright ©2004 Dr. Gail Saltz. All rights reserved.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
  1. Nbc News

    9 things we learned from Brian Williams' Facebook chat

    10/2/2014 1:41:28 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:41:28
  1. Noel Vasquez / Getty Images Contributor

    Mila Kunis,  Ashton Kutcher welcome baby girl

    10/2/2014 1:24:09 AM +00:00 2014-10-02T01:24:09
  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Secret Service director resigns amid scandal

    10/1/2014 7:30:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T19:30:52
  1. Texas Ebola patient had contact with kids

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a press conference on Wednesday that “some school-age children” had been identified as having contact with the man diagnosed with the first case of Ebola in the United States. 

    10/1/2014 5:37:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T17:37:52