What do our nightmares mean?

Nightmares are not just crude tricks our imagination and psyche play with us. Our subconscious gives us hints how we should treat ourselves in our real life to solve most of our problems.

"Nightmares are yellow flags, flashing lights, warnings," says Tess Castleman, a Jungian analyst from Dallas, Tex.

Castleman, author of "Threads, Knots, Tapestries: How a Tribal Connection is Revealed Through Dreams and Synchronicities," says nightmares are the "report card" of the psyche -- a gift from the subconscious to help prod the dreamer to action in his or her waking life.

"We get information about ourselves (in nightmares) that is not conscious and that we usually completely deny," says Castleman. "The nightmare is motivated only to help, heal, instruct and confront -- like all good teachers."

"Our psyche is telling us something is wrong," Castleman said. "It doesn't mean you are crazy. The dream is trying to bring the disturbance up to the surface where you can deal with it." Here are some examples of the most typical nightmares:

NIGHTMARE: Stuck in slow motion or paralyzed in place, unable to move or make a sound.

MEANINGS: Dreamer is feeling stuck in a rut, getting nowhere or unable to voice true feelings.

NIGHTMARE: Major personal injury, even dismemberment.

MEANINGS: An aspect of your life, usually not related to the physical self, is being neglected or mistreated.

NIGHTMARE: Trapped, locked in.

MEANINGS: Feeling confined. The dreamer needs to be open to a new perspective and explore new courses of action in his waking life. NIGHTMARE: Car careens out of control.

MEANINGS: Dreamer finds her life too hectic and needs to slow down, act more peacefully and "enjoy the ride."

NIGHTMARE: Catastrophic disaster -- earthquake, avalanche, flood, fire or storm.

MEANINGS: Disasters represent emotional upheaval -- an earthquake, our world is being shaken up; an avalanche, feeling overwhelmed and buried by some situation we find ourself in; a flood, being caught up in the currents of everyday life and not feeling on solid ground; a fire, being consumed by passion, rage or some other strong feeling that may feel out of control.

NIGHTMARE: Someone is trying to break into the home.

MEANINGS: The intruder is often an inner psychological figure who may represent some shameful or unwanted part of yourself who is breaking into your consciousness. Some new insight is about to emerge from the darkness.

NIGHTMARE: Drowning, tidal waves or flooding.

MEANINGS: Dreamer is blocking or feeling overwhelmed by emotions.

NIGHTMARE: Being caught naked in public.

MEANINGS: Usually set in the workplace or school, this mishap is said to mean you're trying hide something, or that you're not well-prepared for something, and people will know it. This type of dream is usually pointing out, by the fact that the other characters in the dream don't seem to notice, that we are the only one viewing ourselves this way, and usually mistakenly so.

NIGHTMARE: Falling from a great height.

MEANINGS: Feeling heavy, unsupported, worried about something? Image represents the need to feel freer, unburdened. Perhaps dreamer is also seeking to be "more grounded."

NIGHTMARE: Losing teeth.

MEANINGS: If your tooth is loose, or all of your teeth have fallen out, you may be having issues with your appearance, reports charlotte.com I.L.

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