What It Means When You Run In Dreams

by Kaitlyn Wylde
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You can't exactly see where you're going, you're not sure what's behind you, but you know you have to keep going, and going, and going. And then you wake up and you're more exhausted than you where before you went to sleep and want to know, why am I always running in my dreams? Why can't I just float off into a cloud pile and let my brain shut down for eight hours before facing the world for a new day? You don't even like running in real life, so why would you continuously resort to running in your dreams? What is your subconscious trying to tell you? Should you be worried?

Apparently, it's very common to have running dreams. Lots of people have recurring dreams where they're running from something or to somewhere, neither of which they understand. And the common reaction is usually that they're stressed out over this. It might result in unrestful, interrupted sleep and anxiety. So what is your subconscious trying to say? What's the dream symbolism behind running? Is there anything you can do to change your dreams or learn more about what your body is trying to tell you? I did a little bit of research and the results are vast and varied. Here's what I've found:

Fear & Anxiety

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If you're running in your dreams because you're being chased, you could be dealing with some subconscious anxiety and fear in your waking life. Maybe you have to make an important decision, maybe people are counting on you for support. Chances are your mind is overwhelmed with the possibilities and you should take some time during your day to journal, meditate, and sort through the possible culprits of your anxiety.


If you're running to get away from someone, your mind might be trying to show you that you're being avoidant and need to face the music. Is there something that you've been meaning to do but keep finding excuses for? Is there someone waiting for an answer? Is there a project or person or plan you've been neglecting?


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Are you running in slow motion, or having trouble getting to where you're going? This might mean that you see a significant obstacle between you and what you want. It could be a person, a mentality, or a circumstance.


Are you mostly focused on the person chasing you, or the road ahead? If you're concerned with the chaser's intentions, you might be disappointed with yourself and the way you've handled something. If you take the time before bed to come to terms with your behavior, it might not need to chase after you any more.


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Do you even know where you're running? If you feel like you're constantly on the go in your dreams, but you don't know where you're headed or why you're going there, you might be internally conflicted about how to handle something. Maybe you're unsure if you should take advantage of a job opportunity. Maybe you feel trapped in your relationship. Chances are, you're feeling anxiety and frustration about what to do next. Maybe it's time for you to change up your lifestyle and find hobbies that better suit your health. Do take the time to think about your life and the direction it's going — your dreams could be showing you the way.

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