I’ve heard many explanations for why people dream about being trapped. Some tell me that it’s a sign from God. Others say it’s how the body feels when you haven’t been exercising, or how it could be related to your relationship and how you feel ‘stuck’ in a bad marriage.
Those are interesting interpretations and I’d love to hear your take on this too, but I’m writing this post to share the symbolism of dreams about being trapped (also known as a ‘feeling of entrapment’) and what it could mean.
The Locations Where You Feel Trapped
The main theme of this trap dream is that you feel confined and limited. However, the way you were trapped and your surroundings during this confinement in your dreams are equally important.
The most common dream traps are situations we can go through in real life, but they can also be more unrealistic like landmines or a laser trap, a bird trap in the woods, or a mouse trap in your cellar.
1. Trapped in a room or a cell
Sometimes we are trapped by our fear and insecurities. We might also feel imprisoned by other people or society.
Being in jail, a prison cell, or even a locked room could mean that someone has been treating you unfairly and not giving you what is rightfully yours (or vice versa).
It could also be a sign that some things from your past need to be dealt with before moving forward. This room might represent an emotional blockage or fear of stepping outside your comfort zone.
The prison is often a part of yourself that you do not like, and you want to hide from the outside world or even from yourself. A lowered ceiling can signify the stress and strict rules you have to abide by.
To dream of being trapped in a room with no doors or windows suggests feelings of confinement and isolation from others. You may feel as though no one understands what you are going through.
2. Trapped in a cage
The main theme of this dream is that you feel confined and limited. These dream symbols could refer to your frustrations, old habits, or even your own emotions.
In your dream, you can be trapped in a cage made of metal bars; then, it can indicate that you feel like the circumstances of your life trap you. Your surroundings might not be as pleasant as they could be, but you cannot do anything regarding this.
However, if the cage is made from wood, it may suggest that you feel trapped by someone else’s expectations, but you could escape your entrapment more easily.
3. Trapped in a coffin
A coffin can also symbolize feeling trapped because it represents death and endings. If someone else is carrying the coffin, it may suggest that others control your life choices too much for comfort.
If the coffin is open or has no lid, this suggests that change may be imminent and that growth opportunities are coming up soon!
Many variations refer to the same symbolism, such as being buried alive, trapped underground, or even in a cave.
4. Trapped outside
The outside can symbolize the unknown. It’s a symbol of something we don’t understand or don’t know how to deal with.
If the outside is dark and scary, you may feel like you don’t fit into society or are unhappy with where you are. If it’s bright and sunny, you may feel like there’s more out there than where you are now.
Being trapped outside in a dream can also represent being exposed to the elements and natural disasters without protection. This could be because of your actions, but it may also be due to some kind of crisis or natural disaster.
Dreaming about being stuck on an island or floating adrift on a boat may represent feelings of loneliness and isolation. You may feel alone and cut off from other people and their support systems, without direction or guidance in your life.
5. Trapped in an elevator
The elevator represents the long climb you have made to get where you are today and how far away from the top of the mountain you still have left to climb.
Being trapped in an elevator is a common nightmare. It can symbolize feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic. The elevator is also used as a symbol of change and movement.
The fact that you cannot get out of the elevator may mean that you feel stuck in your current situation or at a dead end. A falling elevator may feel like there is no way out or that you are going nowhere fast.
6. Trapped in the basement
A basement is a place of darkness, oppression, and isolation. It is also an extension of your subconscious mind. It represents the dark parts of yourself that you may not know about or want to acknowledge exist.
These could be fears, emotions, or desires buried deep inside but still affect how you think, feel, and behave towards others.
Perhaps in your waking life, something has happened recently that has made you feel helpless or powerless. You might have tried to fight back against this feeling but been unsuccessful and now feel even worse than before.
7. Trapped at work
Dreaming about being trapped at work can mean you feel trapped by your dead-end job. You may wish to change careers or quit your current job and find something better.
8. Trapped in class
Dreaming about being trapped at school may mean that you’re feeling like a student again — or maybe, more accurately, you’re still stuck in school even though it’s been years since high school graduation!
You may feel like there are things in your current life that you’ve missed out on because of this feeling of never-ending adolescence. Or perhaps you are having cold sweat because of an evaluation at work, that reminds you of an exam in school.
Different Interpretations Of Being Trapped In Dreams
1. Trapped in your daily life
If you are dreaming about being trapped and there is no way out, then this could be your subconscious telling you that you are feeling trapped by obstacles in your life.
This may be your job you can’t stand for the rest of your life, bad relationships, or even people around you.
The most vivid dreams about being trapped frequently occur during a transition in your life, such as graduating from high school or college, changing jobs, moving to another city or country, getting married or divorced, having children, etc.
These changes can be exciting, but they make it difficult to leave behind the past and start over with a clean slate. Dreams about being trapped may reflect your true feelings of anxiety about starting a new chapter in your life.
2. Stuck in a bad situation
Often in your dreams, you are unable to move when you feel trapped. This indicates that you feel helpless. There is no means of escape from a dangerous situation. You are in despair and feel like you are going to die. It could even indicate sleep paralysis.
If you are trapped with others, this might represent your feelings about them. You may see them as negative influences and want to distance yourself from them.
It could also mean that you feel like no one cares about you and that no one wants to help you out. Perhaps some issues are going on with friends or family members who don’t want to help with certain things.
3. Held back from your goals
Such dreams may also reflect your fears of being held back by others or by your fears of failure. Either because someone else is preventing you from reaching your goals or because you have given up on yourself.
You want to be free of something holding you back in real life, like an addiction, bad habits, or a struggle at work. Perhaps you want to be more creative but feel stuck exploring the same ideas repeatedly.
Dreaming about being trapped in water might suggest that you feel like the current situation is drowning out your voice and creativity.
4. Making the wrong choices
Emotional or mental issues are often expressed in dreams as barriers. You may be feeling the pressure of deciding between two people or situations, or you have conflicting obligations.
You may also feel like there is no right choice for you to make because, either way, something will get ruined. Often the further details of this dream are necessary to unravel the detailed dream interpretation.
If there were other people around, this could mean they are trying to help you or give advice on what they think would be best for your situation. The fact that they are standing around waiting for something implies that they can’t do anything until it happens naturally of its own accord.
5. Boundaries and limits
Your subconscious tells you you’re allowed to have boundaries and set limits on what others expect from you. But it could also mean you lack freedom in your life.
The dreamer may feel they are not free to do what they want in their waking life. This can be true in some circumstances, but it’s important to remember that we always have the power to choose our reactions and responses to any situation.
When we dream at night, our minds are free to wander and create images that seem real while we sleep.
In some cases, these dreams can take us to places we fear or would like to escape from, such as: being chased, falling off cliffs, drowning in water, getting lost in a maze-like structure, being trapped inside an abandoned or a large building, being attacked, etc…
However, dreams about being trapped aren’t always negative — they can also represent positive things like safety and security.
Suppose you dream about being locked in a safe room or hiding under a table or bed while someone searches for you. In that case, this could represent your fear of confronting something head-on but knowing that it’s necessary for growth and development as an individual.