Many dreams are hard to sit through but the ones of you trying to run away from a horrifying, unimaginable danger are arguably the hardest to wake up from. Which begs the question – what does a dream about running away even mean? Is it that you’re about to have to run for your life after you wake up? Or that you just hate your life?
While both of those are possible, you’d be surprised at how many other options there are for interpreting a dream like that. So, let’s delve into the specifics of the disturbing dream about running away and its 10 most likely meanings.
What does a dream about running away mean?
On the surface, a dream about running away seems pretty straightforward – you don’t feel all right where you are, you want to get away, so your subconscious mind is conjuring up dream symbols that reflect that feeling. And that’s certainly a valid interpretation.
However, it’s worth noting that there are other just as likely explanations for such a dream. So, if you don’t think there’s anything in your life right now your subconscious mind would want to escape from and you’re wondering what then such a dream would be about, here are some possible meanings to consider.
1. You’ve been feeling lonely as of late
Running alone in a dream is one of the easiest dreams to interpret for the dreamer – it tells us that you’ve been feeling alone, that you don’t feel like anybody is on your side as you’re running forward toward your goals, and that you don’t have much or any real support.
Depending on the tone of the dream, this can either indicate a mere annoyance with your circumstances or an utter desperation about how alone you are. This dream is especially common for people who are trying to build a start-up business all on their own or for people who are trying to push their romantic relationship forward but they don’t feel that their efforts are reciprocated.
2. You have trouble facing a certain issue in your waking life
Running away in a dream isn’t necessarily about the running itself either – often, it’s about the thing you’re running away from. If you remember enough from your dream, you should be able to relatively easily pinpoint the exact thing your subconscious thinks you’re running away from.
It could be anything from your daily life, really – disagreements with your partner, issues with your boss at work, or anything else from your real life you’d want to run away from if you could.
While all this can seem overly serious at first – and you definitely shouldn’t ignore it – it’s also important not to fall into too much stress over it right away – our subconscious minds are fickle things and can get triggered over big or small things just as easily.
3. You’ve been feeling stuck in life
Running away from something in a dream is often a very clear sign that there are things in your life you’d like to run away from but you feel like you can’t. For most people, this is either 1) an oppressive workplace you hate but need for the financial support it gives you or 2) a doomed relationship you’ve grown to resent but still need to sit in because of something keeping you there (kids, circumstances, etc.)
Does such a dream mean that you should immediately drop everything and just leave? Maybe, maybe not – we don’t know your life. What we can say such a dream means is that you should take a good look at your life and your key relationships in it – how good they are, which of them are worth keeping in, what you should improve in them, and which ones you should get away from.
4. You’re trying to avoid someone
Dreams of running away from people often include us trying to hide from people at times too. Such hiding efforts are often indicative clues that we’re having bad relationships with certain family members or coworkers.
Dreams of this type of avoidance also often include running away from strangers or an entire group of people too. This can be indicative of severe anti-social behaviors that often overflow into the unhealthy.
This shouldn’t immediately freak you out, however, as, in many other cases, a dream like that can also just mean that you’ve gotten fed up with people and you need to take a break for a bit – that’s perfectly normal for most introverts who’ve been forced to socialize for longer than they are comfortable with.
5. You’re actually running toward something
A much more positive interpretation of such dreams would be that your running away from something is actually your instincts telling you that you need to ditch whatever you’ve been doing and you need to run away toward more favorable scenarios such as a promotion, a new relationship, or something else.
In essence, this type of dream can be a very good sign that you’re ready to move on from your current circumstances and into better fields. There should still be some caution exercised, of course, as you don’t want to rush into something unprepared or drop something too early.
6. You are plagued by feelings of inadequacy
Everyone has insecurities, no matter how confident we are overall. So, even on our best days – sometimes especially on our best days – these insecurities can come back to bite us in our dreams.
Still, this is especially common for people who are generally plagued by overly low self-esteem. For them, dreams of this kind can be very much a nightly occurrence, especially in situations when they’ve been feeling way over their head, either at work or at home.
7. You see your life as one big competition
Running in a dream isn’t always a symbol of fear or escapism – often it represents a feeling of being pushed to perform better than everyone else that’s behind you. This is the type of mentality Olympic runners have – if you’re upfront, everyone else is behind you and is forcing you to run away from them if you want to maintain your poll position.
Is this attitude always healthy? Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. A dream of being chased can certainly hint at some negative emotions you have about the whole situation, about a constant competitive anxiety that won’t be healthy if it persists in the long run, and about some issues that might be intrinsic in the career path you’ve chosen.
What you really ought to be watching out for in such a situation, however, are signs of burnout which a dream of this kind can very well be.
8. You’re overwhelmed and exhausted
If you can’t stop running in a dream but feel forced to, that’s a clear sign that you’ve been overworked, overwhelmed, and exhausted in your real life. What you should do about it is up to you but something likely needs to be done as soon as possible.
9. You just want to run away
The simplest explanation, almost regardless of the context of the dream, is that you’re just fed up with everything that’s been going on in your life and you want to run away. This is a very common feeling and, truth be told, it’s often a feeling worth listening to.
10. You feel threatened by someone or something in your life
Lastly, a dream about running away from something can obviously be indicative of a fear or panic that you might be hurt by someone or something. A dream like that can easily feature a chase, you escaping from a monster or the police, jumping over obstacles, being confronted with some beast such as a snake or a bull, chased by a swarm of bees, sharks in the water, foxes in the woods, and more.
Such common dreams can really include any kind of “evil” your subconscious mind can feel like threatening you with – packs of dogs, the FBI surrounding you, an alien attack, and any other kind of pursuer that’d freak you out. Nightmares like these obviously aren’t literal, of course, but they do mean that you’ve been feeling chased or surrounded by something that doesn’t wish you well.
Having a dream of running away is always distressing but you’d be surprised to know that there is more than one dream interpretation that can be applied to such a seemingly clear-cut dream. What’s even more stunning for some is that a dream like that can even have positive interpretations under the right circumstances.
So, don’t rush to feel bad after having such a dream but don’t ignore it either, as there are some key interpretations about it you don’t want to miss.