Dreaming of having health issues is always distressing, especially when they are as severe as a heart attack. What does such a dream symbolize for the dreamer, however? Is it an omen that you are indeed going to suffer from a heart attack soon?
You can certainly take it that way but that’s not at all necessarily the case. The dream meaning of heart attack can actually vary greatly as does the symbolism of the human heart. So, below we’ll go over what does it mean to dream about a heart attack, the 15 main possible explanations, and a few extra details.
What does the heart symbolize in general?
To figure out why dreams about heart attacks have so many possible interpretations, let’s first look at the various symbolisms of the human heart. Physically, we all know what the function of the heart is – it’s a multi-chamber muscle that pumps the blood flowing through our veins and arteries. As such, it is one of the most important organs in the body. What’s more, heart health problems are one of the most common causes of death in the modern world.
Beyond that, however, the heart is also associated with almost all major emotions we feel on a daily basis – love, hate, fear, anger, stress and anxiety, depression and despair, and so on. We often view the heart almost as a sensory organ as its trepidations can be seen as indications of emotional turmoil. So, is it really surprising that a dream about a heart attack can also symbolize many different things?
What’s the meaning of a heart attack dream?
So, let’s examine the 15 or so possible explanations of a heart attack dream meaning. Studies of dreams have conclusively shown that dreams almost always have metaphorical interpretations rather than straightforward meanings. In the case of dreams about heart illness, however, both metaphorical and pretty direct meanings can be identified.
1. You are afraid of having a heart attack
Sometimes we really don’t need to look all that deep into things and a dream of a heart attach literally just means that you’re afraid of having one. This doesn’t mean that you will have a heart attack unless, of course, you are in relatively poor health and you’re rightfully worried about it. If you’ve started to have chest pain or other initial symptoms in your day-to-day life, for example, it’s obviously smart to talk to a doctor rather than just sit and have nightmares about it.
2. You are self-conscious about your health
You don’t need to be at risk of having heart failure to be worried about it. It’s perfectly normal for many people with relatively sub-par or not too great health to have some worries in that area.
3. Hypochondria (health anxiety)
When health worries get a little out of hand and we start obsessing about illnesses for no reason, that’s called hypochondria. So, if you’re stressing so much about having a heart attack after one light heartburn, this might just be hypochondria.
4. Someone you know had a heart attack recently
Another very simple explanation for why you’re dreaming of heart problems is if someone you know just had a heart condition and the thing is still on your mind.
5. You’ve had overwhelming emotions and stress in your waking life
Moving away from the actual fear of physical problems, another common reason for dreams about having a heart attack is that you’ve been swarmed with overwhelming stress and emotions in your life and your dreams are giving you a signal to try and calm down.
6. Your professional, financial, or status position has been shaky in recent time
Dreaming of having heart disease may also be because of recent major professional or financial troubles. These things don’t really have a direct relation with heart issues but our subconscious mind tends to use heartache as a metaphor for such trouble anyway.
7. You are feeling guilty about something
Guilt is another very powerful emotion that can weigh on our hearts. Intense guilt can often feel like heartache or like we’re suffocating and our dreams often portray this emotion with heart problems.
8. You’ve been feeling vulnerable
Feelings of insecurity and vulnerability can often take the shape of a heart attack in our dreams. When we experience such emotions, we feel like we’re defenseless and the world can topple us over in any way it chooses – and few things are scarier or induce a stronger feeling of helplessness than a heart attack.
9. You’ve been having emotional troubles of the romantic variety
The heart is the organ we most associate with love so it’s not surprising that our subconscious often translates love life problems, issues in our personal relationship, or the loss of love as a heart-related issue.
10. You have Thanatophobia (death anxiety)
Similar to hypochondria or health anxiety in its obsessive nature, thanatophobia is the fear of literal death. This doesn’t just mean a general anxiety at the thought of death, it means a crippling anxiety that you are going to die soon. Such a fear will naturally often present itself through dreams of death, including dreams about having a heart attack regardless of how good your heart rate and heart health actually is.
11. There have been lots of ups and downs in your life recently
An emotional turmoil of any kind, especially the feeling of going through an emotional rollercoaster and experiencing various inner conflicts all at once, can also weigh on our hearts. Or, at least, that’s how our minds often interpret it.
12. You may have a fear of abandonment
A lot of us have a near-crippling fear of abandonment in our daily life, usually due to past abandonment or because of how we were raised. In either case, being afraid of abandonment often translates as heart attack nightmares.
13. You are feeling lonely
In addition to a fear of abandonment, you may have heart attack dreams because you’re actively lonely right now. Such loneliness may be literal and physical because you live alone or it may be emotional – you may feel like an outcast because you don’t fit well in your environment even though there are people around you. Whatever the case, loneliness can trigger such dreams.
14. You feel like you lack support
Another common trigger is a recent loss of security or a general feeling of not having enough support in your life. Our hearts are literally a “life-supporting organ”, so, when we feel like everyone and everything around us is letting us down and isn’t offering us the support we need, a dream about our heart letting us down too becomes quite intuitive for our psyche.
15. You’ve recently experienced a major personal loss
Few things can rattle our hearts as much as a sudden crisis or grief. Broken heart syndrome is a real thing and it often happens after we’ve lost someone very important to us. Having a dream about your heart breaking is really just a less horrible version of that.
All in all, a dream about having a heart attack is a tell-tale sign that something is not right in your life, be it physical or – usually – emotional. So, while not a problem in and of itself, such a dream should act as a symptom of issues with your inner feelings or physical circumstances that you need to sort out.
What if you dream about someone you know having a heart attack?
Sometimes, a dream about a heart attack involves another person and not just us. In such situations, there can be a few more possible interpretations to explore.
1. You dream about your partner having a heart attack
Dreaming of a spouse having a heart attack can either signify your fear of losing them or that you’re having problems in your relationship and you want out of it. If such dreams are actually nightmares, it’s probably the former. But if the dream is relatively calm, it may just mean that you’re subconsciously hoping for an exit from your relationship.
2. You dream about your father or mother having a heart attack
Heart attack dreams involving our parents can also either signify a fear for their health or a toxic relationship between you and either or both of them. Many of us have unresolved problems with our parents that can have lasting impacts on our psyches and life choices and experiences.
We may often jokingly call them “mommy issues” or “daddy issues” but parent-related baggage can actually be very significant. So, such a dream may signify not that you literally want your parent(s) dead but that you need to get over some past trauma that came from your relationship with them.
In conclusion – what does it mean to have a dream about a heart attack?
The simplest dream interpretation of a heart attack nightmare is that you need to take better charge of your life, give yourself a bit of acceptance for the things you’re too hard on yourself about, and start working a bit more on your physical and emotional health, on your relationships, and on your professional circumstances.