Dreaming in color is the “default” for people who grew up in the era of color televisions and more. Our lives are lived in full color, so it would make sense that our dreams end up having a similarly colorful palette, right? It’s strange to hear of dreams in black and white.
Though a black and white world isn’t real, per see, it can still make a dream feel super real. Did you recently have a dream that looked like it was from a 1940s film? Did you wonder what the meaning behind it could be? The true meaning might surprise you.
Why Do You Dream In Black And White?
1. It could be because of the media that you have been consuming
If you are a fan of vintage movies, we have some surprising (if not downright shocking) news for you. A study revealed that people over the age of 55 dreamt in grayscale far more often than people under the age of 25.
It’s simple. The older group had a lot of black and white television and movies in their day-to-day lives when they were younger. As a result, they tend to have an emotional connection to greyscale scenery. It’s part of their memories from days spent watching old movies.
If you enjoyed a lot of monochromatic media, such as black and white images on newspapers, you might be dreaming of greyscale for that reason. A color-free dream can happen to anyone who’s used to “the vintage life.”
2. You might be feeling bored or emotionally spent
Did you recently do a ton of work that left you feeling dull as a stump? Have you been doing a lot of heavy emotional lifting that left you feeling exhausted? If so, then dreaming in black and white may suggest that your emotions feel drab.
You might be feeling like you lack excitement in your life, or that you feel like you have little access to cool things to do. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions to keep things running, it may be time to break out of your routine.
On a similar note, a lack of emotion may also suggest that your subconscious mind compartmentalized bad memories. If your black and white dream focused on trauma, this could be a sign of PTSD.
In most cases, it’s still a matter of monotony being a bit too much for your mental health. If you have reason to believe you have PTSD, though, it may be time to address it in therapy or with a licensed professional.
The best way to do that is to end the monotony and indifference you feel by doing something outside your comfort level. Take a yoga class! Go out for a hike at a park you’ve never been to! Eat that cake without shame! Enjoy that life you lead.
3. You’re feeling lonely, grieving a loss, or just feeling disconnected
Black and white dreams have a certain symbolic meaning to most people who have them. Those are colors that are often associated with mourning, loneliness, and loss. If you’ve been yearning for companionship, this could be why you had that dream.
This is particularly true if you lost someone recently. A black and white dream could reflect your memories of the deceased, or in some cases, a need for closure you never got in your waking life.
If you’re suffering from a sense of loss, now would be a good time to reach out to loved ones to talk. Sometimes, just hearing a friend’s voice can be the reassurance you need during a critical period in your life.
On a similar note, this can also mean that you’re feeling lonely. A world of monochromatic hues looks lonely. If your waking state makes you feel like you could cry from how alone you feel, your dream could be reflecting that mood back at you.
Perhaps it’s time to go to a club or join a meetup, eh?
4. You regret a past mistake you made
Everyone has at least one thing they regret in life. Perhaps you lashed out at someone due to jealousy, or took someone’s loyalty for granted. If you find yourself mulling over the bad things you did, the colors in your dreams may be an allusion to your unresolved issues.
Now would be a good time to try to figure out a way to make things right. If you haven’t already, consider talking to a therapist about what you did. If it really helps, you could also apologize to those that you wronged and try to make amends with them.
5. Your life needs a little more balance
Black and white are contrasting colors that often symbolize balance. If you’re having negative dreams that involve a lot of greyscales, then you might be dealing with a loss of balance. Is your work-life balance off? Are you giving too much of yourself?
Now would be a good time to see if you need to add a sort of balance to some aspect of your life. If you need more yin for your proverbial yang, it may be wise to figure out how to restore your life to a healthy equilibrium.
If your life just feels totally out of whack, you should take a step back. Sometimes, detaching yourself from the situation can help you figure out what the best thing to do really is.
6. You don’t feel like you’re in control of your life
Sometimes, a black and white dream can be a warning of how you feel in your waking life. Many of us can lose our way. Whether it’s due to a controlling relationship, a domineering family member, or addictions gone bad, we all can feel like we no longer live our own lives.
Your dream state might be suggesting that you feel like you’re an outsider watching your life pass you by. This is a feeling that often happens when people end up bending over backward to please others. It also can be caused by playing the martyr.
Positive outcomes can only happen if you actually advocate for yourself and get back on track. This isn’t always easy, but your dreams are giving you a warning. If you keep down this path, you’ll never be happy.
Remember, “NO” is a full sentence. You don’t have to explain to people why you want something. Boundaries can help you regain control over where your life is headed.
7. You need to have a new beginning
Sometimes, dreaming in a black and white world can also mean that you are ready for a new phase in life. Getting out of the doldrums of a life that got too repetitive can be daunting, but this dream suggests that you are all ready for it.
Are you about to graduate from school? Maybe it’s time to move to a new city or start a new job. Either way, it’s clear that you’re going to see your life path get switched up. Opportunity is going to start knocking, so make sure you’re ready to answer that call.
8. You’re stagnating
Did you stop seeing growth in your life? Have you been glued to the old ways of doing things, or stuck with the exact same people for the past 10 years? The vintage look of a dream in monochrome often alludes to a time that has long passed…and should stay in the past.
Because they tend to allude to vintage, old-timey media, black and white dreams can suggest that you’re stuck in the past. Even if the past feels nice and nostalgic, it’s never healthy to remain in the rut that you’ve been in for years at a time. That’s how you lose out on life.
If you haven’t changed much in your routine for the past couple of years, your dream could be alerting you to your own stagnation. This is especially true if people have told you that you’re stuck in the past or that you’re too focused on what already happened.
Life is short and fleeting. It makes no sense to keep griping about what happened so long ago. Perhaps it’s time you try something new! Even if it’s something as simple as trying a new restaurant or starting up a side gig, it can have a huge impact on your life’s path.
Black and white dreams can be mysterious, too. Have you experienced this type of dream recently? Did it mean something very significant in your life, or foretell a major change? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.