Having to wake up from a death dream is a distressing experience. Yet, as most dream analysts will tell you, these are some of the most common dreams out there. So, what does it mean when you dream about yourself dying? Is this a bad omen about your own death or just a quirk of your subconscious mind meant to offer you some insight and aid in your process of self-discovery?
We, of course, lean toward the latter – dreams are manifestations of our subconscious minds and are best used to help facilitate a better understanding of the self, inner changes, and positive development in our waking lives. Even so, however, a dream about yourself dying can have various interpretations, each with its unique meaning. Here, are 10 of the most common possible explanations.
What does it mean when you dream about yourself dying?
The exact interpretation of your dream about yourself dying will depend on the details and tone of the dream and how they match up to some of your personal life’s circumstances. We can’t know for you what you’re going through but we’ll list the 10 most common interpretations of dreams about dying so you can find out which applies to your situation.
1. You’re leaving a part of your life behind
The overarching theme in the interpretations of most dreams about yourself dying is the theme of change and transformation. And the most common example of that is when we’ve decided to leave something in our personal life behind us and move on without it.
The “thing” we’re leaving behind can be anything – from old habits such as a specific destructive behavior, to an old hobby we are genuinely going to miss, to something as abstract as a part of our inner child. In any of these cases, our subconscious mind can manifest a dream of us dying because – from the point of view of our subconsciousness – a part of us is indeed dying.
2. You are going through a transitional period in your life
Another type of change that can instigate a dream about ourselves dying is the process of going through a new experience. This transformation of sorts can be a new professional start, a new relationship, moving to a new town, or simply “transforming” our mindset to a new way of thinking regarding a specific issue.
The transformation can really be anything, regardless of how big or small – as long as it’s notable enough for our subconscious mind to perceive it as important, it can easily conjure up a death dream to symbolize that change. This is how strongly our subconsciousness associates change with death.
3. You’ve started going well out of your comfort zone as of late
The change our dreams can often illustrate with death can something be as minor as us just briefly venturing out of our comfort zones. Are you typically anti-social but have recently tried going out with people a couple of times? Are you trying to delegate more at work instead of looking to control everything?
Such minor steps out of our comfort zones can often seem monumental enough to our subconscious minds that they start to conjure up dreams about us dying. Is that a bit extreme? Yes, but that’s how human subconsciousness works.
4. You’ve given up on a dream or something important
Another common cause for such a dream is the act of giving up on something in your daily life or from your future goals. This can be giving up on your attempts at your dream promotion, on a big trip you’ve been planning for years, or on that house extension you’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Whatever it is, if you give up on something – minor or major – you can expect a dream about yourself dying because some part of you will have metaphorically died, in a sense. This doesn’t even need to be something you hold resentment about – it may be small enough that your conscious mind doesn’t care but your subconscious mind is overreacting about it nevertheless.
5. You may be going through a rough patch with your mental health
As with many of the dark dreams we tend to have such as dreams about drowning, being in a car accident, or any other traumatic experience, a dream about yourself dying can also be a sign that your mental health isn’t in the best possible state.
This can mean anything from having some anxiety build-up recently to suffering from a full-blown severe depression. Whatever the case, if you’ve started dreaming about your own death, this can be a big warning that you need to start taking better care of your emotions and psyche or your situation might start getting even worse.
6. You may have recently accepted something significant about yourself or your life
Acceptance can be either bad or good, depending on what you’re accepting. In either case, however, our subconscious tends to associate acceptance with death when it comes to a dream’s symbolism.
So, whether you’ve come to accept some past mistake that’s been giving you feelings of guilt for some time and move on or you’re accepting some unfortunate aspect of life you’re giving up trying to change – in both cases you might start having dreams of your own death. In essence, that’s because your struggle against the thing you’ve been refusing to accept is “dying out” and you’re moving on.
The type of insight you ought to get from such a dream depends on you – maybe you ought to be glad you’re finally coming to peace with something or you can take this as motivation to pick up the fight again.
7. Your subconscious mind urges you toward change and new beginnings
In some cases, a dream about yourself dying doesn’t signify something that is happening or has happened, but something your subconscious mind feels should happen. Very often this type of dream is essentially your subconscious urging you to finally put something behind you and move on to your new life without it.
That’s often something as simple as a bad habit such as smoking or gambling. Other times, however, it’s your subconscious pushing you to start something new instead – a fresh start of sorts. In such cases, there doesn’t even need to be a bad habit you’re turning your back on – your subconscious self just thinks it’s time for you to point your talent toward a new horizon.
8. You might be afraid of losing a loved one
A much more direct and obvious interpretation of a dream about yourself dying is that you’re afraid of losing certain family members, an important friendship, or even pets. The emotions we have for those close to us in our waking life can often be so intense that if we’re afraid about them dying, we’re effectively afraid of a piece of us dying with them.
These types of dreams can also happen after we’ve already lost someone – commonly after the death of a child, a parent or sibling, a close friend, or even just a treasured pet dying. The heartache after the loss of an own child can be so major that bad dreams are the least a parent can experience.
9. You’re considering ending a long-term relationship
Similarly to some of the examples above, the ending of a relationship can also lead to dreams of yourself dying. Few experiences in life can lead to as much change, transition, and turmoil in our real life as the ending of a long-term relationship.
So, whether you’re still sad about it, whether you’re furious with jealousy, or whether you’ve already accepted it – the mere change in your life that comes with the ending of a relationship is often enough to trigger dreams of dying.
10. You may just be afraid of dying
Lastly, there is the most obvious interpretation – that you’re just afraid of dying. This could be because you’re approaching old age, because you’ve been having some health complications of late, or just because you’ve heard about a stranger dying and that’s enough to trigger your subconscious mind into overdrive.
If your dream included you observing your own funeral, looking at yourself dying in a car crash, or almost any other manner of death that you’re observing passively from afar, it may very well be that you’re just afraid of dying.
In conclusion – what does it mean when you dream about yourself dying?
You don’t need to be a professional dream analyst to figure out that dreaming of your own death indicates that you’re going through some sort of change. The exact type of change, however, can vary greatly depending on your current life’s circumstances, emotional state, the tone of the dream, as well as lots of different details in it.
Hopefully, the 10 prime examples of death dream interpretations above will help you pinpoint what exactly your dream meant and what type of change you’re going through. It’s up to you to match the specifics of each interpretation with your situation, however.
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