We’re all dreamers. Dreaming is part of our body’s processing capability, and yet so little is truly known and understood about WHY our brains dream. Dreaming remains one of the great mysteries of the human psyche.
There are a variety of theories surrounding why we all experience dreams. Some think dreams act as night-time therapists, projecting hypothetical scenes that help us to confront emotional situations in our life. Some think dreams train us for fight or flight scenarios, given that one of the areas of the brain that’s most active during dreaming is the amygdala (the part of the brain associated with the survival instinct). Some see dreams as a means of accessing our creativity, of reaching subconscious insights and ideas. Another popular theory is that dreams help your brain store important memories and things you’ve learned, get rid of unimportant memories, and sort through complicated thoughts and feelings. I’m not aligned to any one single school of thought or academia, and draw from a smorgasbord of interpretations—so let’s talk about one genre of dreams: Tornado dreams.
What does it mean if you dream about a tornado?
You’ve seen the Wizard of Oz, right? Tornadoes destroy whatever gets in their path—they are a roving natural disaster. If we believe that our emotions reflect the climate of our mind, then we can see a literal connection between dreaming about tornadoes and being stressed, under pressure, scared, or worried. It’s unlikely that you’re going to enjoy facing a tornado, and therefore these dreams project something catastrophic, fearful, or challenging. Dreams take symbolism we understand and create stories about that in our mind’s eye.
If you’re dreaming about a tornado, maybe you’re preparing to tear up your life and start over—to become the tornado yourself. Or maybe you’re super stressed about a situation hovering into view, and you don’t know how to stand up to it without being overwhelmed. Maybe you feel out of control, like your life’s circumstances are overpowering your ability to take the wheel or make firm decisions.
When you dream about a tornado, write down as much detail as you can. Try to make an initial, intuitive link between how you felt in the dream and how this feeling shows up in your daily life. It could well be there that your subconscious is trying to get you to focus.
What does it mean if you dream about a tornado chasing you or your loved ones?
Connect the dots between who was with you in the dream, and whether there is anything going on for those people in your life that might be worrying you, deep down. If you were trying to protect these people in your dream, then this could reflect your real-life instincts for them right now. Examine what could be activating that.
What does it mean if you dream about tornados and fire or floods?
Take that emotional natural disaster and double or triple it. Fire can represent a wide range of emotions, from anger to ambition to chaos to passion. Pinpoint what the fire was doing in the dream. Was it an addition to the tornado’s destructiveness? Was it a separate issue that prevented escape? Was it a soothing light on the horizon you were running towards? Describe the role of the fire to better understand if this is an amplification of stress, fear of a secondary problem adding to the mix, or a hope for rescue or escape.
Water is typically a symbol of calm, so a tornado heading for the water can be a symbol of a state of tranquillity being (or about to be) disrupted and broken. Perhaps you can see that events are going to undo a peaceful truce or balance in your life.
What does it mean if you see multiple tornados in a dream?
This is an amplification of the fear and challenges you are facing down. Maybe you feel like life is coming at you from all angles right now. Try to notice the nature of the tornadoes. For instance, lots of small tornados suggests you’ve got multiple little stressors to sort through. However, if multiple tornadoes are converging into one massive storm, then it might be more like everything is building up into an overwhelming deluge. Scale and proportion matter in this type of dream—they are relative to your psyche’s burdens. Sometimes, people think this type of dream is a nudge to ask others for support. You’re not alone!
What does it mean if you dream about being stuck in a car during a tornado?
This situation compounds the sense of having been caught unaware, unprepared for the impending storm. A dream like this could relate to feeling like you’re not entirely ready for whatever you’re facing, enhancing the sensation of vulnerability and being trapped.
What does it mean if you have reccurring dreams about tornadoes?
Repetitive dreams always point back to our real-life attitudes and behaviors to suggest there is something that needs altering, which we’re currently ignoring. Your subconscious will keep on bringing you this stimulus until you consciously acknowledge it, think about it, and ideally address it. Pay attention to your dreams and what they might represent.
If you’re dreaming about tornados, zoom in on life situations that scare, worry, or overwhelm you. Once you’ve understood the message of the dream, the frequency or intensity will fade and maybe even disappear altogether. Then you can dream of better things!
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