Dreaming of Falling And What It Means
5 min read
Last Modified 31 August 2023 First Added 4 October 2021
Falling dreams are quite common and can be linked to anything that is subject to falling or going up and down – finances, stocks, status, relationships, expectations. Dreaming about falling tends to signify a loss of control over an important situation.
“It also indicates fear, terror, and anxiety that comes out of losing grip over significant things,” says Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, M.D., a certified psychiatrist. The feeling of falling may represent a sense of helplessness. However, you’ll be able to interpret your dream more accurately if you take a few other clues into account, such as where you’re falling from, why, and how it makes you feel.
Dreaming of falling in your sleep is one of the ‘motifs’ identified by Carl Jung in Man and His Symbols, which he relates to the myth of Icarus. While his interpretation of falling dreams is interesting, it’s the way the dream is contextualised, which is the most interesting part of Jung’s interpretation.
The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium. It explains why people who have unrealistic ideas or too high an opinion of themselves, or who make grand plans that are out of proportion to their real capabilities, have dreams of flying or falling. The dream compensates for the deficiencies of their personalities, while warning them of the dangers in their present course. If the warnings of the dream are disregarded, real accidents may take their place. The victim may fall downstairs or may have a car accident.
While it is a step or two removed from accepted science, Jung believes that the unconscious communicates with a specific intent, with a meaning that must be deciphered. He says:
But I must stress again that these are motifs that must be considered in the context of the dream itself, not as self-explanatory ciphers.
It’s this need to be decoded that’s at the root of all dream analysis – and the fear of falling features in most texts on the subject. While Jung considered these dreams as a warning that our reach may have extended our grasp, other interpretations see it as indicative of an unacknowledged feeling of having lost control in one or more aspects of our lives.
There are no prizes for guessing what meaning Jung’s contemporary and mentor Freud ascribes to dreams of falling. He believes them to be inherently sexual, with the falling being a falling-from-grace. But while Freud was very much a man of his era, modern cultural interpretations see the fall as relating to the person’s finances, and the inevitable impact that continued mismanagement may lead to.
Dreams of falling come in many forms. There are those where the dreamer never falls from something but is instead falling throughout the dream. There are falls from trees, cliffs, buildings, or in a lift. Each type of falling dream has its own meaning, which we will uncover for you to understand what is the meaning behind your falling dream?
Many of the falling dream meanings seem to imply that there is an unacknowledged loss of control causing subconscious anxiety. For that reason, reflection on what that loss of control could be will be the best response.