Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Sloane Marie
When you are being chased in your dream, it can be terrifying. You or a group of people are running away from something that seems ready to attack. This type of dream has a highly individualized meaning. It all depends on who is chasing you, why and what is going on in the dream. Dreams often represent what is going on in your subconscious mind, so there may be a thought, fear or feeling in your real life that is causing this dream to happen.
Provide yourself with additional insights into the meaning of your dreams by learning how to interpret any dreams you may have about death or dying.
What Does It Mean If You Are Being Chased in Your Dream?
When you are being chased in your dream, it generally demonstrates that you are trying to avoid a situation or a problem. The person you are avoided may be the person who is chasing you, or the chasing may just be metaphorical. Often, dreams about being chased show that you are running away from some type of negative emotion. If you can figure out what this emotion is and learn to handle the situation in real life, it could lead to fewer dreams about being chased.
Being chased in your dream is normally not a literal interpretation. This type of dream is fairly universal. While there are differences based on your culture—such as being chased in a car instead of on horseback--, the dreams tend to have the same type of meaning. They occur all over the world to all types of people. According to dream researchers, this one of the top five most common dreams for people to have.
These are probably the most common dream because of the fight-or-flight instinct. When you are under stress, your body produces hormones to prepare you to run away from the problem (flight) or to fight it out. Because of this, dreams of running away are often a reaction to a real life danger or trauma. These dreams are especially common in people who suffer from PTSD.
The Most Common Versions of Being Chased in Your Dream
The situation in your dream can help you figure out the overall interpretation of your dream. If you do not have a problem with anyone or any situation in your real life, it could mean that you are dealing with some type of internal issue. We will cover the most common variations of being chased in your dream.
1. Dreams When You Are Being Robbed
If you dream that your house is broken into or you are running from a burglar, it often means that you feel helpless. A major life change or something else could be making you feel fearful or helpless in the real world. You may just need more time to adjust to the change.
2. You Are Being Chased by Humans
This is one of the most common variations of dreams about being chased. When you are fearful about a person in your real life, you will often dream that you are running away from that person. It is also possible that this person just represents a certain situation or feeling in your real life. Because of this, you are running away from them in the dream. If your pursuer keeps catching up to you, it could symbolize that the problem is only becoming worse and you feel incapable of escaping it.
3. You Dreamed That You Are Being Stalked
The first and most obvious interpretation is that you are being stalked in real life. If you do not have a stalker in the real world, then the dream could indicate that there is some issue in your life that you are struggling to ignore.
4. You Dreamed That Animals Were Chasing You
If you are chased by an angry lion or some type of monster, it is thought to symbolize repressed anger. Your subconscious mind is projecting your negative emotions onto the animal, and the wild animal is chasing you.
5. You Dreamed That You Are Held Captive
When you dream that you are held hostage, it typically means that you feel trapped or suffocated in your normal life. You may feel like you are held back from making the next step at your job. You could feel restrained by your relationship or a family member. Basically, you feel like you are held hostage in your real life, so you dreamed that you are captive and controlled in your dreams. Often, the cause of this dream is something that you are in denial about, so it can take time for you to open up and accept the meaning behind the dream.
6. You Dreamed That You Are Chasing Someone Else
Sometimes, you are not the target in dreams about chasing. If you are the one doing the chasing, it typically symbolizes that you feel like you are being left behind by someone or some event. You are struggling to catch up, but it seems impossible.
7. You Dreamed That You Are Fighting Off an Attacker
Sometimes, you are not just chased in your dream. At some point, you may turn on the pursuer and fight them off. This often symbolizes an inner turmoil. The attacker is someone or some symbol of a part of yourself, your social group or a situation that is causing you problems. If you are trying to fight in the dream but cannot move, it could actually be a sign of sleep paralysis. It could also mean that you feel unable to make a move because you are not confident that you can do so.
Other Interpretations of Being Chased in Your Dream
In general, being chased in your dream stems from the fight-or-flight response. It shows that you are responding to some type of fear or pressure in your real life. Instead of fighting the issue in your dream, you run away and try to escape it. You should start by analyzing the pursuer and situation in your dream. Look at how you feel as you run away. Are there any parallels between the feelings or situations and your real life?
Sometimes, the pursuer is a symbol for a part of yourself. You may be running from some feeling that you have experience or some change in your life. If you can have a lucid dream, try to confront your pursuer. Ask them why they are chasing you. By doing this in your dream, it allows you to take your power and confidence back in real life.
If you happen to be the one doing the chasing, it could also show that you have the confidence, dedication and ambition to go after what you want in life. If you are chasing someone and falling behind, it shows that you want to get ahead, but you feel like it is impossible to catch up with everyone else. The distance can also show different interpretations in the dream. If you are close to your pursuer or they are gaining on you, it shows that the problem is not going away. If the gap widens, it shows that you are learning how to separate yourself from the problem in your real life.
When you are being chased in a dream, it can be disconcerting. By learning what the dream feels and facing the same problem head-on in your real life, you can get these terrifying dreams to gradually go away.