Why You Keep Dreaming About Being Chased — and How to Make It Stop

Experts explain what may cause this unpleasant recurring dream.

Interpreting dreams dates back centuries. And, given the amount of time the average person spends asleep over the course of a lifetime (a whopping 26 years for anyone who’s interested), it’s little wonder that so many of us are curious about why we dream – where they come from and what exactly they mean.

Widely believed to be one the most common dreams, chances are we’ve all experienced a dream about being chased at some point in our lives. Far less comforting than dreaming about your pet pooch — though perhaps a preferable alternative to dreaming about your ex — visualizing being chased while asleep can be disconcerting to say the least.

If you’re having dreams about being chased, you know just how unsettling they can be. And if you’re interested in their possible significance, we spoke to a dream expert and psychologist to find out why you keep dreaming about being chased — and how to make it stop.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why You’re Dreaming About Your Ex

It might be time to face up to stress and anxiety

“Dreams of running and being chased are classed as anxiety dreams, and are very common during a period of high stress and pressure in life,” says Inbaal Honigman, celebrity psychic and dreams expert.

Additionally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, whether at work, in your relationship or at home — and you tend to ignore it — being chased in a dream is your unconscious mind letting you know that you need to face up to the responsibilities you may have been avoiding.

These dreams can often represent a feeling of helplessness, and it might be time to step back and assess whether there are any stressful situations you’re avoiding in your everyday life.

It’s also worth noting that dreams of being chased may mean that you’ve been exposed to negativity in your waking life – so take the time to consider whether you’ve been spending time with someone who might be a source of unnecessary pessimism.  

Woman Chased

It might have been triggered by something you’ve seen

If, rather than a recurring dream of being chased, this is a one-off event,  it may simply have been triggered by something you’ve seen.

Case in point: If you dream of being chased by a zombie after watching a horror film or a rabid dog appears in your dream after seeing an aggressive pup on your morning walk, this is highly unlikely to be indicative of underlying issues you need to address.

How to stop having dreams about being chased

Honigman suggests putting some work into your waking life.

“Lessening work pressures, family demands, and striving for a life free from tension and trouble will function to create a more wholesome mindset, which will result in a peaceful night’s sleep,” she says.

Manuela Schmitten, a psychologist at Inner Space Psychology adds, “running away from something or someone in a dream might indicate that you’re sticking your head in the sand to avoid an issue that really needs facing.”

Take an honest look at the relationships in your life and any areas that might be causing undue stress, such as unpaid bills, a friendship that needs more attention, or an unresolved issue at work. Evaluate ways in which you may be able to improve them.

“While avoiding a problem may be a short-term solution, if it’s showing up regularly in your subconscious, now may be the time to confront it,” Schmitten says.

Lucy Pearson
Lucy Pearson is a freelance writer, book blogger and host of The Bondi Literary Salon based in Bondi. Read more
Filed Under