A good night's sleep is always necessary to recharge our batteries and prepare ourselves for the day to come.
However, just because our bodies may spend six to nine hours resting each night, that doesn't mean that our brains have stopped working for a second.
While we sleep, our brains and our subconsciouses are capable of taking us for quite a ride — through our dreams.
just as there are surprising things that can affect the nature of our
dreams, there is so much that our subconsciouses are trying to tell us
with each and every dream.
Psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber tells WebMD, "The meaning of our dreams oftentimes relates to things we are needing to understand about ourselves and the world around us."
And when I saw this exclusive list of important dream symbols that I should never ignore, I was blown away by how much my subconscious was telling me. How could so much be going on while I'm asleep?
Scroll through the list of surprising dream symbols below to see exactly what they mean.
Which of these all-important symbols have you dreamed about? Let us know in the comments!
Concealment, secrets, and disappointment
If you dream about boxes, your subconscious is trying to reach out to you about concealment. Either you may fear that there is something important that is being hidden from you, or you may be keeping a secret from others around you.
Even more than that, if you open a box in your dream, it may be your way of saying that you are ready to reveal a secret.
And if you look inside the box to find it empty, you are likely experiencing feelings of disappointment in your life.
Lack of control, danger, and anxiety
A very common dream is one in which the person feels like they are falling. This may be your subconscious's way of telling you that things are getting way too out of control in your life.
You may be afraid of failure or that some of your riskier life choices may be coming back to bite you in the end.
If falling is a recurring symbol in your dreams, it is probably a good indicator that you need to focus on anxiety-fighting activities in your day-to-day life, such as meditation or yoga.
Femininity, spirituality, and power
Whether or not you are a cat-lover in your waking life shouldn't matter; cats can appear as a powerful symbol in anyone's dreams.
Your subconscious may be telling you to get further in touch with your feminine side. This can easily be accomplished through a deepening of your relationships with females.
There is a large amount of power associated with femininity. It may just be time to embrace that confidence. This may even lead to a sort of personal spiritual awakening.
Aging, appearance, and health
For many people who have experienced dreams involving teeth, they may have felt something much more akin to a nightmare, with their teeth either breaking or falling out.
Teeth symbolize a fear of getting older, and possibly even death. A great way to combat this fear is by trying to live each day to the fullest, and by leading a positivity-driven life.
This may also be your subconscious telling you that you are too concerned about your appearance and not enough about your health. After all, it isn't about how you look so much as it is about how you feel.
Support, hard work, and irritation
On a very surface level, dreaming about bugs or ants may indicate that something has been irritating or "bugging" you in your day-to-day life. This can be your mind's way of telling you to address these problems head-on, rather than letting them build up over time.
Ants are also creatures that work together in all that they do. Dreaming about ants shows that you have a deep belief in working together to get things done.
It also means that you value the relationships you share with both friends and family.
Sexuality, status, and freedom
If you dream about hair, it is likely that you have some aspects of your physical relationships that you have to work out. Your subconscious may be telling you that it is time to embrace the more sexual side to your personality.
Hair also symbolizes a desire to connect with other people, so long as you know your status. You prefer to know exactly where you stand in relation to others — both at work and in relationships.
And if you specifically dream about long hair, you are aspiring for a sense of freedom. It may just be time to remove those artificial restrictions you sometimes put on yourself.
Ambition, risk, and fluidity
Water shows that you are either a person who likes to take chances, or you aspire to take more chances. You have big goals, and your subconscious wants you to shoot for the moon.
Risk may seem scary, but your dreams indicate that you are likely ready to take a big risk in a new area of your life. This can be terrifying, but you can't get what you want unless you try.
If you dream about water, you also love when life feels fluid and easy. You long for the day when life is both simple and comfortable.
Boldness, release, and positivity
While many of us might wish we could fly, even more people have actually dreamed that they could. Flying shows that you are ready to make bold choices in your life.
There are a lot of pressures that come from the daily grind — either in your relationships or at work — and you seek some kind of release. You not only wish you could fly away from your problems, but you wish you could fly above them.
Keeping a positive attitude and making strong choices will both help you to gain this much-needed release.