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Dream symbolism - able to breathe underwater

In real life the dreamer had been very stressed out the day before. Try to see what symbols could indicate stress in this dream.

THE DREAM I am in some sort of factory-turned-prison. I seem to be some sort of prisoner. There are a lot of people, all dressed in a gray uniform, and with no particular leader. Most everything is gray except for some countertops a friend who is my guard. He is trying to find a way to set me free without getting himself in trouble. He manages to "lose me" in some sort of hallway, but to keep from getting in trouble he eventually has to alert the others and a chase ensues. He captures me and everyone is very proud of him. Next we (everyone - me, my friend, all the people in gray) go into a flooded part of the facility, where some sort won't be able to stay underwater much longer. I am a smoker, so I know my lung capacity is not that good. But somehow I stay underwater for quite a long time, swimming away from the crowd and toward my freedom. Then I realize that I am breathing underwater, that

GUESSWORK The dreamer woke up after a Saturday afternoon nap. She had been suffering great stress at work and felt that this could easily be the cause of the dream.

ASSOCIATIONS AND DREAM SYMBOLISM The dreamer made the following associations with the dream.
1. The dreamer woke up with a strange pressurized feeling like she was screaming inside. She associated this with the pressure she had been feeling at work.
2. The dreamer also felt the need to do the right thing during the dream. This reminded her of her own need to do the right thing at work.
3. The dreamer associated the need to escape in the dream with her own need to escape stress at work.
4. Symbolically prisons can relate to real life situations where we feel trapped. Work restricts us and traps as we have to do certain things.
5. Breathing underwater shows great control. So perhaps this connects to the dreamers wish to gain control over something. To overcome her feelings of stress perhaps.

THE ANALYSIS Using the guesswork the dream seems to deal with the following themes.
- Prison. The dreamer felt unable to escape some situation.
- Breathing: A need to gain control and relax.
- An overwhelming sense of stress.

If you weave together these different themes and relate them to this key issue of work stress then we find the dream captures the following thought - "I really cannot unwind. The work stress is really getting to me. I really have to learn to deal with this much better."

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The definitions on this website are based upon real dreams. If you feel like you have a dream which you understand then please feel free to email it to me at