Breath Breathing

Breathing links with being alive and in a normal state of awareness. The speed, ease or difficulty in breathing point to pace of life and your emotional state – i.e. peaceful or disturbed; holding on or releasing.

Different types of breathing link so fully with states of mind or altered states that dreams often show this in various ways. So the held breath can suggest anxiety or an attempt to be still. Fast breathing can link with excitement or effort. The held breath can also be a way of stepping out of ones normal awareness, as the following example shows and is often a way of avoiding feelings.

Example: Gliding from a mountain top. Then I am with Pat Brown, a girl friend I knew at school. I am lying on top of her holding her breasts. Then I was being led into rooms but avoiding them each time as I felt some sort of trap and threatened imprisonment. To avoid being caught I take a deep breath and this caused me to fly up into the air and away.

Breathing in – Inhaling: Taking in something or someone; absorbing an influence; absorbing life. To absorb something, to take into your thoughts or experience, to consider, or to accept mentally.

Breathing something in: We often associate breathing things in with anaesthesia or smoking, and therefore with powerful influences entering us.

Fast breathing: Excitement; emotional release; experience of fear. Also stimulates our whole being in some way and can lead to emotional release in some cases.

Holding the breath: Expression of will. We breath-hold when repressing emotions and anxiety, but it may at times be a means of experiencing the non-breathing and deep absorption of life in the womb. the slow breath; the breath of life.

Struggling for breath: This usually relates to great fear or the feeling that existence is a struggle to survive. It can also link with feelings that you are being smothered or overwhelmed in a relationship or situation.

Under water and not breathing: Womb like state; experience of level of awareness without sexual, biological drives, and without opposites; return to deep relaxation – healthy if you can easily emerge. Might be an escape from waking reality if you cannot. See: lungs; air.

Example: ‘I was getting married. I could hardly breathe, I was in a room with my brother and I was really terrified.

Example: I started by considering the recent nightmare of the ‘thing’ at the foot of my bed. Gradually I began to feel tense throughout my body, with difficulty in breathing. The touch of death was like a disease though. Once touched the disease was incurable and gradually took over ones body. I could hardly breathe as I experienced this, and I understood the sort of emotions that might lie beneath asthma attacks. This struggle with death went on for some time.

Idioms: breath of fresh air: bad breath; bated breath; breath of wind: don’t hold your breath; out of breath; under my breath.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What does the state or type of my breathing suggest, and can I link that with my life experience?

Is anybody else involved in what is happening with my breathing, if so in what way, what relationship?

Am I breathing something in? If so what is the influence of it suggested in the dream, and can I recognise that influence.

Try Techniques for Working your Dreams; Talking As; Processing Dreams


-Kate 2017-08-16 8:13:01

Just to say a huge thank you for building this wonderful resource. I’ve been logging my dreams pretty much daily and your advice has helped me to attempt to read and understand them. It is like having a thesaurus to hand at any one time. I marvel at what a huge amount of work you have done for us all 🙂

-Melanie 2016-03-28 17:06:23

I sometimes have dreams something is holding me tight and I can’t breathe. Sometimes its something unknd or mean. Then after I say, Help me Jesup 3 times I’m released.

-Nena 2016-03-08 8:29:49

So, I’ve been having dreams reasontly. I normally only have dreams when they are important. I don’t claim to be a phorphet, just a danm seer. Do you know how annoying that can be? I reaaaaaallllllyyyy hate it, but that’s not my biggest issue here. Nope, not at all. My issue is I’ve had three danm dreams in a row. I’m not sure of the other two dreams, I try to forget them. The same problem raise in all three though. I’ll tell about the dream to night, but I really want to know if my struggle to breath in it should be worrying.
It starts out as, I think, some type of show. I am with a group, I guess my friends. Something went wrong and someone in our group is accused of creating. I find out I’m Naruto Uzimake from the anime, Naruto, whitch is wired cus when I’m awake, I’m a girl! There’s a lot of danm running, I don’t really know why. I think I’m running from someone, but I never see who. Well after a while, things calm down and I talk to some friends. Well, I want one on one time with the friend who cheated. So, I go into a privet room where I’m told we have to where these headphones to hear and talk into microphones. A girl’s brought in, but she’s not the same person who was caught. She’s someone I admire, like even. I tell her she’s as beautiful as the moon. Of course, ever since I stepped in the room, I’ve had a hard time breathing, yet it doesn’t affect my speech. I tell her that in a way, she inspired me. That even though she failed and ran off, I was inspired by a friend not to not give up. Next thing I know, the seen changes and I’m watching Neji Huugia take down these guys and explain how they where gonna kidnap me. Than, I wake, breathing normally and it’s only been an hour and some odd minutes that I’ve been asleep. Anything you can tell me?

-LIsa 2015-10-09 5:00:51

I also used to talk in my sleep loud enough to wake myself up, a few times I would continue talking until I realize I was sleeping, I don’t seem to do that anymore.

-LIsa 2015-10-09 4:58:54

I have had dreams where I cannot breath and in need of help, I wake up in a panic. Real or stress??

-Aaron 2015-08-27 4:20:28

Drempt of holding my breath and waiting for this kid to come up to me and pop a balloon between our chests. It was like a game,which there is a game like this I’ve seen before. I couldnt hold it any longer and exhaled and was angry at the kid cause we couldn’t pop the balloon. Others scenes I saw my deceased friend with no shirt and a open wound on his back. Then I saw that it started to snow out the window and I said oh its snowing. In august! I got my phone out to

-Isabelle 2014-12-16 15:37:32

Hello! I recently had a dream where I was breathing really shallowly and somebody was telling me to take deeper breaths. The voice sounded like my own, like I was commanding myself. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not take deeper breaths.
I was wondering what you might interpret this as?
Thank you very much!

-Kenneth Roy Livingston 2011-05-13 1:32:26

I was just curious about dreams I have about being deep in the ocean. I usually when I have these dreams am sitting cross legged at the bottom of the ocean and when I come to in the dream or out of meditative state and find I am underwater I remember that to breathe underwater is as easy as above and I get up and stroll under the water. I can feel the waves as they pass by my body under the depths but they are not forcefull and do not push me this way or that. I find myself calm and relaxed just like on a very peaceful relaxed and mindful day. There are fish and dolphins and whales and as I walk I see an old sunken ship or old underwater cities at times there are reptile featured people with webbed feet and toes under the water as well. It is quite dark but I’m not uncomfortable and I find it quite soothing. I usually stroll for a while thinking about all the discoveries I will share with the world about the realities of what has been lost under the oceans of the world over time, and that I desire to continue and do the research for the literal benefit of the people of the world and the co-habitation of life on land and undersea. The thing about the dream is that it seems lucid and the things I am looking to discover or cities etc that I want to find are fact based and not metaphorical within the dream.

What do you think this may mean?

    -Tony Crisp 2011-05-19 11:53:39

    Kenneth – I am not certain that what you discover is real in the waking world. To find out you would need to give an indication of position of a city or have some other tangible evidence.

    But I do know that all dreams are fact based – though maybe not in an exterior way. They are facts of your inner possibilities or potential. So if nothing else you are wandering around in your unconscious and are discovering links with who you are and your past. The discoveries are a reflection of realities, but they need to be made into real insights. For instance an icon on your computer desktop is only a link with what is underneath it and the real functions it indicates. So, I believe that if you entered into what you see it could be a wonderful and extraordinary experience. See and see if you can experience any breakthroughs.


    -Nena 2016-03-08 8:39:17

    I’ve had a dream kinda like that. Though, I didn’t find myself ‘waking’ underwater. More like, I ‘woke’ on land than some crazy stuff happened, I had to safe someone and found I could breath underwater. My experience was anything but pleasant though. I swam through a ship. There were cages. Dead people in them, except the last one. It wasn’t human, and it wasn’t dead. I think I woke than. At the end of that year, someone I called grandfather, but wasn’t related to me started having problems and went into a small coma. He later died. I’m hoping they weren’t at all linked.

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