This is such a common dream and has been answered hundreds of times, we first ask you to look through the many answers given in Drowning – Many Replies Hopefully you will find an answer to your own drowning dream

Because of the water, drowning depicts fear of being overwhelmed by difficult emotions or anxieties, so it often points to struggles – conflicts – or fighting for survival you may have in your life. But this might apply not to dangerous emotions or urges, but to natural urges such as eating, loving or sex, that some people have enormous conflicts with. Drowning in a dream is also about struggling to survive as a person, so it applies to your identity as it is dealing with relationship with other people, but also with your own internal world of instincts, body activities and needs.

But the feelings of being overwhelmed can be caused by fear or anxiety. But if we can, we can meet and dissolve these. For whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear. So all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

So in dreams you cannot drown, but fear takes away your confidence, so then you go through the agonised emotions of drowning.

This is about being or feeling overwhelmed by something. One can ‘drown’ in sorrow for instance. So you need to look at your waking life to see what you are feeling threatened or burdened by and see if there are ways you can deal with it. If someone else actually drowns in the dream it may mean some of your feelings, your creativity and responsiveness are no longer ‘alive’. But they can be brought back to life if you care for that side of yourself. Sometimes it is simply anxiety we drown in, and much of anxiety is about situations we imagine. Separating what is imagined from what is real can help this. See Characters and People in Dreams

But such fear can be caused because if un-dealt with traumas from childhood are not faced, or by being exposed to awful film images that you believe are real. Read  and Martial Art of the Mind

If you feel you are struggling to you ‘keep your head above water’ in a dream, do not give in for it is only emotions you are facing, not reality.

Water and drowning often indicates you are facing the unknown changes and so are afraid. But in dreams we can never die or even be hurt, for we wake without real hurt except for our feelings.

Going under water in a dream depicts you are going deeper into your awareness, so you are beginning to explore your unconscious. That is a major step in your development and is an evolutionary advance. It can lead to many major new abilities such as a wider awareness of life around you. A person describes one of the possible changes, “Unexpectedly everything changed and my fundamental self was something that existed throughout all time. It didn’t have a beginning or end. There was no goal to achieve. I am.”

Dreamt about someone else: May occasionally show Your apprehension about their health or well being, having the suggestion of death or breakdown.

Example: ‘I fell into a pond. My brother was frightened to be by himself so he jumped in. We were both drowning in the water and we shouted out for Mum. My brother drowned.’ Poppy S.

Poppy dreamt this while feeling insecure and anxious due to her father being seriously ill.

Example: I had been dreaming about sitting on a sofa with my friends – well watching horror movies, when suddenly everything comes to live. I was afraid of the ghost that had been drowning with her husband in the movie, and it comes to haunt me. I asked the ghost’s sister to help and she passes me a necklace with can protect me. And suddenly the ghost appears and tells my friend she was pretty. What does this means?

It means that you need to understand how your mind works. It means that you have nothing to fear about ghosts. As the ghost that appeared showed you, there was no harm in it. Dream images are like images on cinema screens – harmless unless you are haunted by your own fears. But the dream also shows you that whatever you believe in becomes a fact and alive in our dreams. It mean that the necklace gave you confidence, and in fact the necklace is only a crutch for your confidence. But we need such things until we can deal with our own emotions. See Facing Fear

Idioms: drown your sorrow; if you’re born to hang, you won’t drown.

Useful questions:

What powerful emotions or changes am I dealing with?

Am I feeling overwhelmed by something?

Can I define the strengths and ways I use to deal with threatening feelings?

Do I feel as if I am ‘drowning’ in a situation or relationship?

What is it I am feeling overwhelmed by recently?

Is this someone else drowning – if so what facet of me do they represent?

What resource or person could help me survive in this situation?

Another person or animal drowning still suggests it is an aspect of your own personality you need to care for.

Whoever or whatever it is, imagine yourself back in the dream and save them. If necessary imagine rescue services coming to your aid. In doing this you are using imagery to shift your feelings and anxieties.

All water in some way signifies your own inner world of feelings, but the sea often suggests meeting urges and wisdom lying beyond the boundary of your conscious mind. What is it you feel in the sea or river? Try putting it into words.

See Associations Working With; Techniques for Exploring your Dreams; Avoid Being Victims; Secrets of Power Dreaming



-Ree 2018-06-19 7:17:03

I had a dream that my two babies, 3 and 1 were taken away from me by some unknown someone of authority. “They” were going to drown my babies in a cage in a pool. My babies were very calm and i did not want them to realize they would be separated from me or in danger. So, i gave up and walked into a nearby building, in hopes that my babies would fall asleep and not suffer, or call for me when I was unable to save them. One of my other children tried to frantically to leave the building to save the babies, but i stopped him and begged him not to upset them because they had no idea what was going on.
I woke up very upset about the feelings and thoughts the dream left me with. My first question was, “WHY didn’t I fight to the death to save them? Why did i just give up?” Second thought was why my other child had more sense to try to save them than I did– but i stopped him because i did not want to watch/ hear them screaming for me/ suffering.
I’m understanding drowning conveys the feeling of being overwhelmed… but i can’t understand when reliving my dream what i’m overwhelmed by. My love for them?
I can’t even speak of this dream without it evoking overwhelming feelings resulting in me crying.

    -Tony Crisp 2018-06-22 12:21:49

    Dear Ree – Nearly always when people dream about someone they know or a strange new person or situation they automatically believe the dream is about that person, situation, or animal. But it is usually our thoughts or feelings that are portrayed as the person or even the animal; for when we think of our friend or partner our thoughts are not them – just our thoughts and feelings about them.

    To understand what this means for you please realise that dreams often use babies or young children to represent something that happened to you about that age that caused a trauma. Also the dream process tries to bring such tremendous emotions up to the surface so that you can release and understand them.

    Here is a woman’s experience who did not repress her emotions but opened to them using https://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

    “What came about was that I twirled my body around in circles and left my arms and shoulders very relaxed, so my arms floated just a little bit away from my body as I went around. As I did this, I had a memory come to me from when I was a little 4, 5, 6 year old girl. My mother would encourage us to spin ourselves around, faster and faster, until eventually we fell to the floor, and sometimes crashed into the wall and/or bumped heads with one another. This hurt! However, my mother found great pleasure in this; she would laugh and say, do it again.
    And then I was holding myself and I imagine comforting the child inside me who learned that in order to make the person you love happy, it is OK to be hurt. That isn’t worded especially well, but that’s what I came up with.”

    If you let the crying you feel when thinking about the dream, deepen with the understanding that it will explain itself if you do not repress the hurt you might feel.

-Kirstie 2018-06-12 11:44:00

I keep dreaming about losing someone in the cold snowy water I can’t help then it’s adults sometimes an children other times but I always see them lieing in ice cold water similar dreams for the last 5 nights its making me not want to go to sleep whay does it mean

    -Tony Crisp 2018-06-14 9:00:47

    Kirstie – What do you think it meant if someone said you were a cold person? Well, Google says, “The main meaning of chilly is cold, but this word is often used for emotions too, just like “warm.” A warm person is loving and kind, but a chilly person is unemotional, distant, and quiet.”

    But your dream isn’t saying that exactly, but suggests that at some point in your life a part of you was frozen and so doesn’t respond any more.

    As to what you can do about it – well the ways do have a great power of healing and personal growth. This is because you are not just a physical body. Your internal nature can become stiff and aching through lack of activity, just as your body does, so try this simple one.

    Contraction and Expansion

    Take the idea first of contraction, then expansion.

    This is to do with fundamental life processes. If you watch your chest for a while you will observe its contractions and expansions in breathing. Your heart too constantly contracts and expands. Sleeping and waking contract and expand consciousness. Life and death are an expansion and contraction. Perhaps even the universe goes through such a cycle.

    1 – Create and stand in your space – with or without music.

    2 – Observe for a minute or so the contraction and expansion of your chest. As you do so allow the feeling of letting yourself drop more fully into the contraction and emptiness. Contraction might also be defined as giving up, feeling empty of any urge to do anything, dropping out of social activity. Allow your body to find its own spontaneous expression of this in posture, movement, and even sound if there is an urge to do so.

    3 – If you find it difficult to find a spontaneous posture of contraction, try kneeling on the floor and going down into a heap or curling up in a ball. This is a position of contraction.

    4 – As you go into your expression of contraction hold in mind that you will wait in the contraction to see if any urge toward expansion occurs. This may take time, or not happen at all, so be willing to wait.

    5 – Explore how your body as a whole contracts. What does this mean as far as a posture or movement is concerned? What does it feel like inside? What does it mean in your life?

    6 – If movements and feelings arise leading to expansion, go along with them. Just observe and let yourself take in what arises.

    7 – If there are conflicts or painful memories holding you in one of the attitudes – contraction or expansion – these will be discharged during the practice

    Using the way of expansion and contraction heals any area of your being locked in one or the other of these opposites. The practice enables you to learn to move easily in and out of these opposites that play such a big part in life. If you are stuck in an expansionary attitude, then the practice will balance you – or vice versa.

-feli 2018-05-30 14:58:45

i had a dream where i was watching the little mermaid, but only the part where ariel goes to eric’s ship part, and then the ship gets struck with lightning and eric (the prince) falls into the water. i’m still watching as ariel is swimming to save eric, but suddenly i turn into eric and i’m drawing and i can’t breathe or move, and i wake up ik sleep paralysis.

    -Tony Crisp 2018-05-31 8:55:19

    Feli – Your dream is about a loving relationship that ends in tragedy.

    You turn into Eric, and in dreams that means you try to understand where the relationship will develop. I don’t know whether is was a prediction or your fear, but the end was paralysis and difficulty in breathing, showing enormous anxiety. Try using https://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson

-Dee 2018-05-20 12:11:40

I had a dream I was with a friend, I don’t really remember who it was and we were checking rooms of people. (I’m not a nurse orcode to it) and for some reason I can’t remember, she drowned and killed one of the patients in the tub. Nobody really noticed for days when they went to check on him. I don’t know that patient either

-Biswajit Halder 2018-04-21 21:03:59

Hello sir

    -Tony Crisp 2018-04-22 8:34:51

    Biswajit – Hello to you too. Did you want to ask something?


-Rozaan 2018-02-20 2:46:38

I was walking with my family in a unfamiliar surrounding,, but the area where they drowned in my dream looked a lot like a place in our hometown but anyways,, there were some stairs, a long walk way to other stairs to where our car was parked and a high wall which the waves were crashing into very violently,, i walked first and being the youngest was at the end fast before a wave can catch me,, but as i turned around i can see the distressed looks on my mom and sisters faces as they are smashed into the wall everytime by a wave. They screamed and didnt know what to do because they were so weak. I felt frustrated that they wouldnt run. I tried reaching out but i couldnt get them. I woke up after that. I know it is not completely drowning but i didnt know where else to look and i am very frightened by this dream. Its the first nightmare ive had in months that i could remember, and it was so vividly violent.

    -Tony Crisp 2018-02-20 13:00:56

    Hi – It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/news/summing-up/ and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.

    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson or http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Rozaan – You are reacting to your dream as if it were happening in the waking world. But whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

    So there was nothing to fear from the waves. But of course the dream suggests that you are terrified of being separated from your parents.

    Example: Now the preparations have ended and I am to go off alone up the mountains to meet whatever waits for me there. Now it feels as if something is flowing into my body. I am now experiencing a state or condition that has been very marked or strong in my life lately. My being was the waves. I was myself waves of rippling sparkling radiance. At the same time my awareness could switch back to what was happening with my body, and it was shaking, vibrating with energy flowing through it. As this happened it really seemed as if my body was being absorbed into the energy. This felt to me as if my body was melting and becoming part of the emptiness that was rippling through me, that was me. The great waves of life were absorbing my personality.

    That is what you could have felt if you were not so frightened of your feelings. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/

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