Dreams about being Chased: Meanings, Symbolism and Interpretations

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dreams about being chased

Your dreams have a funny way of telling you about your life. It’s a cartoonish biopic full of wonky images and cameo appearances. When you’re being chased, it’s a preview of your current dreams. The same story if you’re in avoidance mode, in fear, or a giant stress ball right now.

Let’s try to release some tension and chase down other meanings.

The phenomenon of being chased in dreams

While every dream is personal, there are common themes and scenarios we can look at for greater insight.

Common scenarios of being chased in dreams

Panic and terror — felt at its most intense level. Be it an animal or a person tagging you, you can’t help but react in fright.  

Can’t seem to outrun them — The faster you think you’re running, the closer they’re tailgating your arse.  

Snail pace — This one is common. You’re running but can’t get traction because your feet feel molasses.  

Smudgy face — I call it the Monet effect. When you get close to his paintings, what’s clear is how unclear or vague his figures look. Nobody wants to be chased by that!  

Stranger danger — The most common one is being chased by a stranger. When it happens, your heart pumps, and adrenaline rushes. The same intensity you get as if in a car chase.

The frequency of chase dreams

So why are dreams about being chased so common?

Consider it a simulation of your day-to-day, a file of your experiences and how you feel and cope.

Your dreams usually replicate the more stressful times because of their shock value. It tends to knock you down and disrupt your natural rhythm.

Given the symbols and meanings mentioned and how they relate to our daily grind, it makes sense, right?

Life is made of routines and not just the concrete stuff. I’m referring to the choices you make every day and the stress that can sometimes come with it. You have daily reactions to everything.

Fear is common. Anxiety lingers. You’re avoiding something in some form, including food, desires, a vice, etc. I knew someone who was chased down by a slice of pizza. True story. —in a dream sense. It’s a funny take, but the deeper meaning signals a hunger for an equal share.

The point is that because being chased in a dream relates to your day-to-day vibe, it can be a biopic clip of daily life. A bizarro reality shows your response, your unchecked needs, or the people, places, and things that overwhelm you. When you stop to think about it, you’re always chasing and avoiding something.

Interpreting dreams about being chased

Now that we have a better understanding of dreams about being chased, let’s explore the different interpretations associated with them. Keep in mind that dreams are highly subjective, and the meaning can vary depending on the individual.

What does being chased in a dream mean?

Let’s all agree that being chased in a dream can get us shaken.  

The question is why we have them.

Let’s break it down.

• Unresolved Conflicts — Your mind is one big data of experiences. Your reactions, how you feel, what you want, and sometimes forgetting why it’s even in around. Being chased in your dreams can tell you the reason, meanings, and what’s involved.

It can be as serious as an unresolved argument with a bestie or something as lax as being hot and bothered over that barista at your local café.

• Emotional distress — running away from how you feel, I would say, is more common than owning it. Maybe you’re anxious about that new job or event. I get it. Taking the plunge into the unknown is risky business!  

• Overwhelmed — by work, others, a commitment. Is someone holding you down, yet you’re not quite ready to put a ring on it? It’s also possible to catch the feels for someone, and you don’t know how to handle it. You like them so much you want to punch them! No, never happened?  

• Choices, choices, and more choices — We live in a Netflix-type world. Options are endless with career path choices on what social platform to focus on. There’s so much distraction and noise.

I don’t have to tell you dating apps have made things more complicated. Choice paralysis is a thing, and that could very much play in a chase scene.

Different chasers, different meanings

• Animals — In dream theory, animals represent your carnal instincts and raw desires. You could be afraid to express yourself or ask for what you need. You could also see it as avoiding someone because you don’t feel them.

A lion, for example, represents dominance. Sniff out who plays that role in your life. Is it that mother-in-law of yours?

• Someone close — Is your chaser a specific person? You might be avoiding something about them. Consider the type of relationship you have with them. Is it an intimate one? Maybe you’re avoiding the following commitment stage or a truth on a matter. You could also be fearful of something ending and avoid or deny it.  

• A boss — Because of what they represent in real life, the chase might relate to obligations and responsibilities at work. Something has power over you, and you’re not down with it. But you could also be running away from your own power.  

• Cops — This can have an immoral undertone to it. Guilt and regret can be something you don’t want to confront. You’re wrestling with doing right by others, society, or yourself. It could also be a desire to break free from a person, ideals, beliefs, or structures. Later skaters!  

• Stranger — This one is the most intense. An unknown figure can be a representation of your hidden personality. Parts of you that are not so nice, you’re fearful or ashamed of.

It also represents stress or fear itself. If you’re overwhelmed and not doing anything about it, it’s catching up to you.

The symbolism behind dreams of being chased

Man running away from people in the night city
Source: Istockphoto. Man running away from people in the night city

There’s always a literal take with your mind taking snapshots of real life. — a smoke signal for what’s going on internally, sometimes deeper than you realize. The mash-ups look random, but if you comb through them with a fine tooth, clarity can be yours.

Cultural perspectives on chase dreams

Let’s look at a few cultural perspectives around the globe.

The Chinese culture relates to being chased in a dream as troubling waters at home or work. If the animal is the chaser, it means you have some pent-up stuff— likely anger or resentment—to release.

African folklore takes it to a spiritual and predictive level. On this one, the optimist thought a chase was about pursuing a goal or desire. (Hmmm…getting hunted down by a big bag of chips is starting to make sense now.)

The gods are speaking to you according to the Greek belief. A warning of sorts. They wag their mighty fingers at you for avoiding your obligations and running away from responsibilities.

The dream is a smoke signal for breaking a moral code. Apparently, if you don’t make good, you might feel their godly wrath.

The role of fear and anxiety in chase dreams

Fear and anxiety are often prominent emotions in dreams about being chased. These powerful emotions can symbolize underlying fears, insecurities, or unresolved issues that we carry within ourselves.

By facing and exploring these feelings, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and work towards personal growth and emotional well-being.

Dreams about being chased can also serve as a reminder to address our anxieties and fears in our waking life. It’s essential to recognize and confront these emotions, seeking support and guidance when needed.

How to respond to dreams about being chased

Have you ever tried to turn around and confront your chaser? Look them dead in the eye? It’s an incredible feeling.

If it has yet to happen, it just means you’re not ready to face the meanings and symbols behind it. But if you’re prepared to feel the superhuman strength, here are some tips to consider.

Techniques for lucid dreaming

…and channelling your god-like abilities

Lucid dreaming is probably the closest thing to having superhuman power or embodying an actual god. If you’ve ever had one, you’ll know what I mean.

If not, this might help:

First off, what is it? And how do you know you’re in one?  

In a typical dream, you don’t know you’re dreaming. In a lucid scene, you’re aware that you are. You can control the situation—how you act— in a lucid dream. Flying at will is a common one.

According to the book The Alchemy of Dreams by Athena Laz, past research and dream experiments have made lucid dreaming legit. Medical experts like Keith Hearne proved it!

Let me share some insights and how it’s possible.

Two words: Mind control.

You’re own, of course, which takes place in your dream space.

But before you slip in, it helps to champion yourself like you would at the start of a competition. You can do it! You just have to put your mind to it. In this case, quite literally.

A lucid dream is pretty much your own fantasy in the making. With practice, you control your actions. You can do such things as levitate. Knock somebody out— useful when that chaser is a large beast!

You can generally change the course of a disturbing scene to your comfort. Having control of your dream is truly a wish fulfillment if you ask Freud.

It’s all about having will and that pep talk. What’s always worked for me is believing I will change the course of my dream if I have to. A slab of cockiness helps. Remember, you’re a god. Think like one.

But before you get overly confident…

Check in on your current state of being and the thoughts that flow in and out to get the most out of your magic fingers. I found that I was lucid dreaming continuously when I felt free and during the happier moments of my life.

That’s not to say you can’t achieve it when everything is not good. The lucid state is easier to reach when things are on an upswing. Think about when you fly; it’s cause things are in flow or nothing is weighing you down!

What else can lucid dreaming be for?

Taken from the pages of The Alchemy of Dreams:

  • It can help you get unstuck and transform yucky emotions.
  • It can physically heal
  • You can gain mastery and develop a new skill (Sweet!)
  • Buddhists have been practicing lucid dreaming for years to attain knowledge. So, it goes beyond controlling your actions. It can also be about sourcing authentic parts of yourself, buried gifts waiting to be discovered.

I’m not gonna lie; it takes practice, years of it. You can’t become a spirited bird overnight. Sorry! If you do, fill me in. Cause that would be the ultra god-like power.

Seeking professional help for recurring chase dreams

Recurring chasing dreams can be a ping to deeper issues. You might want to explore its content with a professional who can give you extensive expert insight.

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