Before you shake your head and say that dreams have no impact on your waking life, think again. Scientists have found that they can actually affect our daytime behavior.
In research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, a team of U.S. and British researchers found a link between particular events in dreams and later real-world interactions with our significant others. Other past studies have also found that dreams can influence our actions and emotional state the next day.
So what does it mean if you dream about money? In dreams, money can reflect everything from perceived power and energy to resourcefulness and even self-esteem, says Kelly Sullivan Walden, author of “It’s All In Your Dreams.” We asked her and two other dream experts to analyze the most common money-related dreams and here are the top 5 answers.
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1. What Does it Mean When You Dream About Winning Money?
Before you chalk it up to just wishful thinking, dream expert Anna-Karin Bjorklund, author of “Dream Guidance: Interpret Your Dreams and Create the Life You Desire!” suggests that the “winning” feeling could relate to other aspects of your life you have good feelings about, such as being lucky in love.
“This is when you have the power to attract what you really want in life,” Bjorklund says. “It may not literally mean a lottery payout, but rather you can expect to attract more positive energy and winning opportunities your way.”
She also recommends capitalizing on how you felt when you were asleep.
“I call this a wish-fulfillment dream,” she says. “Take advantage of this amazing feeling you had and bring this confidence with you into your daily life.”
2. What Does it Mean When You Dream About Finding Money?
In your dream, you’re walking down the street and you find a $100 bill stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Or you try on an old coat you had stored for years in the attic and discover a wad of $20 bills in one of the pockets. Just because these scenarios happened in slumber and not real life, don’t despair.
“If you dream of finding money in your own purse or wallet, this may represent a renewed sense of self-appreciation, self-worth and the ability to value the essential aspects of your life that you may have previously taken for granted,” says Walden. “If the money you dream of finding isn’t yours, then perhaps you are receiving credit for something that you doubt you deserve.”
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3. What Does it Mean When You Dream Losing Money?
Lost money in a dream? At least it was only a dream, right? Not so fast, says Bjorklund. This sort of theme may suggest it is time to reassess your financial health.
“If you dream of losing money, it may be a reflection of how you currently feel about your financial situation in daily life,” she says. “You may be experiencing some financial setbacks right now.”
If you’ve had this dream even though you’ve been feeling particularly flush lately, Bjorklund points out an alternative reading to suggest a different kind of loss.
“It may also be a way for you to vent any unconscious fears you may be having about losing other aspects of yourself as well, such as your own self-worth, power and not being successful enough. Your emotions in the dream can help you uncover unconscious feelings.”
4. What Does it Mean When You Dream About of Giving Money Away to Others?
If you dream about giving money away, approach these kinds of dreams as a way to better understand how you feel on the subconscious level about your own cash flow. The key to interpretation is identifying your emotional state of mind when you doled out the cash.
“If you feel uncomfortable and stressed about giving your money away, you may be fearful of losing prosperity in daily life or perhaps feel like you’re giving away too much of your funds,” says Bjorklund. “This type of dream can help you process those ‘poverty’ feelings and develop a healthier attitude to whatever situation you are facing.”
But giving money away doesn’t always feel bad. In some instances, it can make us happy.
“If on the other hand, you are feeling happy to be able to share your money, this is probably a good indication that you are feeling prosperous in life, with an inner knowing that you are in a constant flow of abundance.”
5. What Does it Mean to Dream of Being Harassed by Bill Collectors?
Dream expert Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, author of “Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life” says there are two ways to understand these dreams (or nightmares).
“See if the dream is stating the obvious,” she says. “In this case, are you behind on a debt? If so, your inner self is so concerned about it [that] it won’t leave you alone until you handle the issue.”
If you’re free from debt in real life but experiencing this kind of scenario in your sleep, then explore alternative subconscious messages.
“Ask yourself what else has been nagging at you lately, because harassment in a dream is often due to the fact that you are harassing yourself over something you know needs to be taken care of,” Loewenberg says. “Remember, money in dreams is often about your own self worth and value. Perhaps this dream is connected to the fact that you owe someone a favor or someone keeps asking you for favors and you’ve had enough!”
All the experts agree: Once you rectify the tension in real life, you can expect sweet dreams at night.