Stress can manifest itself in funny ways. Sometimes it shows its ugly face as a headache. Other times it makes its presence known by sending you into a midday nap. For the 80% of people stressing about work, it often shows up in dreams about work.
It's bad enough that you spend all day at work, but to come home and dream about it? Ick. Nothing sends you into a mid-morning panic like waking up from "that dream" where you're naked. But, do these dreams actually mean anything? Actually, they do!
Defining Common Dreams About Work
Dreams come in a number of forms. We're all different, after all. Despite this, there are some common dreams about work that tend to get mentioned more often than others.
If you're one of the lucky ones that happens to dream about work, it's likely you've had one of the following dreams. Let's see what they mean so we can put them to work for us!
The Dreaded Naked Dream
If you thought your naked in the classroom dreams were a thing of the past, they kind of are. Unfortunately, dreaming about being naked at work is a real possibility.
It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable situation than being naked at work. It should come as no surprise then, that this dream can actually be revealing some insecurities you're having about a new role or responsibility at work.
Put some clothes on this dream by speaking to a mentor and clearing up those insecurities or worries.
Dreams of Mundane Tasks
Every job has mundane tasks. If you're dreaming of stapling papers, filing emails, or sealing envelopes, there's a chance you simply care about your job. (Hey, that's a good thing!)
To prevent this dream from cropping up again and again, try making a to-do list for the following day before you punch out. This can help your mind rest easy at night.
Running Late to Work
You're supposed to be in the office in five minutes and there's an hour-long line of traffic ahead of you.
Dreaming about being late at work is a horribly stressful way to start the day. If you're having this dream, you're likely stressing over a potentially missed opportunity. Take heed and set goals for yourself. Also, consider talking to your boss about other areas you'd like to learn about within the company.
The Missing Bathroom
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse than being naked in the workplace, along comes the dream of the missing bathroom. In this dream you feel the urge to use the restroom, but it's nowhere to be found.
This likely means your needs at work aren't being met. Think about your overall feelings on your job and determine if you're happy. If you feel you're being underpaid, under-appreciated, or simply feel unsatisfied, it might be time for a job shift.
Returning to an Old Office
Ah, that job of yesteryear that you loved so dearly. It's not uncommon to dream about an old job you held at one point. This could be good or bad, as this kind of dream likely means something about your current job is reminisce of your old job.
Take stock of your current behaviors and habits and make sure you're not slipping into an old habit you left at a previous job. It's possible you're simply reminiscing, but it never hurts to be careful!
Keep Dreaming: More Work Dreams to Look For
Dreams about work aren't all bad. In fact, some of them can be a lot of fun. Still, it never hurts to take a step back and think about what a dream might be trying to tell you.
Sometimes dreams are just nonsense, leftovers from a wild late night episode of TV you watched. Other times they're something in our subconscious trying to get us to wake up and fix something.
To help you get the most out of your work dreams, Sleep Advisor has created this visual on work dreams, their meanings, and what you can do with them to better your career. With these tips you can make your work dreams work for you. Keep dreaming, worker bees!