The experience of dreams is different for everyone. Whether you’re on the red carpet with a celebrity, on a galactic adventure, or running from dinosaurs, every dream has a different potential interpretation. While these dreams may seem like random thoughts, they are a product of your subconscious, and the dreams are the mind’s way of presenting its feelings to you. The crazy situations your mind puts you in during your dreams act as a transition to the deeper meaning behind them. Realizing this meaning and applying it to your life can relieve stress.

Your brain’s attempts to communicate with you can be displayed in dreams through several methods, one of which being displacement. Feeling upset in a dream towards a harmless object or person is a common example, symbolizing something in your life that is truly bothering you. Another method of subconscious communication is projection- dreaming about someone disliking you in a dream, when in reality, you dislike them. These encounters in dreams can make you think about your relationships with others and realize how you truly feel.

Dreams don’t always consist of interpersonal interaction like the two examples listed above. Often, they contain strange situations that are unlikely to occur in reality. For example, if you have a dream about falling, it could mean that something in your life isn’t going well, and the falling in your dream is a symbol for you wanting to let go of the unsettling feelings.

Other scary dreams, such as being chased, could mean that you’re trying to avoid something in your life. Whether it be a person, activity, or opportunity, your mind is trying to bring it to your attention. However, there are different meanings depending on the details of the dream. If you’re being chased by an animal, it might indicate that you’re hiding from your own anger, passion, or other suppressed feelings. If you’re being chased by an unknown chaser, it might symbolize a childhood experience or past trauma.

Some events in dreams are able to have multiple meanings, like dreams about losing teeth. While this is an oddly specific experience, it could mean that you’re worried about appearances, or that you’re concerned about your ability to communicate.

Death in dreams can be very unsettling, and could represent a feeling of anxiety about change or fear of the unknown. In juxtaposition, it has also been rumored that death in dreams could represent an uplifting feeling about letting go of something that does not serve you anymore, or in other words has “died.” Other lighthearted dream events, such as flying, can indicate feelings of freedom or independence, or a desire to escape from the realities of life.

One common dream situation is your significant other being unfaithful to you. While some peoples’ first reactions are to question their partner out of fear that it’s happening in real life, these dreams merely suggest that there’s a lack of trust or communication in your relationship. “If you or your partner cheated in a dream, one of you isn’t getting what they need from that relationship right now,” Eve Adamson and Gayle Williamson write, authors of The Complete Idiot’s Guide Dream Dictionary.

We often wake up from these dreams feeling an emotional reaction to what we experienced inside it. However, if we take the time to interpret what the events in our dreams may symbolize, it can help us relieve some of our everyday stress and realize things that we were hiding from ourselves.