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What Does It Mean When You Dream About Being Chased?

by | Mar 14, 2023

  • Dreams about being chased can mean you are avoiding something or someone in real life.
  • Confronting sources of stress in your waking life can help to prevent dreams of being chased.
  • Being chased in a dream activates your “flight” response caused by something threatening.

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Being chased in a dream can be frightening. You run from something or someone, and you muster all your strength and power to escape it. You wake up, catch your breath, and feel your heart pounding. It’s a dream no one wants to have, but according to therapist and dream expert Leslie Ellis, being chased is the most common theme.

This kind of dream can be uncomfortable and scary, but understanding what it could mean can help you ease your anxiety when you wake up. Learning common dream symbolisms can also help you apply the significance in real life.

In this article, we’ll talk about the general symbolisms of dreams of being chased, what common dreams could mean, and whether or not they can be prevented.

General Symbolism of Dreams of Being Chased

A dream where you are being chased can be terrifying but never take your dream literally. There are meanings behind your dreams that come from your subconscious. Your brain is telling you something that is not readily available in your conscious mind, and because of this, you need to pay attention to your dreams.

A dream of yourself being chased can seem negative but understanding the general symbolisms and common interpretations can help you make sense of it.

General symbolism of this kind of dream includes avoidance of an issue in your life, being close-minded, running away from yourself, a fear of something, anxiety or stress in your waking life, or a pending problem your subconscious sees coming.

By understanding common interpretations, dreaming of being chased will no longer be as frightening as it may seem.

Common Dreams About Being Chased

This section will discuss the most common dreams about being chased and what they could mean. However, it must be noted that the accurate interpretation of dreams will always be personal. For some people, being chased can be frightening, but for others, it may be calming.

To get an accurate interpretation of your dreams, you need to look at your current situation in life, issues you may be facing, and other concerns you have and relate them to the general symbolisms and meanings of this dream.

1. Being Chased by Someone

If someone is chasing you, you may be experiencing heightened stress in your life. If the person is a stranger, you may feel threatened in your waking life, but you don’t know by what or by whom.

If you are being chased by a person you know; you may be avoiding this person in real life. Try to analyze why you are avoiding them. It may not necessarily be the person per se but what that person represents.

2. Being Chased by an Animal

If an animal in your dream is chasing you, try to observe the characteristics of that animal in your dream. You may fear or avoid the parts of that particular animal. If it’s a bear, it could mean you currently have a problem that’s too big to handle.

3. Being Chased by the Police

Being chased by the police could mean you have a conflict with someone in your life, and it could also mean you have a dispute at work or in your relationship.

Another possible meaning could be your subconscious mind telling you to face your problems and be accountable.

4. Being Chased Through a Building

If you’re being chased through a building, determine what that building represents in your dream. Did the building represent your place of work or your place of residence? If it represents your place of work, it could mean you have an issue at work you’re avoiding, and you need to handle it immediately.

If the building felt safe for you, it could mean something is threatening your place of safety. Try to analyze if someone or something in your life is threatening your safety and comfort in real life.

5. Being Chased Outside

If you are being chased outside, such as in a city setting, it could mean you are feeling the pressures of modern life. This could be about money, career, or material possessions.

If you are being chased in the woods and it’s dark, it could mean you are running away from something dark in your life.

A Word of Advice

Being chased in real life is one of the scariest things that can happen to anyone. When you dream about being chased, your fight or flight response is activated, and when you run, it’s your “flight” response at play.

Whenever your nervous system’s “flight” response is activated, it is in response to a threat. In real life, the danger is real, but in your dream, it can represent something else. Danger is always associated with fear. Fear of a problem you are facing, fear of a person, or fear of the unknown.

It would help if you reflected on your real-life situations to prevent or stop these dreams from occurring. What is happening in your life right now that you’re afraid of? What is giving you stress?

Confront the source of your fears and stress, which may help prevent dreams of being chased. Though you can never totally control what you dream about, acknowledging and managing stress can help you sleep more peacefully.


1. What does being chased in a dream symbolize?

Being chased in a dream can mean many things: avoidance, fear, stress, anxiety, or you’re being close-minded.

2. What does it mean when you dream about being chased but you can’t run?

Being chased and unable to run is one of the most terrifying dream themes you can have. But there’s no need to worry, as this can merely mean you need to take responsibility for your problems right now.

3. How to cope with the emotional impact of being chased in a dream?

This type of dream can impact your emotional state, so it’s best to try to understand the meaning behind this dream. Learning the general symbolisms can ease the anxiety, but confronting the source of your stress in real life can help you sleep more soundly.

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