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BREATHING UNDER WATER in Dreams - Meanings and Interpretations

Discover what it means and represents to experience breathing under water in dreams.

Many people have recalled a dream in which they have found themselves underwater and are able to actually breathe. Sometimes these dreams begin with fear, as if waves of water are rushing over top of the dreamer, leaving them unable to escape from the force of the water, but eventually discover they are able to breathe once they give in the pressure against their lungs. So, instead of drowning, they survive and are able to continue on by breathing while under water.

In other dreams, the water is tranquil, like from a pond or small lake and the dreamer either falls into the water or walks into the water and instead of drowning, they find they are able to breathe and are still alive.

Here are some common interpretations and meanings for breathing under water.

Fear is the first emotion to overcome. Many dreamers find themselves in a situation they cannot physically escape and expect that they are going to drown. However, they end up surprised when, not only do they not drown, but they are able to float, walk on the bottom, look around and breathe.

During the experience of going through the drowning, the dreamer instinctually holds his or her breath but also, their body while sleeping also responds. Many dreamers wake themselves before the dream concludes because they have experienced some form of Apnea due to holding their breath because of the fear of drowning. For those who are able to keep going in the dream, and find themselves able to breathe, they are experiencing a release of fear that their subconscious has been holding on to.

Water represents emotion and fear can be one of the strongest emotions out there. The condition of the body of water in the dream that instigates the action of drowning can reveal a lot to the dreamer. A stormy sea or large body of water represents being completely overwhelmed by conflict and the more turbulent the storm, the higher the intensity of the conflict in daily life.

With a calm body of water, especially where there is sunlight and bright skies, reveals a sense of pending danger even though on the surface things appear completely fine. This situation could reveal that the dreamer is a worrisome person by nature and even if there's no danger or sense of a life or death situation, the dreamer may still feel the undertones of this fear that remains in the back of their mind.

With rivers that run over their banks or water that becomes flood-like, the dreamer finds themselves in an unexpected torrent in real life and no matter what it may actually be, it presents a fight or flight response due to the perception of it being a life or death threat.

Regardless of how the drowning is initiated, once underwater, there is a sense of surrender that eventually takes over and when that comes, the dreamer releases their fears and begins to explore, even if it is for just a moment. Many dreamers discover they don't have the need to rush to the surface any longer and that it's not nearly as bad underwater as what they expected. This aspect can be intpreted as the dreamer overcoming something really big on an emotional level in real life but being delighted by the surprise that it wasn't as bad as what they expected it to be.

Some dreamers find buried treasure underwater. In this circumstance, the results are even better than ever. That treasure could represent a career position that has been awarded to them by surprise when they were extremely worried about the outcome. Or, the treasure could represent a spiritual discovery that has come as a result of the dreamer becoming more in touch with their emotional connection or responses to particular situations.

In other examples, as the dreamer survives the drowning and can breathe, they notice sea life all around them, making their presence known. With this experience, it shows that the dreamer is becoming more connected to nature and as we go deeper, each of those examples of sea life can represent what it is they are becoming more connected to.

By breathing underwater, the dreamer is learning that they can overcome any obstacle, no matter how destructive it can appear or be on an emotional level. They are given the example that they can breathe a sigh of relief, and that life goes on.

Breathing Apparatus

For those who dream of breathing underwater but only with the aid of something outside their physical ability such as a snorkel or diving apparatus, the dreamer is being reminded that they are not yet ready to let go and let nature take it's course with the situation at hand.

For those who find they cannot receive air from the mouthpiece or tubes and panic, this represents their unreadiness in a situation and that fear is taking over. With an apparatus that has been cut or severed by an unseen person or force that compromises their ability to breath under water, this says that the dreamer is involved with a person or situation they cannot fully trust. Keeping an eye on how it develops is key.

For those who dream of using a mask and snorkel while floating or swimming on top of the water reveals that they are not fully committed to whatever person, job or situation as they present themselves to be. They are merely skimming the surface rather than diving in with both feet and plunging to whatever depths are required of them.

Other dream interpretation articles I've written about on Factoidz which can be accessed through my profile are:

  • Wolves
  • Turtles
  • Teeth
  • Being Naked
  • Ex-Girlfriends and Ex-Boyfriends
  • Zombies
  • Giving Birth
  • Bats
  • Cougars
  • Fish
  • Dogs
  • Trees
  • Flowers
  • Downed Power Lines
  • Phone Calls
  • Being Shot
  • Tornado's
  • Vehicles
  • Houses
  • Spiders

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Comments (5)

Your article is very informative.. I have always wondered what it means breathing under water in a dream. I dreamt 3 times that i died of beheading. What could that possibly mean?

Ranked #6 in Psychology

Hi Kenneth, thank you for your comment. Your dream could mean many things. Oftentimes people will recall past life memories this way, through the dream state and depending on the circumstances and time period of your dream, I'd say that's likely the direction. If it represents something happening for you in this life, I'd feel it to be more family related; perhaps conflicting view points that create a tension of dominance in which you are at odds with an unflinching point of view. But it could also represent a betrayal from sources you have felt extremely close with such as a spouse or best friend. Not knowing the other details can give room for exploration on interpretation. I'd be curious to find out how young you were when this started...

Pat

I get these dreams all the time. i start out in the bottom of a calm ocean in fear, since i realize im underwater and im going to drown. But then i take a deep breathe that feels just amazing and i start seeing the beauty all around me witht he sun going through the water and life all around me. The breathing feels so good too underwater. The best way i can decribe it is pure oxygen. I love these dreams i hope i get one tonight hahaha.

Voted and stumbled - great job.

James P

This doesnt explain mine. I lucid dream more often than most, and have ended up dreaming with no fear for i can change things when needed. I've had a few breathing under water dreams. the first one was by a water slide. but i did not swim under the water it went to. I unknowingly constructed walls of water. kind of like floating cubes of it, with frames of concrete, that i could run and dive into horizontal to the floor. When i realized what i was doing(breathing) i just stayed there. I had already been under for a while, and nothing bad happend. I think its the breathing from my actual body sleeping, and i felt it in my dream. i did this for a while. then actually dove through the concrete on the side of one as i felt rubble fly off my body and appeared on the other side of the wall. Can do anything. In times like these u must be able to realize that u cant breathe underwater usually, this is a dream, and then u are bumped up a level in ur lucid dream as goes control. My most recent was in the ocean though i just kept swimming deeper. so whats that mean? whats this mean? i sure dont feel fear. but it is different i guess.

James P

This doesnt explain mine. I lucid dream more often than most, and have ended up dreaming with no fear for i can change things when needed. I've had a few breathing under water dreams. the first one was by a water slide. but i did not swim under the water it went to. I unknowingly constructed walls of water. kind of like floating cubes of it, with frames of concrete, that i could run and dive into horizontal to the floor. When i realized what i was doing(breathing) i just stayed there. I had already been under for a while, and nothing bad happend. I think its the breathing from my actual body sleeping, and i felt it in my dream. i did this for a while. then actually dove through the concrete on the side of one as i felt rubble fly off my body and appeared on the other side of the wall. Can do anything. In times like these u must be able to realize that u cant breathe underwater usually, this is a dream, and then u are bumped up a level in ur lucid dream as goes control. My most recent was in the ocean though i just kept swimming deeper. so whats that mean? whats this mean? i sure dont feel fear. but it is different i guess.

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