Drowning in Dreams: Meanings and Interpretations
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Drowning in Dreams: Meanings and Interpretations

Drowning in your dreams can represent many things that the subconscious is trying to relay to the dreamer. Listed below are common interpretations to what it means to dream of drowning from discovering underlying emotions of fear, being overwhelmed, trapped or the need to express one's self more clearly. Discover new and simple ways to understand what your dreams of drowning are trying to tell you.

Drowning in your dreams can represent many things that the subconscious is trying to relay to the dreamer. Listed below are common interpretations to what it means to dream of drowning.

In the Ocean

Drowning in the ocean is a common theme but there are variations to it that can reveal a lot to the dreamer about his or her daily life.

To drown while swimming out into the ocean can represent that the person usually has a good grasp on their emotions, and swims along with the ebb and flow of life. However, once out the ocean, if the dreamer tires and goes under, where he is no longer able to stay above water, this is an indication that outer influences have just become too burdensome and the person is emotionally succumbing to the pressures and stresses. The buoyancy and balance has become off center and it means it's time to lighten the load in order to float the surface again. So, if this is a relationship that has gone awry, or a job that has become too stressful, it's time to rethink the situation and let go of what's pulling him down.

If the dreamer drowns in the ocean by suddenly being swept under a wave or tide they cannot fight against, this would indicate that the dreamer has been hit by a sudden situation in life that is difficult to process or emotionally handle. If the wave throws the dreamer into the rocks or runs them aground, this can represent deliberate intent from others to "bash" him with hurtful words or actions and they are left in an emotional undertow by it. In this situation, the dreamer is either receiving a warning to what's coming, or, he may have just experienced this in his life and it's his subconscious way of processing what has happened.

If the dreamer dreams he or she is left behind either by a sinking vessel or by someone else and ends up drowning, this can be an indication that the dreamer has a root fear of being abandoned and suffers loss or grief from it. In this case, it's healthy for the dreamer to express his concerns to those he is in fear of being abandoned by, or feels abandoned by, so that it can be resolved by receiving clarity and truthful intention. If this is a general fear that the dreamer has had for a long period of time, it can be helpful for the dreamer to experience a regression either through meditation or hypnotherapy so that he can learn of and remember the impacting experience he went through that caused that. Experiencing divorce, death or sudden loss at a young age can create the subconscious manifestation of this fear that outwardly blankets most relationships in which the dreamer continually feels at risk of abandonment and loss. This can result in clingy behavior, jealousy or feeling the need to hang on extra tight to others so that they are not left alone or abandoned.  

Ocean Waves / Pixabay

In a Pool

To drown while in a pool is a very different scenario than mentioned above. A pool is manmade. It is not a natural body of water. It is artificially kept blue, clear and clean within a constructed foundation that has been intentionally manufactured.  So the question for the dreamer, is, what in his life has become manufactured that looks great on the outside, has all the working parts, but is not a natural representation? This could be a career, a spouse, a lifestyle etc.

To dream of drowning in a pool while alone can indicate that the life the person has built for themselves is no longer sustainable. It is time to downsize and liquidate what no longer serves his or her happiness. This is something the dreamer must choose for themselves, and take responsibility for. Change is a good thing and when one thing dies, another is born.

To dream of drowning in a pool while there are many other people present, this can also mean the same thing as above, but in this scenario, the dreamer may be going through this in a public way. Other people are seeing this and watching what is happening. Now whether or not they are trying to assist the person or just let them drown can be very telling as well.  This will indicate whether or not other people are willing to come to the persons rescue. If there are other people present and they too are drowning in the pool, this can represent a group situation such as a whole family or a company, or even a community that is in a particular situation that needs to be changed. Water of course represents emotion so there is an emotional sadness or loss with this type of dream. However, with all loss, as in all deaths, birth and renewal are just as much a part of the experience.

In a Natural Disaster or Storm

Many people dream of drowning in a flood, tsunami or storm in which water rises fast and they become swept up or under the force of the rushing water or waves.

In this type of dream, we are going to touch on a couple of things; one being precognition and memories from past life experiences. Some people who have actually drowned in past lives will experience it in the dream state as a way for the subconscious to bring it to the surface so that it can be healed and resolved. Unresolved fears and traumas stay with us until we are able to heal them and move forward. So, the dream state is one way in which these experiences try to surface.

In another form, these dreams can be precognitive and the dreamer may be tapping in to a global impact such as a natural disaster that claims the lives of others or affects people in the world in a large way.

In the case where either of these scenarios is not the root cause to the dream, it can traditionally mean how we handle an emotional impact that is a natural part of life and it can be a heads up that something emotionally impacting is about to hit by surprise. This can be a financial loss, emotional loss or even death of a loved one. This can also represent to the dreamer how he is moving through an emotional impact that he has gone through recently, especially if he has not been able to properly cope with life's stresses.

Being that it is a natural disaster or storm of nature, this reminds the dreamer that many things that are difficult emotionally are a natural part of life and how we handle the situation is up to us. Proper coping skills and stress management skills are vital to healing from grief and loss.


As with all dream interpretations, outer lying circumstances can give us many clues to the intricacies and details surrounding the root message. For example, if the person who drowns in the dream is heavily intoxicated, it can represent that they have been in denial or using unhealthy methods to cope with emotional stresses and loss. Or let's say a person is driving a bus or car and it veers off the road, plunging into a lake or river, and the dreamer drowns, this can be a warning to slow down in life, and that they are taking too big of risks that can compromise their health or well being.  Another example would be being trapped or having one's hands tied and movement is compromised which causes the dreamer to not be able to fight for his breath or life. This can indicate that outer influences have forced the dreamer into circumstances that has made him feel victimized or at risk of failure, even if it's failure of a relationship or being able to stay afloat financially.  This can also represent that the dreamer is feeling suffocated and unable to have the proper "breathing room" in a relationship or other position that is having a negative impact on him.

This is just a reminder to the dreamer to take charge and take hold of his present situation and alter the circumstances so that he no longer has to feel victimized or suffocated by things that appear outside of his control.

So there are many circumstances that can change the nature of the message and help us further understand what it means.

As with all dreams, they are messages and the further we are able to interpret and understand our dreams, the better we are able to understand the ebb and flow of life which can give us great tools for healing, growth, and forgiveness.

Drowning in Your Dreams Conclusion

As you can see, there are several types of drowning dreams and each dream can have a different meaning, depending on each person’s circumstances. Dreams can tell us all a lot about our daily life fears and concerns. Learning how to interpret dreams can help us understand our deeper fears and possibly learn to handle our problems.  

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Comments (5)
I have never dreamed of drowning before. Instead, I often dream of being quite near to the sea. Sometimes I am at the seashore (on a safe distance ), other times I am watching the sea from a window of a tall building that is quite near the sea. I once dreamt that the sea came to the garden of my house (it was a sea tide, I knew that, cause my house was not that close to the sea). Sometimes the sea is blue and clear, other times is stormy (either way, it gives me the shivers, it's never something pleasant). The tide element is always present, because the sea is always 'trying to get me'. And I always stand somewhere safe and unreachable, aware that most probably I will be ok but always fearing the otherwise. There are dreams where I try to save other people from being engulfed by the sea, because they are not as lucky as I am. In the end I always end up OK, the sea never gets to me. But the feeling it awakens into me is dreadful. May I just add that even though I love swimming, I have always related the sea with the city I spent most of my life in. I really hate this city, the life I had there, it's people and what it represents. The only time I dreamt of almost drowning, I felt relief. I entered in my old house. Everything (furniture, people etc) was gone and the house was burned to the ashes (idk why). The ceiling was gone (actually one of the rooms was never finished so it never had the ceiling, so it's not like I made it up in my dream). As I was walking, I felt devastated, as if I had returned from a journey to find everything I loved gone. In the corner of the room there were these three concrete open boxes and inside two of them were two bodies. The woman was wearing blue jeans and a red blouse, the man was wearing blue jeans and blue shirt. Actually, they were literally Tony Almeida and Michelle Dessler from 24 - season 5. With the same outfit and same look. But to me they meant something dear. Their bodies were floating side to side in the concrete boxes. It had started to rain (it was a soft rain that was washing the ashes away and dirtying everything around with the mud - like mixture that was created). I lied in the box in between and I was weeping slowly. As the rain filled the box, I would just look at their faces and let the water cover my body little by little. The sense of despair and of being lost from moments ago was being washed away as I felt I was drifting myself. PS: I have been having dreams related to water (mainly sea) for more than 5 years now. I never get scared or have nightmares. I can mock a whole bunch of hideous monsters in my dreams and bare any pain or misfortune. But these dreams I have leave me with a horrifying taste, as if I am lost, hopeless, so small and defenseless, my soul being suffocated. As if in every inch of approaching water, something suppresses me.
I daydreamt that I was in this weird cave thingy at this old play centre I used to go to at as a child ... Well it looked like it but just in a jungle . I was with my boyfriend and this heavy stone wall fell and trapped me ... There was no escape and then water started flooding it and I couldn't get out ... It was super scary ... I tried to get out by digging under the stone ... And also swimming up the water pipe ... But it was no use . in like 100 years these guys opened it and my skelleton came flooding out ewww . this really messed me up
Last night I dreamt I was walking across a grassy field which had several shallow ditches criss crossing it. These ditches could easily be stepped over and in one ditch I saw a small tree starting to grow ie only a few leaves on it. In my dream I think I looked closer at the tree and accidently slipped into the ditch, at first I wasn't worried as I thought I would soon touch bottom. The thing is I slowly realised that I needed to take a breath then I woke up taking that breath. I believe I was actually holding my breath whilst asleep, I find this worrying. Any comments are welcome.
My husband dreamt that I was drowning in a swimming pool full of dogfood. Wtf does that mean?
I was in a pool with 10 or more people holding me under one man with his foot on my head pushing me under and my ex girlfriend looking down at me laughing and clapping withe excitement. Please need help with this.