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Have you ever dreamed of flying?

We’ve borrowed some data from a unique piece of research carried out at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, in order to understand how and how frequently people dream of flying. More than 63% of participants said they’ve dreamed of flying at least once. Out of the 6701 dreams examined, 1.72% were about free flying, without the help of an aircraft. 5.13% were about flying in a real or fictional means of air transport (from hang gliders to unicorns and flying carpets!).

For some people, this type of dream is a positive experience, while for others it’s a source of anxiety and fear, depending on the context and on the emotional condition in which it takes place.

What does flying mean according to Psychology?

First of all, flight is one of the clearest symbols of freedom that our subconscious can produce while sleeping. Even those schools of the forebears of psychoanalysis, Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud, agree upon this meaning of flight, although they distinguish between the manifestation of the subconscious linked to sexual freedom (according to Freud, of course) and the untying from social bonds (according to Jung).

Remembering the context is the most important element in order to interpret dreams correctly, maybe jotting down some details on a piece of paper when you wake up.

For instance, have you ever dreamed of flying in an aeroplane? Maybe you’re experiencing a complicated situation and you feel that you need to run away from the problem, literally looking for an escape.

In your dream, were you flying very high from the ground or very low to the ground? The distance from the ground when flying has something to do with our mental well-being. If you dream of flying high, it indicates happiness and light-heartedness, while dreaming of flying close to the ground could be masking fears and uncertainty linked to upcoming events.

The feeling of not being able to take off means that you doubt your own abilities, whereas the feeling of not being able to land indicates poor predisposition towards practicality and staying grounded.

If you’ve ever dreamed of flying in extra-terrestrial contexts, in fictional worlds or in Space, you’re going through a period of important growth for your future. If you dream of flying backwards, it means that you need to go back to your roots and sort out something from your past.

Whatever your flying dream looked like, it will almost certainly be a dream to remember.