What Do Dreams about Running Mean?

a girl running on a pink background
Running in a dream is a fairly common phenomenon. But is this a good or bad sign? The interpretation depends on the context.

In this article, we will discuss what dreams about running mean. For our analysis, we use numerous dream encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Dreams about Running: What Do they Mean?

In general, running in a dream can symbolize:
  • anxiety
  • mentally running away from something
  • the need to organize your time and draw plans
  • the need to slow down
  • ambitions and impatience to achieve goals
  • developing independence
  • responsibility and confidence
  • a desire to please others
  • a desire to run away from others 
Curiously, such dreams may literally imply the need for physical exercise. It could also indicate that you are exercising too much.

If you are running and failing to reach your goal (through tiredness, injury, etc.), it signifies that you are trying to do more than you can.

If you are running successfully in a dream, it predicts triumph in business or personal relations.

Running towards something or someone

Running towards something in a dream can denote:
  • the desire to reach your goal quickly
  • the fear of not achieving a goal as fast as you want to 
Running towards a partner or parent while they are walking away indicates a fear of loss.

Running away

a woman running by the sea
Running away or backward in a dream can denote:
  • fear 
  • avoiding something or someone in your waking life
  • the desire to avoid problems
  • resisting temptation
  • the inability to achieve your goals

Running aimlessly

If you run aimlessly in a dream, it denotes a lack of direction and a necessity to slow down.

To stumble while running

If you stumble in a dream while running, you will meet with disfavor and obstructions on your way to success.

If you stumble but do not fall, it predicts that you will surmount these obstructions eventually.  

To Fall while Running

two people running at sunset
If you fall while running in a dream, it denotes the loss of property and reputation.

Running Upstairs

Running upstairs in a dream can symbolize:
  • positive feelings, release
  • a lack of confidence
  • the fear of failing
If you are running up the stairs with pleasure, it means exuberance and changes. 

Being Unable to Run 

Being unable to run in a dream symbolizes:
  • low confidence
  • ambitions that are hard to realize

Running with Other People

a man and a woman running in a park
To dream of running with other people symbolizes:
  • improvement of the financial situation 
  • festivity
  • being under more stress than is good for you

Running a Race 

To run a race in a dream predicts success or good news.

If you're running a race and can't win it, it's a signal that you need to reduce stress in your life.

Running Alone

Running alone in a dream indicates that you will achieve more financial and social success than your friends.

Seeing Other People Run 

To see other people run can mean that you fear the death of friends.

Pursuing Something or Somebody

many people running
If you are pursuing something or somebody, it indicates that you need to 
pay more attention to the advice of friends. Otherwise, you could regret your stubbornness.

Breaking Free from Jail

Dreams about breaking free from jail can indicate:
  • a desire for liberation from a situation, such as a stressful job
  • a new opportunity in your life 
  • liberating your repressed talents 
  • desire for death 

If you have been struggling with depression recently, running out of jail could mean that you need to seek professional help.

  • "The element encyclopedia of 20,000 dreams" by Theresa Francis-Cheung, publisher "Barnes & Noble" (New York), 2006
  • "The encyclopedia of symbolism" by Kevin J. Todeschi, publisher "Berkley Pub. Group", 1995
  • "The complete book of dreams" by Neil Roland, 1999, Hamlyn (London)
  • "In your dreams" by Edwin Raphael, 2002, Foulsham (London)
  • "The dictionary of dream interpretation" by Gerald Schoenewolf, "Jason Aronson" (Northvale, N.J.), 1997
  • "Dreams" by Sean Callery, 2006, Collins (London)
  • "Dictionary of dreams" by Gustavus Hindman Miller, 1999, Parragon
  • "Dreams & their meanings" by Tony Hazzard, Ward Lock (London), 1989
  • "What your dreams mean" by Alan G. Davis, 1984, Bantam Books (Toronto, New York)
  • "How to interpret dreams" by Leila Bright, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. (London), 2013
  • "The complete book of dreams" by Julia Parker, Covent Garden Books, 1999
  • "So, what did you dream last night?" by Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, publisher "Dream Zone Companies" (Brentwood, TN), 2004


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Welcome to our free dream dictionary online. Here you can find the complete dream interpretation from A to Z with from numerous book sources: analysis, definition, translation, explanation, and significance of dreams and nightmares.