Ah, so you want to know why you keep dreaming about chilling at work, running errands, or at school in your birthday suit, huh? Totally fair question.
This is a super common dream. (Like, so common, they even made it A Thing in the opening scene of Bring It On. More on that later).
But if you’re curious ~what it all means~ to dream about yourself naked—maybe while in front of a crowd or even just chilling in a random space—we’ve gotchu. With the help of Nicole Bowman, certified dream analyst and advisor at Keen.com (it's like TalkSpace, but for psychics), we dug up the meaning behind why you dream about yourself being nakey-naked naked.
Okay, so what do naked dreams mean?
Remember when, in the opening scene of Bring It On, Torrance (you know, the soon-to-be captain of San Diego's Rancho Carne Toros, obviously) dreamt that she was naked in front of the entire school cheering? Yeah, me too—and still have anxiety about it.
But, turns out, the meaning behind that dream, which happened the night before the first day of school (aka the night before she’d take over as cheer captain), definitely tracks.
“Nudity is connected to the fear of being vulnerable and embracing great change,” says Bowman. “Oftentimes, when we dream of being naked, that experience correlates to a huge transformation that is happening in our lives.” And in Torrance’s case, this = becoming the next HBIC of the cheer squad.
But for you, it could also refer to a new relationship, maybe a new job opportunity, a move, or just wanting to feel accepted for who you are in whatever circumstance you're going into, says Bowman. “It's a sign that you're moving into uncharted territory. Which, ironically, can feel a lot like being naked and exposed,” she adds.
Is it weird if I dream about being naked over and over again?
Not necessarily. But dreams that involve nudity often relate to “feelings of insecurity and the need for self-acceptance,” says Bowman. So, *earnest territory alert*, it may be that your inner-psyche is trying to tell you that you need to love on yourself a lil bit.
TL;DR: Make time for what makes you happy every day. Play that Spotify playlist that gets you hype, do that HIIT workout you love, and bake that pumpkin spice cupcake recipe you saved on Pinterest.
How can I stop having dreams about being naked?
Bowman suggests asking yourself the following questions every morning after experiencing this dream.
- What am I afraid of?
- Is there something in life that I really want to accomplish but don't feel like I have the courage to do?
- Is there someone I want to be honest with who I feel will not be honest with me?
- Is there a relationship, job, or experience where I do not feel supported?
- Is there some aspect of myself that I am not in acceptance or appreciation of?
Assessing your answers in your head, in a journal, or talking them thorugh out loud can be oddly therapeutic. Simply being honest with yourself and feeling your emotions could inadvertently help you feel better (and erase these dreams for good).
Take it from Bowman: “After answering the questions above, take the brave steps of speaking up, stepping out, and telling your truth. This can look like sharing your feelings with a potential love interest or applying for the position you always wanted," she says. This may also look like standing up for what you believe in, even when you know you will be criticized. It can also manifest as giving thanks for your physical body and how it carries you through life.”
And if you need help processing these thoughts with a mental health professional, consult an expert.
Okay, so is there any silver lining to this dream?
Ofc, Sigmund Freud did not make dreams his life’s work just so that we could be scared of them all the time.
There's definitely a positive spin here, says Bowman. “Dreams like this should encourage you to face your fear and become more transparent.” It’s a high-key sign that it’s time to branch out from your norm and embrace the obstacle that is changing things in your life.
And on another positive note, when you confront what your dreams are inadvertently telling you to do, that’s when you’ll see real change—and maybe some better sleeping habits once you squash those nightmares.
“As you begin to make bold choices in life, you may find that this dream subsides—knowing in the end, you’ll be just fine,” says Bowman.
This story originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.