What Does it Mean When You Dream of Choking?

Below is a dream submitted this past week:

I every once in a while have this dream. I am eating something sometimes, but there are other times it just happens. I get a string caught during swallowing and I have to loosen my throat muscles to pull it back out. When i attempt to pull it out, it is a never ending string that just goes on and on and on. I see myself and feel myself pulling for a long time. The thing that is weird is that I can feel this and I dread dreaming this. It is soo uncomfortable. Is this a common dream? What is your interpretation of this dream? Thanks!

I’ve read your dream through four times to try to get a really good handle on it. If you had just had this dream once I would have thought it was connected to something like flossing before bed.  I have a tendency to floss too hard sometimes and if my gums bleed, I can expect to be harmed at some point in my dreams.  Needless to say, I’ve started being more careful when flossing!

The fact that you’ve had this sort of dream more than once leads me to believe that there’s a little more to it than just this sort of “association” type of dream.

When I read your dream I get the feeling that your predominant emotion during the dream is frustration.  Sure, it’s uncomfortable and the situation puts you in a bad position, but I think the most important thing to notice is that you feel frustrated by several things:

1.  You’re frustrated that the choking occurs in the first place – as you said, sometimes even when you aren’t eating in your dream.

2.  You’re frustrated that you have to contort your throat muscles in a manner to try to prevent the choking.

3.   You’re frustrated that you pull and pull but can’t get to the  end of the string.

In dreams that I call “Frustration Dreams,” you can usually expect to hear the dreamer use the following phrases:

  • It went on and on and on…
  • It seemed like it took forever…
  • No matter what I did, I couldn’t…..
  • No one would listen to me…..
  • Never ending…
  • Impossible…..

They also will frequently comment about something lasting a long time.   When I read “…it is a never ending string that just goes on and on and on….” in your dream description, I knew we were dealing with a frustration dream of some type.  It’s an absolutely beautiful example of this type of dream.

Usually frustration dreams are brought on by things in our day to day life that we feel powerless against.  These things are either courtesy of other people (things others do that frustrate us) or they’re courtesy of our ourselves (things we, ourselves, do that frustrate us).

The fact that your frustration dream involves the face is very, very important.  This is a key symbolism that means the frustration is extremely personal.  When we dream about a part of our body, it means  that that dream meaning is a very personal one.

The tricky thing is that this could mean one of two things, and only you will know for sure which one it is. Your dream is an indication that you are either:

  1. Frustrated by a habit or thought that you can’t quit doing or thinking.  Many people have this sort of dream when they can’t quit procrastinating, can’t “get over” an ex, can’t stop a particular habit such as biting their nails or smoking, etc.  I once had a string of frustrating dreams when I consistently failed to make time to exercise!
  2. If you aren’t frustrated with something that the person in the mirror is or isn’t doing, then the dream would indicate that you are frustrated with something someone else does.  This person would be someone extremely close to you – someone who would be of the utmost importance to you.  The symbolism of your mouth would indicate that it is probably someone you are connected to in a  romantic way.

I want to mention something about choking dreams.  If you had experienced an isolated dream about choking and your emotions were primarily fear and/or embarrassment, I would suggest that you had recently said something you regretted.   However, you have had several of these dreams and you just don’t strike me as a person who puts their foot in their mouth on a daily basis!

Also, as I said before, the primary emotion seems to be frustration.

As for bringing an end to the dreams, my first suggestion would be to try very hard NOT to think about the dreams or their details.  Before bedtime, think about anything and everything BUT these dreams – or about anything that frustrates you at all.  Read a great novel, watch television, or take a blissful bubble bath.

Finally, if you can pinpoint where the frustration is coming from, you’ll double your odds of ending these dreams.

Best of luck!