One of the most heart-pounding things you can wake up from is a dream of running away from the police. The feeling of someone pursuing you is always a stressful one. Particularly in a dream, where all emotions are heightened, it can turn your restful sleep into an endurance test.
But what does it mean when you dream of running away from the police? Not all of the answers are as obvious as you might expect. Dreams can have many interpretations, and they often aren’t literal. Your sleeping mind could be trying to give you a very different message than the one you expect.
The following article will cover many of the meanings a dream of running away from the police might have. Hopefully, you can apply it to your own life to help narrow down what your subconscious is trying to convey.
What Does it Mean When You Dream of Running Away From the Police?
1. You’re guilty or feeling guilty about something
First off, let’s cover the most obvious explanation to get it out of the way. While most dreams are extremely metaphorical and layered with meaning, sometimes they’re just straightforward. Have you committed a crime? Your brain could just be going into distress, imagining being caught. Maybe you seek forgiveness.
Moving away from being a literal criminal, it’s also possible you’re simply feeling guilty. Perhaps you intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone. Maybe you did something you’re not proud of to get ahead. Whatever it may be, you might be feeling bad or simply anxious about being found out.
We have this image in our heads of cops being the arbiters of justice against evil. Therefore, it’s easy to see why our brains would cast them in the roles of the people chasing us down. A dream of running away from the police can be your mind acting out those fears.
2. You’re afraid of being blamed for something that wasn’t your fault
People may run from police when they’re guilty, but they also often do when they’re innocent. The fear of being blamed for a crime you didn’t commit can be just as strong. The same can be true in a dream of running away from the police. And this can be literal or metaphorical.
It’s possible a dreamer is worried about literally being blamed by law enforcement for a crime. It’s also possible you’re just worried you’ll be blamed for something in real life that wasn’t your fault.
Maybe something went wrong with a work project and you’re worried you’ll be blamed for a colleague’s mess-up. That person could have been deliberately trying to sabotage you or it might have just been an innocent mistake. Either way, the worry that the boss will think it’s your fault can be a palpable one.
Similarly, you could be worried a family member or friend will be angry about something out of your control. In all of these cases, that fear could be manifesting in the form of a police officer chasing you down.
3. You’re having conflict with a loved one, or are about to
Continuing from there, the conflict with a loved one doesn’t have to be due to something you’re being blamed for. The fact you’re having conflict with a friend, or feel that you’re about to, can bring up a police dream.
A dream of running away from police often springs from anxiety. It’s a tense, stressful sort of scene to be imagining. The dreams our brains produce often translate anxieties into scenes that reproduce a similar level of anxiety. In your mind, the fear of fighting with someone you love can be comparable.
For one, there’s always a fear that a fight can damage things irreparably. What if you never make up or say something you can’t take back? That can parallel how being caught by police can similarly change your life forever.
Cops are a symbol of authority. The person you’re close to can be in a similar position in your mind. Maybe you’re afraid of losing them and your subconscious is translating that threat into them being a threat.
Of course, emotions can be irrational, and it’s important to remember this. Your mind working through fear in a dream doesn’t mean your friendship is doomed. Your brain could simply be warning you of the danger to encourage you to be careful. It could be a good sign.
Perhaps it’s telling you to try not to lose your temper, or giving a reminder to handle the situation delicately. Because, even if there’s conflict at the moment, you do actually love this person and want to keep them in your life. You don’t want to regret it otherwise.
4. You’re worried that your life is spinning out of your control
As we said before, a policeman is a symbol of authority. They literally have the right to arrest you or even physically harm you against your will if warranted. It’s not a big leap then to see how a dream of running away from police can be about you feeling a sense of powerlessness in your life.
This could be due to pressures being put on you from society, or even pressure from loved ones. Maybe your spouse or partner wants you to be taking on certain obligations or making more money. Maybe the bills are mounting and you’re worried about paying them. Maybe you have an overbearing boss.
In all of these cases, your brain could be representing these anxieties while you sleep as a physical force chasing you down. This is particularly apt for bosses because they’re literally people who make you do things you might not want to. Like a police force testing your patience.
You have to work to survive so a dream of running away from the police can represent that struggle. Especially when your boss doesn’t appreciate you or treats you as expendable. You feel like your life is out of your control and in the hands of this authority figure.
5. You’re afraid of change
A dream of running away from the police can also mean you’re worried about change. This can be a change you know is on the horizon or a specific one you fear might happen. It could also be uncertainty about the future in general or fear of inadequacy.
For someone who’s committed a crime, police are a disruptive force that can change the course of their lives forever. For an average innocent person, a dream of running away from the police can be symbolic of a different disruption. The fact that they’re running from it represents anxiety over it.
There’s some irony to the idea of running away from change, as change itself is about leaving something behind. But the mind works on emotions from your waking life and images and doesn’t necessarily interpret things logically!
Speaking of which, this change can also be either positive or negative. Even leaving a toxic situation behind can lead to anxiety. As humans, we tend to acclimate to new situations until they become the norm. That’s why even a positive change can be a scary one, and our brains may not be ready.
You might be lacking the courage to quit smoking or drinking. You might be afraid to finally stand up for yourself against someone. You might be worried about new responsibilities at work. Your mind may simply be translating any of these things into the form of cops chasing you in your sleep.
6. You need to take better care of yourself
Speaking of addiction, this is just one of the negative things that could be affecting your body and/or mental health. It’s possible that you have a dependence on anything from alcohol to nicotine to even overeating. You might have a bad habit of avoidance. You also might have a health issue you’ve been ignoring.
A dream of running away from the police could be your mind telling you to pay attention to these issues. Maybe you have a condition you’re aware of but haven’t been taking your medicine. Or, in the case of mental health, going to therapy. Maybe your subconscious mind is aware of a problem you aren’t yet.
Whatever it may be, you’re symbolically on the run and/or hiding from it because you’re afraid. And your sleeping mind has turned those fears into a force that is hunting you down. Finally going to a doctor and/or finally following your doctor’s advice could calm these fears from affecting your sleep.
Also, take note that not all medical concerns are life-threatening. You may have a symptom you’re simply worried about and have been ignoring because you’re afraid it’s bad. But it’s completely possible that it’s not indicative of anything further.
Addressing it will alleviate your fears, and possibly help make it and the dreams go away with perseverance!
Have you had a dream of running away from the police lately? Tell us about all the details in the comments section!