Many people have described floating in dreams. Unlike flying dreams, where you can often control the direction and height of your flight above the dream landscape, you often have minimal control in floating dreams. You may experience only the sensation of floating in dreams; find yourself floating atop a lake, river, cloud or other buoyant medium; or turn the dream into a flying dream where you can control your direction and speed. A feeling of floating upward is also a common hallmark of a successful astral projection; some people have realized they left their bodies only after they found themselves floating upward into a version of their bedrooms. However, not all dream floating indicates an astral projection: you can have ordinary subconscious or lucid dreams of floating around in your bedroom (or elsewhere), or view a dream scene from a disembodied perspective. Floating in dreams is most commonly associated with feelings of acceptance, content, calm and detachment.
You might be the one floating in your dreams, or you may see other people, animals, or objects floating. In each case, it helps to examine the emotions you felt in the dream: a floating dream can be either positive or negative depending on how it made you feel. If you were the one floating in your dream, it can indicate that you are generally happy and content with your life situation, and have let go of or resolved issues that were previously troubling you. To float you have to relax and let the water support you, so a floating dream could signal that you have come to a place of acceptance in some area of your life. Perhaps you feel able to “rise above” a previously challenging situation.
Dreams about floating can be negative if you felt out of control or like you had nothing to hold onto in the dream. Some people describe dreams in which they spontaneously started to float away from the ground. They felt anxious and scared that they wouldn’t be able to return and instead would float off into space. They might see friends and family members standing on the ground below and be powerless to get back to them. This kind of dream floating is similar to dreams of falling, and can be a subconscious hint that you feel out of control in some aspect of your life. Uncontrolled floating in dreams, especially if the dream environment around you is indistinct, may indicate that you feel aimless in life: you’re just “going with the flow” and have yet to set meaningful goals for your life. A lack of control over your movements in a floating dream could also indicate a lack of confidence in your own waking decisions and actions.
If you feel insecure financially, emotionally, or socially, negative floating dreams can articulate your feelings of insecurity. If you feel like you’re being micromanaged at work, or that your voice is being discounted in your personal or professional life, floating dreams can express your frustration at the lack of input you feel. Perhaps you’ve been observing a conflict or situation between people you know while feeling peripheral to the situation and unable to influence it in a meaningful way. Alternatively, if you feel content in your floating dream it may be a sign that you’ve decided to outwait a negative situation or conflict and have stopped stressing over it.
Other people or animals floating in a dream can have several meanings depending on the tone of your dream. Seeing animals floating on water was traditionally thought to denote happiness and contentment. However, if you see animals or people you know floating away from you, it could be a sign that you feel disconnected from others; perhaps you’re experiencing difficulties that are isolating you from those around you. Likewise, seeing objects floating in dreams can indicate that you feel ungrounded and want to strengthen your connections to the rest of the world.
Finally, if you feel that you floated out of your body while remaining conscious, you may also want to learn more about out of body experiences, including ways to control and induce them. Like floating dreams in general, OBEs tend to be a lot less scary when you understand what may be causing them. Floating dreams can be either calming or distressing depending on the content and tone of the dream. Dreams both positive and negative spring from the thoughts, events and emotions of our waking lives, so if you have scary or upsetting floating dreams, the best way to reduce them or change them into positive dreams is to honestly address the conflicts and stresses in your life that may underlie them. Once you address the underlying causes of negative floating dreams, you may even experience a positive counter-dream of floating that will assure you the issue has been resolved.