It is quite common for people to dream about swimming, whether it be in a swimming pool, a lake, or the ocean. In this article, we will be looking at the meaning of such dreams. They are very varied and can be both negative and positive. To get the full picture you need to look at the dream as a whole.
What Does it Mean to Dream About Swimming or a Swimming Pool?
Many people enjoy swimming, while others are afraid of water. The way you feel about water can often affect the full meaning of the dream, for example, if you don’t like water, you could dream that you are struggling to swim or are being thrown out of a boat. This could mean that you are struggling with either your career or with a relationship. You are trying to survive but are finding it difficult. On the other hand, if you are swimming happily, it can indicate that you could be due for a fresh start in some aspect of your life.
Questions to Ask to Better Understand this Dream Meaning
You can ask yourself many questions which will help you to interpret your dream about swimming.
- Were you swimming in a pool, lake, river, sea, or ocean?
- Do you enjoy swimming or not?
- Was the water clear or dirty?
- Was the water cold or hot?
- What were your emotions during the dream, were you happy or sad?
- Were you swimming with friends, strangers, or alone?
- Were you in a private or public swimming pool?
- What other symbols did you notice in the dream?
It’s always good to keep a dream diary by the side of your bed so that you can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. It is always easier to remember your dreams when you wake up. Write down all the important symbols you saw in the dream. If you combine them it will give you a better idea of what the dream means.
Swimming as a Symbol for Emotions
If you see water in your dream, it can relate to the way you are feeling. Perhaps you are in a new relationship and you are not certain how you feel about this person. Maybe you want to start a new career, but are afraid of leaving your steady, well-paid job. Look at other symbols in the dream to help you interpret the dream.
If you dream that you are swimming against the current in a river or the sea, it can indicate that you are apprehensive about the future, but on the other hand, this period can be a cleansing period. Perhaps you need to let go of past hopes as they are not working out well for you. If you are swimming with the current, all is well in your life and you are making the right decisions.
If the water you are swimming in is clear, it is an extremely positive sign. You could be about to have some success or perhaps the difficult times are now over. If you dream of swimming in dirty water, it can mean that you are not looking after yourself and this could lead to sickness. Alternatively, you could just be trying to work your way through tough times. The way you feel in your waking life does affect your dreams.
Playfulness & Yearning for Fun
Oftentimes we remember our childhood when many of us might have had fun playing games in a swimming pool with friends. If we dream of swimming or even playing in a pool with others, it can mean that we are hankering after a more pleasurable existence. Perhaps we have been working too hard and haven’t had enough time for leisure. Maybe it’s time to put aside a little time for you and your friends to interact. You may dream of swimming if you are feeling stressed in your waking life. The dream is telling you to relax more. Everything will turn out alright in the end.
Beginnings and Rebirth
If you look up the symbolism of water in dreams, you will see that it is associated with new beginnings. If you are a Roman Catholic, you will probably have been baptized with water. This is a new start under the protection of God. However, water is not only connected with religion, but also the desire to start afresh. Perhaps you have just gone through a divorce and want to put it behind you. Maybe you want to start a new career. Water can symbolize birth and perhaps you or someone you know is expecting a baby.
The location where you are swimming can give you an idea about what is going to change in your life and if you are going to have a new start.
If you are swimming in a public pool which is packed with swimmers, it could mean that you want to make friends and start a new social life. A private pool with just you in it can indicate spiritual or personal growth. If you are swimming in a pool which is part of a development of houses it could mean that it is the right time to start new business ventures or an alternative career.
If you are swimming in a river it also suggests that you are due a new start in life. If you are swimming with the current, the outcome is positive, but if you are struggling to swim against the current, you may encounter some obstacles.
Swimming in the ocean or the sea can mean that a good period in your life is coming up very soon.
If you find that you are swimming the breaststroke or freestyle effortlessly in any of these locations, means that you will have some success in the coming days.
Survival and Overcoming Challenges
Some people don’t enjoy swimming or can’t swim. If you are one of these people and you see yourself swimming happily in a dream, it can indicate that you are going to overcome challenges. However, if you see yourself struggling to swim or are drowning (see also drowning dream meaning), it can mean that something in your waking life is overwhelming you. Perhaps you don’t know how to get out of this situation. Alternatively, it can mean that you are going to be disappointed about something. If you are dreaming of drowning this can mean that you are feeling trapped and can’t find a way out of a situation.
If you dream about feeling tired while swimming or are only able to tread water despite trying to swim, it can mean that you feel stuck in a situation you can’t get out of. Perhaps you feel as if there is no way in which you can move forward with your life. Maybe you have financial problems and are only just able to pay the bills.
Dreaming about being unable to swim indicates that you are going to be going through some tough times ahead. The dream tries to forewarn you of this so that you can face this head-on.
Reflections and Illusions
Water has a reflective quality and in dreams, it can mean that you need to reflect on your life. If you see your reflection in water in a dream it is a sign that you need to take some time out to consider the way you are feeling about different areas of your life. You may find that you are dissatisfied with some aspects and that it is time to make a change. Perhaps you are bottling up your feelings and it is time to confront your inner self.
Common Dreams About Swimming and Their Meanings
We will now take a look at what symbols about swimming mean when you see them in your dreams.
Swimming in an Oddly Shaped Pool
Swimming pools are usually rectangular or circle so if we dream of one in a different shape there can be a special meaning. For example, if we dream of a triangular pool, it could mean that you are being pulled by two different people. It could be that two friends want you exclusively or that you are pulled between two different job offers. If the pool is curvy, it indicates that you want to experience life with no restrictive boundaries. You want to be free and do what you want. You don’t want someone else stopping you from reaching your goals.
Dreaming of a Pool Fountain
If you see a fountain in a swimming pool, it bodes well. You will be receiving an abundance of something, be it money, friends, career opportunities, or feelings. The dream is extremely positive, and it can also symbolize renewal. Perhaps you are ready to change your life for the better. If you are swimming in the pool so much the better. You can expect good things to come.
If you dream of yourself swimming on your own, it could mean that you are lonely and need to make new friends. However, it can be a more positive dream indicating that you need some solitude to work out your feelings. You don’t want to go too far from your friends, but you need some time alone.
Another meaning of this dream could be that you feel emotionally distanced from people in your life or from a situation. You want to remedy this, but you are not sure how to.
You must remember how you felt during this dream. Is it the same as you feel during your waking life? If it isn’t, it could be your subconscious telling you things that you might not have been able to admit. It is time to face these fears.
Dreaming of a Peaceful Swimming Pool with No People
If you dream of a pool with nobody in it, it can mean that you are at peace with the world. Alternatively, depending on your mood in your waking life, it can mean that you are lonely. Maybe you wish that you had more friends or a closer family. Perhaps it’s time to try and make new friends.
Dreaming of Filling or Draining a Swimming Pool
Filling or draining a swimming pool has two completely opposite meanings. If you dream you are filling a pool, it can mean that you are fulfilled emotionally. Alternatively, it can be that you are about to start on a new venture and are feeling positive about it.
On the other hand, if you dream that you are draining a swimming pool, something in your life is making you feel emotionally drained. It is time to remedy this situation. Perhaps other people are asking too much from you and while you are helping them, you feel that you are doing too little for yourself. It is commendable that you are putting the needs of others first, but you should put aside some time for yourself.
Swimming in an Indoor Pool
If you are swimming in an indoor pool, and more especially, if you are alone, it can indicate that you are not connecting with the outside world and you are keeping yourself to yourself. It is time to open up a little and talk to your friends and family. Perhaps you need to reflect on the way you feel inside.
Another meaning of this type of dream is that you are being too sensitive to what is going on around you. Perhaps your boss has reprimanded you for something or you have argued with your partner. It is time to let bygones be bygones.
Maybe you are thinking of the way other people see you. Perhaps looks are more important to you than your inner emotions. You may also not be doing what you want just to keep other people happy.
Swimming in a Public Pool
Public pools are usually noisy and packed with people. This can have two meanings depending on your personality. If you are outgoing, the dream could reflect your life which is packed with friends and family. If, however, you are shy and like to keep yourself to yourself, this dream can indicate that you feel lost (see map dream meaning) and unsure of yourself when you are in a crowd. Perhaps you feel that nobody is noticing you or appreciating you. Maybe you think that you are putting the needs of other people first, while you sit in the background. It’s time to remedy this situation.
Dreaming of Dirty Swimming Pools or Cleaning a Pool
If you dream that you are cleaning a dirty swimming pool, it can mean that you need to make changes in your waking life. Perhaps you have kept your feelings about a certain situation inside and now is the time to let them go and start afresh.
Swimming in a Body of Natural Water
This can mean that you want to connect with a more natural way of life and spend time outdoors.
To dream that you are swimming in an ocean indicates that you are being pulled in different directions by people in your life. You may see a calm ocean, but then a tidal wave comes, and you feel overwhelmed and are in danger. If you dream you are swimming underwater in an ocean, it indicates that you have hidden feelings.
If you are swimming in the sea, and the water is crystal clear, then this means that you are going to succeed in either your personal or work life. However, if the water is murky, then this indicates that there are problems ahead.
A lake is usually still, so if you dream you are swimming in one, it can mean that you aren’t moving forward emotionally. It is time to decide what you really feel about how your life is turning out.
Swimming in a river indicates that it is time to start a new project or relationship. If the river is running fast and you are keeping up with it, good times are ahead.
Diving Boards, and Diving into a Swimming Pool
If you dream that you are diving into a swimming pool, this can mean that you are about to start a new project and are excited about it. However, if the diving board feels unsafe, you could be feeling insecure. If you dive into shallow water, you need to think through your plans for the future.
You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘dive on in’. This means that you have dived into some aspect of your life without thinking it through.
Competitive Swimming: Swim Team, Olympic Swimming, or Synchronized Swimming
If you dream that you are part of a swimming team it indicates that you are trying to achieve a goal in life. If you are already part of a team, not necessarily a swimming team it can mean that you are trying to sort out your feelings about the sport you are playing. Perhaps you’re not sure if you want to continue or maybe you want to achieve something great with this team.
If you aren’t in a team, this dream could mean that you want to be in one and have the camaraderie that goes with it. It could also just mean that you want to be part of a group.
Alternatively, the dream might be saying that you are in competition with someone, usually in a work situation. Maybe you are trying to win in a romantic setting. Perhaps there is someone you like but are afraid of making a move. This dream is telling you to go for it.
Swimming with Fish or Animals
If you dream that you are swimming with either fish or animals, it can mean that changes are coming for you. There can be other meanings to this dream. Maybe you are full of energy, or perhaps you aren’t thinking of others as you should be. It is time to focus some of that energy on the needs of your friends or family. If you see yourself swimming with your cat or dog, positive changes are coming your way.
Swimming in Something That is Not Water
Sometimes you can dream that you are swimming in foodstuffs such as milk. This can mean that you need nurturing.
If you dream that you are swimming through money it can mean that you are hopeful about investments you have made. You could also be thinking of ways to improve your financial situation. Perhaps you are struggling financially and need to find a way to earn more.
Additional Swimming Pool Dream Meanings and Associations
If numbers are prominent in your dream, there will be an additional interpretation. For example, if you dream of the number 2, there is harmony, consideration, and love in your life. The number 6 means that you need stability or security.
Colors in your dream also have different meanings as for example red is for love, while green means jealousy.
Sayings & Phrases Related to Swimming
There are plenty of sayings associated with swimming which can help us to interpret our dreams.
Swim Against the Stream/Swimming Upstream: This can be a phrase that comes to mind when you are swimming against the current of a river or the ocean. You are doing something in a way that is much harder than it should be. Also, you could be doing things in a different way to others.
Swimming with the Fishes: If you remember the old black and white crime movies, you might remember that gangsters would tell the boss that the enemy was swimming with the fishes, meaning that he was dead. If you dream that you are swimming with fish, it indicates that you feel guilty about something and maybe want to hide it from others.
Sink or Swim: This is a phrase that is used when you are confronted with a problem. You could sweep it under the carpet and ignore it or you could try to put everything into it and try to solve the problem. If you are faced with challenges, this dream is trying to tell you that you must try and overcome them or lose everything.
Swimming with the Current: If you dream that you are swimming with the current, it can mean that you are going along with what is expected of you. You don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
Swim with the Sharks: If you see yourself swimming with sharks, it can mean that you are taking unnecessary risks and are associating with dodgy people (see also shark dream symbols).
Pool Hopping: Years ago, kids used to sneak into their neighbor’s pools late at night and this was called pool hopping. If you dream of this it can mean that you are looking at different options before deciding which way to go with your life.
Pool Shark: Pool sharks are involved in taking bets on the game of billiards or snooker. They are often dishonest, so if you see one in your dream, perhaps someone is being shady with the truth or maybe you are cheating somebody. The dream could be trying to tell you that you are doing wrong, and it is time to remedy this.
The dream could be quite literal and if you see a shark in a swimming pool, this can mean that there is somebody that you don’t trust or maybe it is you who is not trustworthy.
Additional Things to Consider About Swimming
Swimming is an Olympic sport: The pools used in these games are extremely large which can indicate that you are being overwhelmed by something. Perhaps it’s a new job or maybe your partner is trying to rush you into marriage.
If you dream about a famous swimmer, this can mean that you too want to be famous, but it could simply be that you want to succeed in the career path you have chosen. If you dream of the Olympics while they are going on, it can remind you to consider your ambitions. You probably won’t become an Olympic swimmer, but you might achieve success in your chosen field.
There are many different swimming strokes & techniques: Dreaming about different swimming strokes can have a variety of meanings. Dreaming of doing backstroke can have two meanings. Maybe you are trying to find a way of doing something more easily, or perhaps you are trying to hide your emotions from the outside world. If you dream that you are doing the butterfly stroke, you want to transform your life. Perhaps a new home, job, or romantic interest is on the horizon. If you are wearing swimming goggles, everything is now clear, and you should know what your next steps will be. Perhaps you might be able to see what others can’t.
Swimsuit: If you see yourself in a swimming costume it can mean that you are concerned about the way you look. Alternatively, you might be trying to cover up some aspect of your personality. It is important to take heed of the color of the swimsuit in the dream. For example, black can mean loneliness and sadness, while blue indicates loyalty. Perhaps you have been doubting someone’s loyalty to you. This dream can help you to have faith in him or her.
Swim towel: If you see yourself reaching for a towel after swimming it can mean that you are looking for comfort. You need to change the way you are feeling as your emotional state has been a little rocky.