Dreaming of Swimming In The Sea

We’ve talked about dreams involving water, swimming, and swimming pools, but what about the sea?

The sea provokes emotion. The last time you went to the beach, what did you feel? Even if it’s something as normal as being annoyed by the wind whipping salt into your face, or the smell was a bit strong, or maybe you got hair in your mouth. Sand might have got into places it has no business being. 

Perhaps it was more profound than that. When you decided you were going to the beach, were you feeling frustrated? Hemmed in? The fresh air, the rhythmic waves, the wide-open state of the sea are a cure for a lot of things. It’s a source of freedom, and release from your troubles. If the water’s choppy, and you’re annoyed, you might feel like you relate. We often project our feelings onto things that might reflect back at us, and dreams can be projections of our deepest emotions.

Water in dreams stands for your emotions (see also Water Dreams Symbolism), and while a swimming pool offers you a brief picture, a sea in your dream offers an in-depth insight into your current state of mind, and anything lurking in your subconscious.

How are you feeling in this dream? Relaxed? Are you calm, or is the fear of the deep too much? Your life may be in a stable state where you’re content with where you are in life, or you might be looking for things to worry about. You may be concerned about things that may not come to pass at all.

Like in Tarot, one image appearing in your dream can represent a lot of different things. The way to determine what the sea means in your dream, and how you’re subconsciously feeling is to take a look at the water. The visual state of the sea in your dream denotes how you feel, either positively or negatively.  

What do Dream Psychologists Say About Dreaming of Swimming in the Sea?

Sigmund Freud, known for his theories linking the psyche to repressed sexual desires, suggested that water represented our emotions in connection to these desires. For example, if the sea was calm and clear, this represents a state of clarity and contentment. If it was stormy and the waves were rough, this can mean we’re having difficulty controlling our emotions. The way the water behaves in this dream signifies the changes in your emotional wellbeing, as full as possibilities as the sea. 

Carl Jung believed that every dream featured at least one archetype. He suggested that “The sea is like music, it has all the dreams of the soul within itself and sounds them over.” Any hidden desires that we have can present themselves to be the sea in our dreams and reflect our unconscious wishes. To quote him further, (see also Interesting Dream Quotes) “the favorite symbol of the unconscious, the mother of all that lives.”

Joseph Campbell, known for categorizing archetypes through one monomyth and dreams collected from different cultures, proposed something called the “eternal principle”, which connects everything. He wrote “you are a wave on the face of the ocean. When the wave is gone, is the water gone? …Nothing has happened.” which illustrates the eternal nature of a dreamer and the dream, the sea that stretches on, like our emotions influencing our everyday life.

What is the General Dream Interpretation of Swimming in the Sea?

Water in dreams has a great spiritual connection and can be a sign of things to come. It can signify potential and adaptability, as water takes the shape of any vessel. It can also point to good career opportunities and more responsibility that follows suit.

If you floated on the water in your dream and there was no current, this can mean you need more variety in your life to keep you active and well, as staying in a rigid routine or just doing things that don’t challenge you can quickly make you bored or depressed. 

How well were you swimming? Did you feel safe, and calm? Did you cover a large distance? You’re at a good point in your life, this is a sign to take care and watch for future problems that may present themselves. If the water supports you, things are starting to improve for you. If you remember yourself swimming front crawl or breaststroke as opposed to just paddling, this means there are really pleasant times ahead.

Did the current make you feel unsafe, or did it pull you down at any point? This is a lack of control somewhere in your life. You’re in a position you don’t want to be in, or don’t know how to fix. Look past that, and the solution will come to you. You may also be worried about the future, and now may be time to cut out anything that no longer serves you, to minimize future problems.

What color was the water? Was it clear? Murky? A murky sea can mean you need to take care of yourself now to prevent any niggling health problems that might rear their heads in the future. If it was clear as a vacation advert, there will be a nice period of calm in your near future.

 Dreaming of a sea filled with refuse, or even the remnants of a crash of some kind suggests problems with close relationships. You’re upset with someone, and it’s time to put the negative emotion behind you so you can focus on your own goals again. 

If your dream involved swimming with animals, something about the present that you’ve come to be comfortable with is about to change. If you see yourself swimming against the tide, this signifies that people are shortly coming to you for your advice.

What does it Mean to Drown in the Sea During Your Dream?

What a horrible dream! You’re struggling, there’s great pressure on your chest and it’s burning. Your body is screaming for you to breathe (see also can’t breathe dream meaning), but you know if you do, you won’t make it. In short, you’re struggling with an emotional problem, or a really nasty one is about to wash over you. Drowning in a dream denotes issues with the people closest to you. You might be reading too much into things and causing yourself more grief than you need to. 

It can also signify a plethora of opportunities to recognize your own power in new situations.

Dreaming of other people drowning can be just as unpleasant as feeling yourself drown in a dream. It can be a sign that you are neglecting other people’s feelings or current issues, which you need to acknowledge. 

If drowning is a result of a ship capsizing or another sea-related accident, this is your subconscious showing you your own adaptability, and a creative solution in your waking life will help solve any current concerns.

What Does Swimming in the Sea Mean in Dreams?

Dreaming of swimming in the sea implies a need to connect with your inner emotions. It can have a strong spiritual message if you feel receptive. Have you been ignoring how you feel? Distancing yourself to believe you’ll do better without them? Our emotions can often manifest things you otherwise wouldn’t consider. You may be dwelling on your past and mistakes, but you’ve grown since then. Regretting or feeling ashamed of the past means you’ve learned from it, and it’s time to focus on the present and the good things in your life. 

The sea can also be a sign you’re longing for change, a new sense of freedom or lease of life. Don’t fight with yourself, focus on your current goals and take it one step at a time. If you see yourself swimming in the sea during the night, you are in a relaxed state, or an easy-going, content moment in your life. 

What is the Dream Interpretation of Swimming in Deep Water?

More than 80% of the Earth’s oceans (see ocean dream meaning) remain a mystery. We’ve found water on Mars, discovered microscopic animals that can live without food or water for thirty years, demoted Pluto’s planetary status, but we don’t know what’s at the bottom of the sea. Statistically, we’ve discovered 5% of the ocean. 

For many, the unknown is a source of fear, and that’s what deep water in a dream represents. You don’t know what’s ahead. Maybe you’re worried about someone in your life and don’t know how to help. You’re feeling overwhelmed, or it’s time to do some introspection and confront any deep-seated feelings, as they’ll drag your feet soon if you let them. 

What does it Mean to Swim in a Stormy Sea in a Dream?

There are some things you just can’t solve, despite your intentions or best efforts. A stormy sea in your dream means the future holds tricky situations, so brace for them now. Don’t dwell too much on future obstacles, as they’ll weigh you down and make it harder to carry on. The good news is that swimming in a storm represents your resilience and determination to keep going, but these problems won’t go away without a fight.  Even when you lose, it can teach you something equally important as if you’d won. 

If you dreamt of being in a stormy sea without any negative feelings, this implies an uptick in your social calendar, so prepare accordingly. Carve some time out for yourself now.

What does it Mean to Swim with Dolphins in the Sea?

Dolphins are some of the most intelligent creatures we know of. Their appearance in dreams reveals intelligence or new insight, and you should look out for it in the coming days. When not hunting, dolphins spend the majority of their time amusing themselves and can appear carefree and manifest as a symbol of happiness. Swimming with dolphins in your dream can mean a desire to get back to a time where you felt most comfortable in life, the most capable you’ve ever been, a situation where you felt able to tackle anything. That time’s not passed you, but ahead. Focus on trying to achieve that again, and you will.

Depending on whether you were swimming with them, or swimming against the pod, this can be a good or a bad sign. If you found yourself swimming against dolphins, you’ve been neglecting what you want, and it’s time you shaped your life into what you want it to be.  You should consider the choices you’ve been making, and ensure they line up with what you really want. Swimming with dolphins suggests that you’ve made the right choices, and you’re on your way to where you need to be.

What does it Mean to Swim with Sharks in the Sea?

I say “shark” and you say “dun-dun, dun-dun, dun-dun…” The feeling you get when you hear that theme tune? The shark’s not the problem here. It’s the feeling crawling up your spine. There’s a negative influence in your life, and letting it play havoc with your emotions invites trouble. Dreaming of swimming with sharks suggests there’s someone who’s emotionally draining you, or there’s a great imbalance between you, dragging you down. Holding onto something that burns you eventually means you can’t feel your hand. Time to let go, then. Have a close look at the relationships that influence your outlook. Can you change those dynamics for the better, to live a fuller life? Can you bring a positive influence to both of your lives? Or is it time you let go, and applied your energy to better things?

What does it Mean to Swim in Crystal Clear Seawater?

Quite literally, you’ll weather the tide. You’ll lean into the wind and let it propel you forward. Lean into any concerns you’ll have, and you’ll find them disappearing. If you’re unsure of how things will play out, dreaming of crystal clear seawater is a sign that you’ll gain clarity soon. Shortly, everything will make sense. Don’t worry about a mixture of emotions clouding a situation, as they’ll clear. Spiritually speaking, it means you’ve only touched on the start of your potential and what you can achieve. It’s time to make some new goals. Clear seawater also indicates there will be more positive situations that you’ll experience, and you’ll gain a wealth of positivity as a result.

What does it Mean to See Dirty Seawater in Your Dream?

Dirty water in your dream is rarely a positive sign. Dirty seawater in a dream points to a future negative state of mind or being. Remember that you’re in control of your emotions, and you don’t have to let them influence your actions. 

If waves were crashing into you in your dream, this is warning you not to stagnate. If you’re not fulfilling your dreams, it’s time to start them. If the sound of waves features heavily in your dream, this points to contentment, and any future mistakes will be chances to learn, instead of regret.


Ian Wallance; A-Z Dictionary of Dreams, unpublished paper on Freud (1923)

Carl Jung; Memories Dreams and Reflections, page 369

Carl Jung; Special Phenomenology, PART IV, Psyche & Symbol

Joseph Campbell; Asian Journals – India and Japan, pages 315-316

Feelings that Come from Dreaming of Swimming in the Sea

Things are becoming clear. You feel at one with your feelings and past experiences. Comfortable with your life and where you stand. Freedom. A sense of surprise at what you’re feeling. Confusion, or a general sense of anxiety about the future. Struggling to cope with your emotions. Unsure of what you feel. Content in your relationships. Calm. 

These are all emotions you may feel while dreaming of swimming in the sea. The sea is a universal symbol and means something slightly different to everyone. It can indicate you need to reconnect with your emotions to live your life more fully.


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