What Does It Mean When You Dream About War?

Whether you're logging on to social media or just watching the nightly news, you're more than likely to come across reports from the ongoing war in Ukraine. And while you can switch off the television or avoid doom-scrolling, you're bound to have had some sort of dream related to the tragic conflict. But dreaming about war isn't necessarily linked to what you read, see, or hear in the news or on social media. Instead, it can be a way for your mind to subconsciously tell you something about your life, dreams, goals, and relationships.

Of course, the meaning behind war dreams can be tough to unravel. This is because "there are many aspects to war that need to be addressed," according to AuntyFlo, which includes differentiating the source from the media you consume and your personal life. However, AuntyFlo suggests that people dream of war mainly because of battles "being waged in the waking world that" need "to be understood or explored," such as toxic relationships or personal struggles.

There are lots of different ways you can dream about war

As AuntyFlo suggests, the first step in figuring out why you're dreaming of war is to "consider the purpose" of it and what it could represent in your waking life. According to Dreaming and Sleeping, dreaming of war is a primarily "negative sign" and is commonly linked to experiences of stress or specific burdens. They can often warn you about a "period of hardship and troubles" that may lie ahead, giving you time to process them and figure out how to face them head-on. Dreaming about war is the subconscious preparing you to "fight these troubles with every power you have," according to Dreaming and Sleeping.

Dreaming of war can often be very specific, like dreaming about fighting without weapons or even being injured and killed. As Dreaming and Sleeping notes, this can signify feelings of unpreparedness and defeat. You may even dream about being at war with yourself, which can "symbolize your struggles in real life."

Dreaming about war doesn't necessarily have to be negative

Outside of battling with yourself, Female First notes that dreams of war can often mean you're worried about "battling with someone" in your life "over differing viewpoints," or it could even be the result of a "recent argument" with someone. Female First also links common phrases like "all is fair in love and war" and "war of words" to explain your dreams of war, implying that you may need to evaluate certain relationships or finally have that meaningful conversation with a certain someone that you've been putting of for some time. If this is a recurring dream, Female First suggests it may be a way of your brain telling you to leave a "toxic environment." 

According to Female First, dreaming of war can also represent difficulty in your future. Whether that be a big move, developing friendships, pursuing a relationship, or moving up your career. But dreaming of war isn't all bad. Suppose your subconscious is willing you to succeed in these ventures. In that case, you may experience a dream where you win a war that signifies "a period of good fortune" in the future.