Dream Question: why am I dreaming about cars?

“I dream my car is trapped in an under water system, like a tunnel. What does this mean; am I strange or going bats?” Chris.

Thanks for sharing your dream with me, Chris. You’re definitely not going bats or strange!

This dream is offering you an important message, just like a friend giving you a piece of advice which you can choose to acknowledge or ignore. Here are my thoughts on this dream for you:

Cars in dreams, often symbolise our position in a particular area of life and, especially if you’re driving the car in the dream (and depending what’s happening), often reveals how in control of your life you feel.

Being in the driving seat is a metaphor for being in charge or control, but you found yourself trapped; maybe there’s a situation you feel you can’t leave, perhaps because of the weight of responsibility.

The interpretation of car dreams will also depend on other detail you recall, like whether it was your car or someone else’s, what colour it was, if the vehicle was ‘beaten up’ and who else was with you. You don’t mention anyone else in the car with you, so this may acknowledge that you feel you’re having to deal with this problem on your own.

Cars can also symbolise what motivates and inspires you – what ‘drives’ you – in life. Perhaps recently you’ve been feeling ‘stuck’ as to which direction to take in your life which will help you achieve your hopes and dreams. Another common car dream is where people stand on the brakes but nothing happens – another ‘sign’ that you’re feeling out of control or things are going too fast.

People sometimes dream about different parts of the car – taking a back seat could mean avoiding a decision or deciding to watch the world go by for a while and let others take charge.

The engine is what “drives” the car, so I encourage people to think about what gets their “motor running” – what motivates you and what’s stopping you getting where you want to be. The boot or trunk of the car can be useful storage, but also where we tend to dump things we don’t want. It can get cluttered and dirty. In these cases it might be time for a clear out of the things that are taking up too much space in your life, or room in your head.

However, you mention in your dream, that you feel as if you’re trapped in an under water system, like a tunnel. This may emphasise that you may have steered (or found) yourself in to a situation you’re now finding it difficult to escape from. Water has different meanings to different people (here are some examples) but for many people it symbolises the need to ‘cleanse’ certain parts of your life and start fresh, or that you might feel like you’re “drowning” under pressure (eg from work). This doesn’t mean getting rid of people or things, but perhaps purifying the way you think about them in a healthy and positive way.

We talk about ‘sinking’ or ‘trying to keep our heads above water’ in metaphorical terms, when speaking about money too, so again this may have been an issue or worry of late as in your dream, you were effectively in an ‘under water’ area.

Remember that cars are a modern day symbol. A few centuries ago someone wouldn’t dream about this ‘sign’ (unless it was a dream predicting the future). This might mean that what’s bothering you is a modern day concern, so maybe work-related, finances or something similar.

My top tips for car dreams:

In Freudian terms, a tunnel represented the female birth canal but this may be an outdated theory – it’s always worth trusting your gut as to what the tunnel may mean specifically for you. You could spend some time meditating on the image you remember from your dream and whether you felt scared, relieved or just ‘stuck’.

Take some time out to manage your stress effectively in case your dream is also suggesting that things are getting on top of you (again because you were ‘under’ something in your dream.)

Have a think about which areas you feel in control of at this time in your life and what’s driving you to distraction. Make a list of what you can control and how you can take positive action, then anything which is on the ‘Not under my control’ list, find a way of processing this so you can help manage the worry and get a better night’s sleeping and dreaming.

Keeping a dream diary can help understand common and recurring dreams. I talk about this and provide a template in my book, Answers in the Dark.

Please read the “important stuff” about this website before leaving a comment or question.  Thank you.

Dream question: Is my partner having an affair?

It makes sense that we worry about this type of dream, especially if we think it might come true. I talk about these types of dreams in my book Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal. The book aims to join the dots between our sleep, dreams and our mental health, specifically how grief shows up, even if no one has died. I explore some of the big myths of sleep, offer a Sleep Cycle Repair Kit including mindfulness activities as well as some top tips to help you decode your dreams. 

You can find out more in the video below or order on Amazon.

Available on Amazon

About this website

Thank you for visiting my website about dreams.

I am a qualified counsellor, and well-being trainer. I provide professional therapeutic services into the community to help people find what I call their ‘mojo’ (feel-good energy or motivation) and get their sparkle back, often during or after a difficult time in their lives. You can find out more about my counselling services here. I am also the author of Answers in the Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal.

Available on Amazon

My mission is to help improve and enhance the well-being of others through compassionate education and wholehearted, meaningful dialogue. I believe in human potential, helping people manage uncertainty and build resilience, building connection in communities.

I have designed and delivered nationwide training programmes, including promoting the benefits of peer support following the death of a loved one, and tailored bereavement awareness training to front line personnel including police officers, paramedics, and search and rescue teams. I currently run and facilitate peer support groups on well-being and bereavement

I have a special interest in dreams and sleep, appearing on TV shows like Loose Women. (You can find out more about this further down the page).

I campaign to raise awareness and discuss prevention of domestic abuse. I also actively challenge the taboo of talking about death, dying and grief. I am a strong advocate of self-compassion, encouraging regular restorative acts of self-care

I am based in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, with some services available nationwide and globally via call services like Zoom, Teams and Google Meet.

Professional Career

I started my therapeutic career in 2002, where I supported those bereaved by murder and suicide, including attending inquests at coroner’s court. I now work in the community promoting well-being maintenance and recovery, through 1-1 sessions and group events.

I also work for a charity in my spare time, managing volunteers who provide a unique transport service for cancer patients, which won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2014. 

Pregnancy Mental Health

In 2004, I established a unique website and peer support group dedicated to Pregnancy Mental Health, following my own experience of ante-natal depression and anxiety.

As a result, I have featured in several popular magazines on this topic, including Pregnancy and Birth and Natural Health magazines, and featured on radio programmes like Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. (You can see a full list of tv and media appearances below). 


I currently volunteer with an organisation that supports victims of crime and as an independent advisor on community cohesion. I am also a community ambassador raising awareness of signs and prevention of domestic abuse. 

Qualifications and Training

My qualifications and training include Therapeutic Counselling, Delivering Adult Learning, Support for Insomnia, Positive Psychology, Pain Management, Mental Health First Aid (and Psychological First Aid for Pandemics), and Mindfulness.

I have also received training with the National Homicide Service, Victim Support, and Women’s Aid. I am accredited to work with victims of crime, including those escaping domestic abuse.

TV and Media Career

I have enjoyed a TV and media career talking about the subjects I am passionate about, including dreams and healthy sleep. You can view an expanded list of media appearances below:


BBC Radio: BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 1 Xtra, BBC WM, BBC Shropshire, BBC Coventry, BBC Three Counties, BBC Radio 6 with George Lamb, BBC Suffolk Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Drive Time, BBC Radio Leeds Drive Time, BBC Tees, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour, BBC London with Sunny & Shay and on the Eddie Nestor show, Talk Sport, Beacon Radio, Hallam FM, Original 106 FM, Gemini FM, WLR FM, XFM, The Psychic Show (LBC 97.3), My Spirit Radio, Bridge Radio, Red FM


Loose Women, ITV’s This Morning, DayBreak (Presenter of The Guide to Sleep), , GMTV, The Wright Stuff, LK Today (Lorraine), Consultant to SO Television for My Lovely Audience (Graham Norton), Psychic TV

Featured work –

Natural Health, In Style MagazineGlamour Magazine, Daily Express, Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Magazine, Soul & Spirit magazine, Huffington Post, Guardian (G2), Sunday Express, Pregnancy, Baby & You, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Pregnancy & Birth magazine, Prima Baby magazine, Practical Parenting, Columnist for Spirit & Destiny Magazine, Contributor to Talk Mum, Contributor to Silent Voices, Columnist for Spirit Force Magazine, Mens Health magazine

PR Events

Dreams Bed Company, Maybelline New York, Sky + HD (article featured in Daily Telegraph), Johnson’s Beauty: Dreamy Skin, Snow Leopard Trust


  • Volunteer of the Year Cohesion Award for services to the community;
  • Nomination: “Women Who Keep Bedfordshire Safer”;
  • Regional Finalist for the Health and Social Care Awards for Mental Health and Wellbeing;
  • Spiritual Connextions Awards for Best Service to Others

© Delphi Ellis – Helping You Sparkle ™: The Dreams Maven™ and The Dreams Lady 2020™

Dream Question: What does my dream about lifts mean?

 elevator “I dreamt I was going up in a lift (elevator) but don’t remember getting to the top. What does this mean?”

Delphi answers:
Some people would rather walk up five flights of stairs than travel in one. They’re convenient but often break down. They can be made of glass or the strongest metal. You might find them where you live or where you work but we’re told not to travel in one when there’s danger nearby. So is your lift/elevator dream trying to tell you something?

One element of an elevator (or lift) dream is that that people often notice the direction in which they are travelling – either up or down. You may be particularly drawn to the fact in your dream, the lift goes an extremely long way in one direction.

The direction of the lift is often thought to suggest reaching part of your subconscious mind – going up, in to the higher realms of possibility and potential. Sometimes a lift dream is a metaphor for the “ups and downs” of life.

You were going up in your dream and you don’t remember reaching the top. This may symbolise your journey through life at the moment, striving to achieve something but not being quite there yet. If you were travelling higher than you felt comfortable with, this can suggest that you are pushing some boundaries but this may be in a positive way or with good reason. Just because something’s uncomfortable doesn’t always mean it’s not good for you, so it’s worth taking some time to think about what that might be and whether or not the risk is worth taking. The ‘Higher Self’ is often recognised as that part of you which only has your best interests at heart. So understanding why you’re going up in your dream will be valuable for you, especially if you feel you’re growing on a spiritual, soul level.

Going down can symbolise a need or fear of going in to darker corners relating to memories and problems of the past. If this had been your dream it may be time to put some, if not all, of the past to bed and let go of resentment or guilt which has been holding you back. Similarly if the lift stops with you in it, it may be that you have been facing obstacles or thwarted by problems, preventing you getting where you want to go.

If lifts/elevators are an important part of your day – perhaps you work in a high rise building or poor mobility means you depend on being able to use one – then elevators can reference something in your life which you have started to take for granted. It may be wise to consider ‘back up’ plans or alternatives regarding a specific scenario which has been on your mind.

My top tips to help your Lift/Elevator dreams sparkle:

* Have a think about your aspirations and what you’re trying to achieve; whether you’re taking enough positive action and keeping your thoughts healthy to achieve your goal. If your lift dreams start “going down”, pay attention to your mood and ask how you benefit from holding on to any unresolved hurt. Imagine what your life would look like if you moved passed the problems you’ve been facing.

* Pay attention to the “state” of the lift in your dream. If your lift looks fragile, perhaps you would describe yourself the same way. If the lift is strong and does the job effectively perhaps you’ve not been giving yourself credit for how well you perform under pressure.

* How you feel about elevators in your waking life is also particularly relevant to the interpretation. If they are the last thing you would ever use – i.e. you’re frightened of them – the lift can be symbolic of a fear which is present in your waking life. In these cases it can be important to acknowledge this fear, rather than letting it get out of control.

Interested in Mental Health? Have a look at Helping you Sparkle™.

Please read the “important stuff” about this website before leaving a comment or question. Thank you.

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