All the stress of a pandemic has to go somewhere, and apparently, it's ending up in our dreams at night.  There's one weird dream that everyone seems to be having, and there's a reason behind it.

If you've dreamed recently that you're being chased by something faceless, you're not alone.

You're out of breath, struggling to go faster and faster and outrun whatever the heck it is that's chasing you, and you're scared out of your wits but you don't know what exactly it is.  It's a blob of something, and it might be hidden in shadows. You just know that if you don't keep going, whatever it is will run you down and overwhelm you, and it's not going to be good.

This dream is common, and it's even more common now that we're in the middle of a pandemic.  A dream about being chased usually means we're avoiding something, according to the dream experts, and it's caused by anxiety.  We're not avoiding the impacts of coronavirus because that's impossible, but we might be trying to subconsciously get away from it.  And the anxiety is real.

Ian Wallace is a psychologist who specializes in dreams, and he told USA Today that the coronavirus situation has made dreams wilder and more vivid than usual.

A lot of it has to do with the fear of the unknown, he says.  We don't know when social distancing and quarantines will end, we don't know if we'll get the virus or if a loved one will get sick, there might be job stress, and even the grocery store is a mess and we can't be certain if we'll be able to find pasta or toilet paper.  The only thing that's certain is that life is uncertain right now.

Since we don't know exactly what this anxiety monster would look like if he had eyes and ears, he shows up faceless and chases us down in our dreams.

Author Gina Barreca is collecting dreams during the pandemic to look for similarities in sleepers across America, so if you're having odd ones, let her know.  She's looking for new patterns and unusual images.

Here's some good news.  The experts say dreams are just a release for what's happening to our minds all day long, and they are not "predictive."  Just because something shows up in our dreams doesn't mean it will show up in real life.  The stress caused by isolation, job loss, family tension, fear, and wondering if milk will be in stock when we get to the store can make our minds do cartwheels all day long, and that turns into a larger circus at night while we're sleeping.


MORE: See absolutely chilling photos of empty public spaces worldwide

More From Mix 106