I recently has an inquiry from a friend named Ben regarding recurrent dreams about tornadoes. Ben says that for as long as he can remember he has occasionally had dreams involving gigantic tornadoes coming straight for him. Certain details will change from dream to dream (eg who he is with, details about location) but he always ends up hiding from the storm in a closet.
Tornadoes represent thinking that is out of control. At the times Ben has this dream he is feeling overwhelmed due to the way he is using his thoughts. He is allowing them to race and is likely not being very selective or directed with his thinking. If there is rain present in the dreams it would indicate that whatever is going on in his conscious, waking life is also causing him distress at the times he has this dream. Hiding in the closet shows that when confronted with his out-of-control thinking and feelings of being overwhelmed that Ben has a tendency to passively retreat and not face the issues at hand. I have had this same dream more than a few times, and I am sure many others have as well.
My recommendation to Ben would be to take a good, honest look at what is going on in his life and his thinking the next time he has this dream. Be specific in order to determine which thoughts are causing the anxiety. Then still the mind in order to begin controlling the thoughts. Meditation and concentration are two of the best ways to still the mind. Giving just 15-minutes a day to quiet, meditative contemplation will do wonders for creating a peaceful atmosphere in the mind. Concentrating for 10-minutes on a single point of focus (I prefer a candle flame, but anything will work) will develop control over his attention and will also allow Ben to start noticing the quality of his thoughts. While concentrating does he notice thoughts seeping in that are full of worry about his family? Or is he running through lists of all he needs to accomplish later in the day? What are the unconscious thought patterns that are playing in his mind creating this “stormy” state of mind? Once he can see them consciously he can begin to change them.