You may keep a journal to write down your thoughts and plans, or to process events that happened during your day. But, have you thought about keeping a dream journal? A dream journal is a record of the dreams you can remember when you first wake up.
If you are a person who doesn’t remember their dreams, this may seem impossible. However, the more you practice writing down what you remember when you wake up, the more you will start to remember your dreams.
Keeping a dream journal is not only a fun activity, but it’s also a way to become more in tune with your mind and soul.
- Keep a pen and paper by your bedside so that you can easily write down what you remember about your dreams the moment you wake up.
- Write down any details that stood out to you. This can be colors, shapes, places, people or any object that left an impact.
- Write down the emotions you experienced in your dream even if they don’t make sense. Sometimes, we have strong feelings while we are dreaming that can be clues to how we are feeling in real life.
- Write down anything and everything you can remember from the dream. Even if it seems like an insignificant, minor detail, it may have an important meaning to you later on.
- If you are too tired to write down your dreams early in the morning or when you wake up in the middle of the night, you can also keep a recording device (or use the recorder on your phone) and you can speak your dreams out loud.
- Dreams are one of the ways our brain processes our emotions. While we sleep, our subconscious goes through the events that happened during our day, the things we are anxious about, or the things we desire. This is one of the ways we internally process. When you make a habit of keeping a dream journal, you are giving yourself a tool to help process through your deep thoughts and emotions.
- Dreams can be message from our inner self or even from God. While some dreams are silly and random, other dreams have deep meanings that can give us wisdom and inspiration.
- Dream journaling actually helps you remember your dreams! When you create a routine of recording your dreams the moment you wake up, this sends a signal to your brain that it is important to remember them. The more you write down your dreams, the more often you will remember those dreams and the more details you will start to remember.
- The best time to write or record your dreams is the moment you wake up. In this moment, the dreams are still fresh in your memory.
- If you don’t get a chance to write down your dreams the moment you awaken, still write down what you can remember later on in the day. You will probably remember much fewer details, because as we go about our day, the things happening while we are conscious begin to overshadow the experiences that occurred in our subconscious.
WHAT to keep in mind when processing the dream
- Not everything is literal in a dream. For example, when you dream about a person, think about what that person represents to you, what you admire about them, what you don't like about them, etc. The person might simply represent a part of yourself that is somehow associated to the individual in your dream. Often figures in a dream represent aspects of the dreamer.
- It can be helpful to do a free association exercise for one minute before trying to interpret the dream. For one minute, speak out loud and take notice of everything including thoughts and feelings that come to mind when thinking about the dream.
- Pay attention to colors and numbers that show up as a pattern in your dreams. Think about what they mean to you and to what you associate them with.
- Take notice of what happened during your day and night previous to you having the dream. Real life events might be connected to the dream.