Dream Journals are notebooks or journals that contain information recorded about one’s sleep patterns and dreams. These dreams that are often recorded can be anything from simple dreams, dream interpretations, nightmares, daydreams, or simple self-reflections. It is crucial to keep dream journals for a variety of reasons.
Dreams are a reflection of the soul and subconscious. The events in our lives often inform our dreams. Our dreams, along with our subconscious, may provide advice on how to handle a situation or activity that may often provide some interpretation to a feeling or emotion we are having. By keeping a dream journal, you will have a record of your recurring dreams and the themes and patterns within. With journaling your dreams, you may be able to gain an understanding of those feelings that you may not be able to process during the day. Identifying patterns in your dreams and subconscious thoughts can make it a lot easier to handle them because you will gain a deeper understanding of yourself. After all, it is much less challenging to work through something when you understand its root cause.
With dream journaling, we may be able to lessen our anxiety as well. In being more aware of our feelings, we will be able to look at stressful events differently. We may be able to think of different solutions to problems we couldn’t before, becoming more rehearsed in battling the situation. In starting a dream journal, here are some tips we found in making the process easier:
Choose A Journal That Suits You and Your Personality
Pick your journal carefully, and make sure it speaks to you. What matters is that it feels good, is approachable, and, most importantly, that you use the journal for nothing else but writing down those dreams. It does not have to be fancy or extravagant at all! Keep the journal, a light, and your dedicated pen by the bed. You want the journal to be the last and first thing you see before and after sleep. It will be easier to record your dreams with it near than storing it somewhere far. With keeping it close to your bed, it allows you to record your dream as soon as you wake to assure you you do not fail to remember any details.
When Writing Your Dreams Down
Pay attention to what happens, as well as any remembered emotions and thoughts you had in the dream. Remembering these details makes it easier to work with it later on. Not only will this allow you to become better in understanding your dreams, but it will also help in becoming one with your subconscious and your wants and desires.
When going to record your dreams, it is best to record your dreams in the morning. This is hard, I know. But the truth is that the dream is more natural to recall in the morning. If you absolutely can’t make time to record your dreams in the morning, jot down the most powerful emotions and images from the dream right after you wake up, being sure to rely more on the imagery of the dream rather than the details. Later in the day, you can then go back and record the dream with more detail. This may cause some issues; however, as when we keep recalling the dream throughout the day, we try to make sense of the dream, creating a more defined beginning, middle, and end. Beware of that urge – dream researchers call it the “narrative effect” when we alter the dream’s memory by adding a connecting element to the dream. Instead, record what you remember. More dangerous still is the urge to “drop” a bizarre element that doesn’t seem to fit in the story. If you catch yourself trying to forget something bizarre that happened in the dream, write it down. Why? Because that detail sometimes turns out to be the most revealing part of the dream later on!
Dream journaling should be something fun and rewarding. Do not stress out about it if it takes you a while to get used to writing down your dreams. The more you get into the habit of it, the better you will be about remembering your dreams.
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