A dream is a mysterious phenomenon. Unfortunately, we are not always attentive to our dreams and even if we are, very often we can’t remember them once we wake up. Dreams can serve us as an important tool for reaching our subconscious mind and understanding our shadow self. Also, we can find very important hints to our daily challenges and tap into creative potential if we learn how to do it. A dream journal is a simple but powerful tool for remembering our dreams and analyzing them.
A dream journal not only allows you to analyze your dreams but also trains your memory and increases your chances for lucid dreaming and astral traveling. By keeping records of our dreams, we inform the Higher powers that dreams are important to us, and the prophetic information begins to come to us in our dreams more often.
In this article, I will share with you what dream journalling is, what the benefits of this practice are, and helpful tips to start your practice.
What Is a Dream Journal?
Dream journaling is the practice of writing down what you remember from your dreams. A dream journal is a type of reflective diary, where you keep your records on your dream experiences.
If you do it regularly, over time, your dream journal becomes an invaluable source of insight into your most important concerns, activities, and relationships in the waking world.
Dream Journal Benefits
#1: It increases your chances of having lucid dreams
According to scientific research, the habit of writing down your dreams increases your chances of having lucid dreams. When you spend time physically writing down your dreams, you’re making both your conscious and subconscious mind aware that your dreams are important to you. This can make it easier for you to achieve a lucid state of dreaming. The mere thought that you are going to write down your dreams can help raise your awareness in your dream.
#2: It helps you better understand your emotions and thoughts
Analyzing your dreams can help you understand why you feel the way you feel. Deep introspection will help you identify triggers for your thoughts and emotions that you may not be consciously aware of.
#3: It helps you solve problems
Writing down the fragmented impressions of our dreams helps us capture some of our nocturnal out-of-the-box thinking and make connections between complex thoughts. While you’re dreaming you can tap into the infinite universal potential that contains answers to all questions. By writing down and attentively analyzing your dreams you can find the solution to your problems. You may also receive a sign or a symbol of the solution in your dream that dream journaling will help you to interpret.
As you may know, many writers have used their dreams to inspire their stories, and even some mathematicians – including Albert Einstein – have relied on dreams to develop their formulas and theories in ways nobody thought possible at the time!
#4: It helps you improve your memory
Paying closer attention to what your dreams are about will help you remember them more easily in the future. It trains your brain to be focused on what’s important to you!
#5: It helps you learn from mistakes
When you write down your dreams, you can go back and review them over time. This will help you see patterns in your dreams, which in turn can help you spot behavioral patterns in your life. This will help you understand your true feelings and gain perspective on matters that you didn’t see clearly at the time.
#6: It reduces stress
When you take a moment of quiet reflection, you experience a calming and restorative effect. Moreover, studies show that dream journaling improves your overall physical health, strengthens your immune system, and slows down the aging process.
#7: It boosts your creativity
Writing down your dreams can help you become better acquainted with the most irrepressible parts of your brain and realize the untapped potential of your creativity, helping you generate new ideas. Thus, keeping a dream journal can enhance your own unique brand of creative thinking, because when you are dreaming, you think more creatively.
4 Tips On Starting Dream Journaling
Place a pad of paper and a pen next to your bedside, and when you wake up with a dream in mind, immediately write it down. Because these bedside notes are often scrawled in semi-legible form, you will want to transcribe your dreams later in the day, either into better handwriting or onto your phone or computer.
Here are some helpful tips on how to make your dream journaling practice more effective:
#1: Write right away!
Write down everything you remember from your dream right after you wake up (even if you wake up in the middle of the night!). The longer you wait, the more you forget. Stay in bed when you’re writing down your dreams to increase the likelihood of remembering them.
Write down all the dreams that you remember, whether they are interesting or not, clear or foggy.
If you can’t remember the whole dream, write down only what you remember, even if it’s just a face, a place, a phrase, or something else.
Also don’t forget to write the date and create a title for each dream! It will help you to navigate your dreams more easily.
#2: Pay attention to the details
It’s important to include as many details as you can. Note everything that you can remember happening in your dream: your location, the surroundings, whoever is around you, time, sounds, numbers, objects, colors, your emotions and feelings, and any other sensations that you experience. At first, this can be difficult to remember any details but it will get easier with practice.
You can also accompany your writings with drawings. Sometimes, it could be easier to express all the details in a drawing, especially when you see some symbols, signs, pictures, unusual facial features, etc.
#3: Compare your dream to your waking life
As a first step towards interpreting your dreams, every evening try to write a short summary of what happened each day. Then, when you write down what your dream was about the next morning, you can look back on the previous day’s events for clues as to why certain elements may have shown up in your dream. Also, you can look at your dream to see how it might have influenced what you thought and felt for the rest of the day.
Once you get good at recording the details of your dreams, you can start to analyze them. Try to find patterns in your dreams – they might reveal what you are subconsciously thinking about.
When analyzing your dreams, try to answer such questions as:
- Are you always in a certain place?
- Is there a certain person/people with you in your dream, or are you always alone?
- Is there a particular plant, animal, or some other object in your dream?
- Are you always feeling a certain emotion in your dream?
- Are you always performing the same actions?
- Are you always making the same mistakes in your dreams?
These are just examples of the questions you can ask yourself for your dream analysis. You can come up with your own that would reflect your own unique experience.
If you keep dreaming of the same things over and over, it may point to certain issues in the waking life that you are trying to deal with or may have been reluctant to confront.
#5: Use a template
Using a dream journal template makes your journalling much easier. To download a dream journal template click here.
Dream Journal Apps
We live in a digital era. For many of us using our phones is more natural and convenient than using a pen. Some people prefer an app over a diary because they find an app more convenient (easier to always keep it next to you, even when traveling), more secure, and eco-friendly. If you’re one of those people, here are some apps that will help you keep track of your dreams right on your phone:
- Lucidity – Lucid Dream Journal
- Dream Catcher: Ultimate Dream Journal & Lucid Tool
- Lucid – Dream Journal
- Dream Journal Ultimate – Track and Analyze Dreams
- Luci – Intelligent Dream Journal & Lucid Guide
- Somnio: dream journal
- Awoken – Lucid Dreaming Tool
- Lucidity Level: Lucid Dreaming Tool/Dream Journal
The Bottom Line
By recording your dreams on a regular basis, tracking their themes and patterns over time, you will discover that your dream journal is an invaluable source of insight into your most important concerns, activities, and relationships in the waking world.
By analyzing your dreams you will eventually start seeing patterns in them, which in turn can help you spot behavioral patterns in your life. It will help you understand your true feelings and gain perspective on matters that you didn’t see clearly at the time.