Do you sometimes have vivid dreams or dreams that are full of messages you can’t quite decipher? Maybe you’ve had promising ideas, inspiration, or answers to problems show up in your dreams, but remembering the answers or the information escapes you as you awaken.
The problem is that often you forget your dreams, or the essential details stay just out of reach. A dream journal could be the answer! Keeping a dream journal will allow you to capture the essence of your dreams and see patterns in the messages coming from your subconscious. Here are five simple steps you can take to start keeping a record of your dreams.
Be prepared to write down your dreams
You need to be able to write down your dreams before you even get out of bed. Before you go to sleep, set the conscious intention to journal your dreams, send the message to your brain that you want to remember as much as you can.
Try this affirmation: “I will remember my dreams and the details within them so I can write them down in my dream journal.”
Keep a pen and notebook on your nightstand so you can reach out and grab them without having to search around. You can also jot down notes in your smartphone or dictate the details in a voice memo. The important thing is to get it recorded in a way that works for you!
Journal before you do anything else
Even before you’re properly awake, try to capture as many dream details as possible before full consciousness sweeps them away. Even checking the time can be enough of a distraction to allow your dreams to seep away.
Write without critiquing and try to get down the things that feel important to you. You can always go back and “flesh out” your notes and hints later, but start the habit of getting the impressions down as soon as you awaken.
Write down / speak / record the essentials
It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember every detail of your dreams. Sometimes you might wake up and not be sure whether you dreamed or not. Write down/speak/record whatever you’re feeling or what emotions you wake up with. Just focus on getting into the habit of recording your thoughts and emotions every morning.
Make connections between your dreams
After a while, you’ll be able to see patterns in your dreams. Do you dream about the same person or the same situation? Are you in the same place? Analyzing your dreams for common threads and images can help you read your dreams and understanding what they’re trying to tell you.
Use your dreams to improve your life
Once you can see how your experiences, worries, hopes, and fears are reflected in your dreams, you can use that information to make changes in your waking life. As you address the anxieties that surface in your dreams, you’ll start to live a calmer, less stressed life and even sleep better.