Have you ever thought of keeping a dream journal?
Dreams are so crazy, it’s kind of hard to even wrap your head around what a dream really is. But, what we know for sure is that we dream for a reason. Dreams are how we process everything going on in our lives, but on the subconscious level.
For those of you that don’t know what dream journaling is…let’s start from the very beginning.
A dream journal is a journal or notebook where you record as much of your dream as you remember, as soon as you wake up. Believe it or not, dreams often mirror the things we are thinking about in our subconscious mind & they are completely different from person to person. This makes dream journaling the perfect opportunity to see what’s going on in your brain.
So, let’s go over the many benefits of keeping a dream journal & how to start.
Benefits Of A Dream Journal
♡ Improves dream recall.
Do you ever wake up & immediately forget your dreams? Most people do. Keeping a dream journal can help train your brain to remember dreams longer & help you better remember the minute details of your dreams.
♡ Helps you process your emotions.
Because our dreams are a reflection of what’s going on around us & in our subconscious mind, dream journaling can most certainly help you process your emotions better. The dreams we have can help us better understand our feelings & emotions towards certain events, people, etc. and help us change our perspective about issues we encounter throughout the day.
♡ Fuels creativity.
When dreaming, our creative juices run freely; there is no limit to the magical & fantastical things that can happen in our sleeping minds. By writing down these crazy & creative dreams, you can bring that creative energy with you into the real world. In fact, some of the greatest & most creative ideas come from dreams.
♡ Reduces stress & anxiety.
Like we mentioned earlier, recording your dreams can help you process your emotions more effectively. Just like journaling during the day can help get those emotions out & help you process them, dream journaling can do the same thing. Take note of recurring dreams & stressors you face in the dream world…what do they represent in your waking life? Can you make connections between your dreams and your day-to-day stressors? Now that you’re aware of these stressors, can you remove them from your waking life?
♡ Increases self-awareness.
As you take note of & reflect on your dreams, you will slowly start to learn more about yourself. You will begin to see trends & patterns in your dreams that are directly tied to your everyday life. And, with this information, you can begin to make life changes that relieve stress, anxiety, symptoms of depression, and more.
♡ Learn to lucid dream.
Lucid dreaming is a state of dreaming in which you become aware that you’re dreaming. In some cases, with practice & determination, you can even learn to manipulate your dreams. How cool would it be to control the action in your dreams? Dream journaling alone won’t teach your brain to fully lucid dream, but it’s an important part of the process. If lucid dreaming is something you hope to achieve, dreaming journaling is the perfect way to start.
How To Start A Dream Journal
♡ Grab a journal.
First things first, grab a journal or notebook & keep it by your bed. This way, it’s ready for your journaling first thing in the morning. If you prefer to type or use technology, rather than actually writing, there are also apps you can use to journal & track your dreams. These include Somnio: Dream Journal, Dreams: Your Dream Journal, and Awoken: Lucid Dreaming Tool.
♡ Slowly wake yourself.
For most of us, when our alarm goes off, we literally shoot out of bed. Jumping out of bed can make you forget your dream almost immediately. When dream journaling, it’s best to try to slowly wake yourself & immediately try to remember as many details about your dream as possible. Try setting your alarm for a little earlier & press the snooze button once. This will give you a few extra minutes to kind-of meditate on what you dreamed about & try to recall as much as possible. A lot of phones have a gradual wake up option in the alarm settings too.
♡ Write as many details as you can.
Journaling doesn’t always mean writing in full & complete sentences. Feel free to experiment with different types of writing. You can make lists, write random sentences, or just scribble down some words. If you’re more of an artist, feel free to draw what you saw in your dream. The main point here is that you write what you can and as much as you can. Try to write every morning, or after every dream you can remember bits and pieces of. If you wake up in the middle of the night from a dream – be sure to write those down too. You don’t have to wait until morning.
♡ Reflect on your dreams.
Okay – this part is super important. In order for you to make connections between your dreams and the real world, you need to take time to reflect on your dream journal entries. Take a few minutes each day to read over your journal entries & try to really think about what these dreams could be subconsciously trying to tell you. Don’t be afraid to read the same entries over & over – your brain will make new connections the more you repeat this process.
♡ Share your realizations ( Only if you want to ).
And lastly, share your realizations with the people around you. By sharing your epiphanies with friends & family and telling people about the real results you are seeing, you just might inspire others to start dream journaling. And thus, bettering themselves as well. But, of course, only if you want to.
Your dreams can tell you so much – so listen to them.
In general, daily reflection is super important for your mental health. Reflection can help you process emotions better, find clarity in difficult situations, and learn to avoid stressors. When it comes to reflecting on your dreams, so much more will come to light.
Plus, how cool is it to remember your dreams? Isn’t it so frustrating when you forget the details of a wonderful dream? Once you begin this process, your dream recall will only get better & better over time, which means more cool, crazy, and creative dreams to remember & reflect on.
Okay guys – that’s it on dream journaling for now. If you try this out, please let us know. Or if you’ve been dream journaling for a while tell us what kind of differences you’ve noticed. Would love to hear.
x, The Skinny Confidential team
+ if you need a pen to help you journal, you have to get Lauryn’s favorite, specific pen.
++ for a more productive day you, stalk this post on The Morning Pages.