How To Start Dream Journaling: A Powerful Self-Care Practice

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This post contains helpful tips and information for those interested in dream journaling.
But first, lets get into what the benefits are of recording your dreams.

What are the Benefits of Dream Journaling?

  1. Dreams allow our conscious and unconscious minds to connect and communicate with each other.
  2. Some believe our dreams also connect us to the collective unconscious and the spiritual realm.
  3. Looking into our dreams allows us to look into our true selves and to understand ourselves on a far deeper level.
  4. Dream journaling allows us to see how we truly feel about a situation or a person.
  5. It can help us discover what past experiences are still affecting our waking lives that might need healing or contain relevant lessons for us to apply to our current situation.
  6. Capturing the information from our dream can provide us with incredible inspiration, ideas, solutions to problems and so much more!

How to Remember Your Dreams

One of the most effective ways that has been found to improve a person’s dream recall is to start believing that you do remember your dreams.

You do this by telling yourself throughout the day and before going to bed “I remember my dreams”.

It seems so simple right?

This simple technique is what scientific research has found to be one of the most effective ways to increase your dream recall.

Once you start to remember a dream, even if you only remember a glimpse of a colour or an emotion you felt, write it down!

It’s like building up a muscle at the gym, the more you write down your dreams, the better you become at remembering them.

Dream Journaling Tips

  1. Write down your dream within 5 minutes of waking up
  2. Write the dream in present tense as if you are reliving the dream. This greatly assists in recalling more details you may otherwise forget
  3. Have your dream journal with a pen ready to go next to your bed
  4. If writing your dreams down in a journal isn’t your style, try recording your dream with a voice recording app. Have your phone with the app ready to go next to your bed.
    Bonus tip: set your phone light low before going to sleep!
  5. If you wake up with a dream whilst it’s still dark, avoid bright lights! Bright lights will wake you up that bit extra which risks you forgetting some vital dream details.
    This reading light has a red light setting, it’s my favourite dream journaling light!

Journaling Recurring Dreams

Recurring dreams are one of the most important types of dreams to write down. Recurring dreams repeat themselves because they’re trying to bring something to your attention which you’re either intentionally or unintentionally ignoring.

When journaling recurring dreams, highlight any new or changing details. These are key pieces of information when it comes to understanding recurring dreams on a deeper level.

Check out my blog ‘What Do Repeating Dreams Mean?’ to learn more about recurring dreams.

When Choosing a Dream Journal

There are some key features to look out for when choosing a Dream Journal to ensure you have the best journaling experience. Afterall, the easier you make it for yourself, the better!

  1. A bullet Journal
    Using a bullet journal as a dream journal has a number of benefits! For one, you don’t need to worry if you miss the lines whilst writing in the dark, because there are no lines! Plus, the pages allow you to draw pictures of your dream if you feel to do so.
  2. A cotton material cover
    This may seem excessive, but the more you can prevent yourself from waking up fully, the better. A journal with a cold leather cover might jolt you awake enough to forget some details of your dreams.
  3. A journal that opens flat
    Having a journal that you have to hold open can make the dream journaling experience a trying one. Especially when you’re only half awake and you’re just wanting to go back to sleep. A journal with sewn binding allows you to have your journal open flat on your bedside table ready for you to jot your dreams down with no hassle at all.
  4. Page thickness
    Now finding a journal with a good paper weight might not phase some of you, but keeping an eye out for a journal with at least 100gsm would be important for those who would like to draw images from their dreams as the thickness allows you to use pens, felt tips and even some paints. Plus, a good paper weight just feels luxurious!

Do you have a Dream Journal?
Grab one of these Dream Journals I designed with all the optimal features to enhance your Dream Journaling experience!

What Details to Include When Dream Journaling?

Before any other details, the most important thing to do first is to write down everything you can remember about your dream. Including:

  1. Feelings and Emotions
    It’s important to note down your feelings and emotions as this can change the meaning of the dream. For example, if you dream about being chased, the meaning of the dream can differ greatly if you were feeling scared or playful.
  2. Colours
    Colours have significant meanings in dreams. To see a door in your dream can have one meaning, but if you remember the door was a certain colour like purple or black, this can reveal a lot more about what the door is representing.

Then, you can add further details like:

  1. Life Associations
    Note down what you initially think the dream might mean and/or be related to.
  2. Date
    When you wake in the morning and write down your dream, it’s up to you whether you apply the date of the day you woke up, or, of the night you went to sleep.

    I personally like to date my dreams with the date of the night I went to sleep. This makes it easier for me when looking back through my dream journal and matching up with my day journal to see what happened in the days prior to the dream that could have influenced the dream.
  3. Time
    We can’t always be sure exactly what time we had a dream, but it can be beneficial information in learning more about your dream and sleep patterns.
    To make it easier, you can simply note if the dream took place before midnight, around midnight, early morning or during an afternoon nap.

Dream journaling is an incredibly powerful self care practice. If you have any further questions, pop them below in the comments.

Dream Journaling is a powerful self care practice. This post shares all the dream journaling tips you need to know to get started!

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