A dream journal is an absolute must for learning how to interpret your dreams on your own. It doesn't have to be fancy or complicated (though choosing a nice notebook will make it feel more special) - all that matters is that you write down what happens in your dreams.
You can use an elaborate hardcover notebook, or you can choose to use a simple spiral bound notebook - either one works fine.
Here are some of the reasons why you should keep a dream journal:
- You will be more aware of the feelings and sensations you felt in the dream.
- You will be able to look back on past dreams and look for trends and recurring themes
- You will have a more detailed account of the dream which will help you have a more accurate interpretation.
- It will help you get in the practice of being able to remember your dreams better.
- If you want to get in the habit of having vivid dreams which you can actually remember and learn from, keeping a dream journal is essential.
Here are Some Tips for Keeping a Dream Journal:
Journal as soon as you wake up: Keep your journal and a pen next to the bed. Write down everything you can remember with as much detail as possible. At first you may not have much to write, but the more you get in the habit of writing, the easier it will be for you to recall the details of the dream.
Don’t be Tempted to Use Technology: While I am a fan of doing everything digitally as much as possible, for dream journaling it can be disastrous! By the time you logon to your computer and open up a new document, you could already lose important details of the dream, not to mention get side tracked. If you really want to keep things digitally, write your dreams down on paper first – then transfer them to the computer.
Write on Every Other Line: It is recommended that you write on every other line in the journal, so after you complete writing you can go back and add more details you remember about the dream.
Be as detailed as possible: Try to describe as much as you can remember about the dream. Instead of writing, “I saw a door” – describe the door. Was it an old wooden door with chipping paint or was it a sliding glass door? These details will help you better interpret the dream.
Put a date on the journal entry: Dating your journal entries will help you remember when you had the dream, so when you look back in your journal you may find additional insight to the dream and its relationship to the events going on in your life at the time.
Take Notes: What events are going on in your life? How has your mood been the past few days? Taking notes on what is happening in your waking life can help you recognize patterns in your dreams.
Draw Pictures: Sometimes drawing pictures will help with better dream recall, especially if you've dreamed of an invention or a particular scene. Illustrating your dreams can help you better understand what they mean when you visualize them, especially if you are a visual person.
Don't Worry About Grammar, Punctuation or Spelling: When keeping a dream journal, it's good to just write everything down as fast as you can so you can write down what you remember about the dream. Don't worry about writing complete sentences, using correct grammar, or even spelling. Just write down whatever thoughts come to your mind!
Remember: Keeping a dream journal shouldn’t be tedious – it should be fun! You should look forward to writing down your dreams each morning.
Do you keep a dream journal? Have any tips for keeping a dream journal you would like to share? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!