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dream journalling
Asking The Important Questions

What the heck are my dreams about?

Most of the time, my dreams have me waking up incredibly amused and thinking ‘what the f#@!’ – this is when they aren’t about me being kidnapped, my friends being murdered or my boyfriend breaking up with me. Then I’m just left in an anxious cold-sweat.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud suggested that dreams were a route to our unconscious minds. He believed that the information that appeared in our dreams was in disguised form so to get a better understanding, our dreams needed to be interpreted. Dream interpretation involves examining the literal content of a dream to try to uncover the hidden, unconscious meaning of it.

When I was reading up about expressive writing therapy a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across the idea of dream journaling. Dream journaling is a way of logging what happens during your dreams which enables you to interpret them to try to get a better understanding of your unconscious mind.

So, what are my top tips for dream journaling?

Pick your journal

You can go as fancy as you like with the notebook you choose, but the important thing is that it’s only used for your dreams. People found that if they shared the purpose of the journal with recipes or to-do lists, they recorded their dreams less. It’s also important to choose a good pen, one that’s going to make waking up and writing down your night-time adventures appealing in your barely awake state.

Keep the journal and pen beside your bed

The quicker you can record your dreams, the more accurate they’ll be. If you happen to wake up from a dream in the middle of the night, your journal is right there for you to jot it down. Recalling the facts of a dream gets harder the longer we leave it. This is why the idea is that you record your dreams first thing when you wake up.

Our brains try to make sense of our dreams and we end up filling in little details. We give it a start, middle and end and make sure it flows like a narrative. There’s also the risk that you won’t want to include anything that you deem as weird or bizarre which is understandable; our unconscious mind is a thing so full of weird we can only handle it in small, dream-like doses. But these bizarre details are what make our dreams and it could be the one thing you need to uncover a meaning to your dream. Dreams are supposed to be weird.

Pay attention to the emotions

How you feel and the thoughts that occur in your dream is a key part in dream journaling. The idea here is that it helps you understand the relationship between your waking self and your dream self.

Give your dream a title

One of the last things I read was to give the dream a title. This forces you to set the theme and focus of your dream which will help you understand it better. Naming your dreams also makes it easier to find or cross-reference a certain one.

But why should I do this?

Understanding your dreams can give you a different perspective on how to tackle life’s obstacles. These obstacles can be from deep within or external factors that you may have overlooked. Dreams have the ability to cut right to the chase by using metaphors within the symbols you chose to dream.

Could a recurring dream hold any significance? Logging your dreams in a journal will help you see if and how often certain dreams occur and allow you to figure out the relevance of it. It’s possible that recurring dreams happen due to an ongoing problem in your life that you’re ignoring.

You can gain increased knowledge, self-awareness and self-healing the more you practice recalling and interpreting what occurs in your mind as you sleep.

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13 COMMENTS

  • Chloe Chats

    I love reading up about dreams and what they mean, I’ve definitely had my fair share of weird dreams for sure. For some reason a re-occurring dream for me always seems to be me in some sort of zombie Apocalypse – I guess I’ll have to find out what that means haha, or maybe I watch too many films/shows that involves that. Dreams are so interesting though, and I hate it when you’re having a really good dream and then you wake up, but then you try sooo hard to go back to sleep and carry on the dream and sometimes you just can’t!

    Chloe xx

  • Anaïs N.

    I used to wake up in the middle of the night and write my dreams in the note app of my phone! I love trying to figuring out what the heck was my dream about haha
    It was an interesting read Hannah!!! x

  • Geraldine

    Good suggestions Han!! I often don’t dream (I think.. that I recall lol) but I have to say I’ve had some pretty bizarre dreams when I was younger! Can’t even begin to wonder where that even came from. It was pretty much like watching a sci fi movie! 😅 Logging it in a journal is really smart! It’d be so interesting to see if there is a connection somehow to our other dreams in the past and in the future!

    Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com

  • Writing my dreams downhas actually really helped me lately, and I feel like I can map how I’m feeling by my dreams!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  • Hannah Read

    Good post! Ive been trying to record my dreams recently but the problem I have is I fall back asleep again before I remember to get my journal, and then the dreams been replaced with something different. I have quite vivid dreams but usually a few of them so it can be hard to remember them fully. I think they can really help with introspection though – I always have dreams of chasing tornadoes and tsunamis when I’m bored in life, and dreams of my phone breaking when I feel out of control.

  • Mica

    This would be a fun practice to do! 🙂 I had some really weird dreams in pregnancy, but I rarely dream any more since having the boys – maybe as I don’t get a lot of quality sleep, haha!

    Hope that your week is going well 🙂

    Away From The Blue

  • Rinki Tiwari

    I don’t keep a specific journal for dreams but i do believe that dreams really helps for self-healing….i have used extracts of my dreams to write poetry … 🙂

  • Stephanie Sisler

    I love this! I’m so fascinated by dreams eh!! I used to have the dream where my teeth were falling out frequently… apparently it meant change is coming and it definitely was! I usually have dreams of stalkers now cuz I watch dateline or csi before bed 🤦‍♀️

  • alpanachand

    Fascinating read.. However how do you give a title to a dream which involves a pit, food, a party, a crying kid, a vacation and a lot more crazy stuff all in one …Most of my dreams are so crazy and spread out that they make me laugh after I wake up 🙂

  • writingthebluesaway

    This is a really cool idea, especially giving dreams titles. My dreams are always completely random and all over the place, but I forget them so quickly which is annoying when you’re trying to explain them to someone. I’ll have to give this a try because I’m sure I could make an interesting story out of one or at least make sense of it!

  • Jordan

    Woah, this was me last night! Definitely thinking about starting one of these. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nancy

    I have the same question about my dreams! It is interesting that you started journaling about your dream. This is definitely a great way to see what your brain comes up with. For example, I had a dream-ception the other day about an upcoming exam. I mean, it was a hint about my test anxiety. Thanks for encouraging dream journaling!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  • alisonw30

    Interesting post, I might give this a go. Some of my dreams are mega weird though!

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