Why Keeping a Dream Record Helps You Get the Message
1: YOU LOCK IN A DREAM MESSAGE. By recording a dream, you lock in its message. Otherwise, the odds are that you will forget the dream and lose whatever insight it is trying to share. If time is short, jot down key phrases and record the full version later.
2: IT KEEPS YOU IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PSYCHE. Recording a dream ensures that messages will keep coming. Dream communications are like talking to a friend, which, in this case, is your psyche or inner voice. If you do not return a friend’s calls or e-mails, they stop. Recording your dreams tells your psyche that you want to keep talking and hearing the advice your inner voice has to offer.
3: YOU SEE CRITICAL PATTERNS. A dream journal lets you notice patterns that relate to your emotional battles, decisions, relationships, and finding your path in life.
4: YOU NOTICE WARNINGS OR A POSITIVE HEADS-UP. It is said that you pre-dream everything of importance that happens to you. Whether a dream brings a health warning or is a heads-up about a promotion, recording your dreams regularly is like maintaining a flashlight on life’s dark roads. It can shed light on the unknown.
5: IT IS EASIER TO TRACK YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL PROGRESS. Dreams unveil patterns about your psychological and emotional health. Each time you spot a pattern in your dream journal, you empower your own progress. Plugging into those patterns via dreams can make a striking difference to the success, peace, and happiness that you achieve.
6: A DREAM JOURNAL CAN BE A SPIRITUAL DIARY. If spirituality is important to you, your dream journal becomes a reflection of your inner life. For those who keep an eye on their spiritual progress, dreams can connect you to your soul. Many traditions value dreams as a spiritual connection and perceive dreams as a door to divine healing and blessings. Spiritual dreams are messages that relate to the journey of your soul and can answer life’s big questions. A dreamer who had never felt that God was real asked herself, “God, are you there?” She received a dream that knocked her socks off and the experience left her convinced that God personally knew her and loved her unconditionally. She described the dream experience as feeling more loved than she had ever felt in her life. Whatever your spiritual questions, staying active with a dream journal helps such experiences unfold.
7: A DREAM JOURNAL CAN BE THERAPEUTIC. Need a therapist? One key function of dreams and dreaming is to serve as a built-in counselor. The very act of dreaming may in and of itself help to relieve stress and keep your emotions in balance. At the same time, dreams often unearth insights with the deft hand of a loving counselor. At other times, jarring images may arise to get your attention when you are emotionally veering off track. Don’t laugh. Maintaining an active dream journal can feel like instant therapy.
It Pays to Review Your Dream Journal
REASON 1: A REVIEW IS A FAST TRACK TO NOTICE INSIGHTS AND SOLUTIONS. Every time you sift through past dream messages, your dreams become clearer. It’s like getting to know a new friend. Over time, you understand each other better and can help each other more. After you review your dreams, your psyche may begin to fast-track new, amazing insights and solutions. Reviewing such insights that were logged in a dream journal can be especially valuable for those in professions that require problem solving.
REASON 2: GOING THROUGH YOUR DREAMS HELPS YOU GAIN A FRESH PERSPECTIVE. Whether it is months or years later, reviewing your dreams can be the equivalent of taking an inventory of your life, who you are, and where you are at. You may notice emotional patterns to which you were previously blind and may decipher dreams whose meaning had escaped you. As you explore with fresh eyes, you see deeper meaning in certain dreams and discover further revelations about yourself and your life. As you take a trek through your dream journals, magical ongoing threads that recount the story of your life can unfold.
What to Put into a Dream Journal
Tricks for Dream Entries. Recording a dream may seem obvious, but there are a few tricks that are worth noting. Recording a dream is not the goal—the goal is to understand the dream’s message and to apply it. Including the following items as you record your nightly tales can improve your dream skills.
DATE. Note the date; someday, when you look back, it will be of interest.
TITLE. Give each dream a separate title that highlights its main impact.
DETAILS. Record every detail, even if you think it is unimportant or repetitive; such details may later prove important.
AS IF IT IS HAPPENING. Write the dream in the present tense, as if you are re-experiencing it. Doing so often helps recall extra details or fill in a scene you had previously forgotten.
FEELINGS. Note how a dream made you feel. The mood that a dream brings out in you can be a clue to its meaning.
A ONE-LINE SUMMARY. Immediately jot down a quick story line, as if writing a movie trailer that explains what your mini movie dream is about. Let this one-liner capture the heart of the dream, as your first impression about the dream.
LIFE CONTEXT. Make brief notes about your life. The question to ask yourself is always, “To what in me or to what in my life does the dream refer?” It may take a week or two to get an “aha” for every dream, and if you lose the thread of what was happening at the time, you are less likely to zero in on the message. Jot down brief reminders about:
• What was on your mind as you went to sleep.
• Major feelings you have been experiencing.
• Main issues that day, that week, or that period.
• Major pending decisions.
• Challenges, crises or turmoil related to relationships or other circumstances.