People often ask me what the benefits are of keeping a dream diary, other than for having an amusing collection of short stories. There are many reasons why it could be a positive growth tool for you, so let’s list a few reasons.
First of all, making a ritual of focus when you wake up in the morning can only be good for you. Rather than ‘what do I have to do today before I can leave the house at 8am?’ Having a moment to pause, and write down your dream, will allow you to take some of the uplifting vibes from your sleep and dream adventure, into your day. It can also bring back and enhance some of those happy images and moments in your mind. Great little exercise for memory recall and making your mind eager from the get go.
You’re probably thinking now of the opposite scenario: ‘what a horrible nightmare I had, why would I want to remember it!’ Taking a moment to write it out, pause, and leave it in your book, will give you a place to leave behind the disturbed memory, and will help you continue your morning in a positive and constructive way.
Second, wherever you focus your attention, the more you will see. So when you make a point of focusing upon your dreams, or anything for that matter, the more detail it will have, the more vivid it becomes, and more frequent you will experience it. Your subconscious always follows the cues from your conscious experience; so making your dreams a point of focus upon awakening, will give your subconscious a nudge to make your dreams more meaningful for you.
Third, you will notice reoccurring themes, people, places and objects a bit easier if you are writing down the details of your dreams. You will probably be writing and think, ‘didn’t I see a cat in a dream a month ago?’ Or something like, ‘That same friend was in that dream where I got on a boat!’ Whatever it is, because your are making a point of writing it down, you are more likely to remember more detail for comparing past and present dreams. You are also giving yourself a clearer picture to complete; more connected pieces of the puzzle. To work out what people in your dreams mean, please visit my article on this here.
How to keep an effective dream diary
So finally, what do you put in a dream diary? How do you make it most effective? The best word of advice I can give you is detail – the more the better!
If you can, make it a narrative, and if there is a distinct plot or mission, describe it! Tell it like you would a story to someone else, with descriptions of what is there, who is with you, where you are, what you see/touch/do etc. If you can’t seem to piece together those fragments, just write down a list, or as much of your dream as you can remember.
Also write down about how the dream made you feel. This is quite important, as seeing the feeling of your dream, will help bring back the visual memory, and vice-versa. Your detailed description can also ignite that feeling of being back in that dream place again, bringing it back to life in a sense.
You may even discover that certain objects, people or places in a dream trigger a certain emotional response that you wouldn’t think of as obvious, or, as an issue in your day-to-day life. If you look deeper into what this item, person, place or occurrence represents, it can then become a poignant and specific symbol for future dreams, or even better, carry a really obvious and important message for you!
If you have any questions about keeping a dream diary, or perhaps have kept a dream diary yourself and have had some interesting occurrences, please drop by here on the facebook page to share it with everyone!