Why should you remember your dreams?
1. Your dreaming mind has access to vital information that is not readily available to you when you are awake. Your dreams serve as a window to your subconscious and reveal your secret desires and feelings.
2. In remembering your dreams, you gain increased knowledge, self-awareness and self-healing. Dreams are an extension of how you perceive yourself. They may be a source of inspiration, wisdom, joy, imagination and overall improved psychological health.
3. Learning to recall your dreams help you become a more assertive, confident and stronger person. By remembering your dreams, you are expressing and confronting your feelings.
4. Dreams help guide you through difficult decisions, relationship issues, health concerns, career questions or any life struggle you may be experiencing.
5. Remembering your dreams help you come to terms with stressful aspects of your lives.
6. You will learn more about yourself, your aspirations, and your desires through your dreams.
Tips To Recalling Your Dreams
Remembering your dreams will require some effort on your part. But what your dreams can offer and reveal about yourself is well worth the effort. Here are some tips in helping your dream recall:
1. Before going to bed, keep a clear mind. Having too many thoughts on your mind can distract you from remembering your dream in the morning. Tell yourself that “I will remember my dream when I wake up”. This is a proven and effective technique to help dream recall. Simply by suggesting to yourself or motivating yourself to remember your dreams will actually help you to better remember your dreams. It is important to stay positive about being a able to remember your dreams.
2. Have a regular bedtime and wake up time. Make this your routine. Going to bed and waking up at a regular time every day aids in dream recollection.
3. Avoid alcohol consumption, taking medication before going to bed or eating fatty foods too close to bedtime as these things can hinder you from remembering your dream.
4. Keep a pencil/notebook or tape recorder next to your bed so that it will be within reach as soon as you wake up. You want to make recording your dreams as easy a task as possible. Having a small lamp by your bedside is also a good idea should you wake up in the middle of the night and want to record your dream immediately.
5. Do not get out of bed immediately. Upon waking from a dream, lay still in your bed, keeping your eyes closed and moving as little as possible. Wake up slowly and stay relax. Hold on to the feelings you have and let your mind wander to the images of what you have just dreamt. Were you frustrated, terrified, or happy?
6. Write down as many details in your dream as you can, no matter how minute or seemingly unimportant it may be. Do not judge the content or worry if it makes sense. The idea is to get it down on paper so you can evaluate it later. Make it a habit that this is the first thing you do. Talking about your dreams to friends or participating in forums and chats also help you remember.
7. Sometimes it may help to draw pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Even if you are not an artist a simple drawing can help to jolt details of your dream.
8. Learn to share your dreams and talk about them with others, no matter who seemingly insignificant. The more often you acknowledge your dreams and bring them into “reality”, the easier it will be to remember them.
9. Don’t get discouraged! At first, you may only remember a fragment of the dream. With practice and the more you work with your dream, the more easier it will be to recall you dreams. You will remember larger and larger chunks of your dream. Eventually dream recall will come automatically.
Your Dream Journal
1. Select a notebook specifically to record your dreams in. A nice fancy journal or a blank bounded book may encourage you to use it. However, a plain spiral notebook or paper pad will also l suffice. Keep it by your bedside where it is easily accessible. Dream details fade quickly after awakening so it is essential to record the dream immediately.
2. Keep a consistent dream format. Date each dream entry. It doesn’t matter if you use last night’s date or the next morning as long you keep it consistent.
3. Write in the PRESENT tense as if the dream is still occurring before your eyes. This helps to recall your dreams by putting you back into the moment of your dream.
4. Write down every possible detail of you dream. Location, colors, sounds, objects, characters, and your emotions are all important aspects of your dream. You may want to ask yourself the following questions.
What are the significant images or symbols in your dream?
Where is the dream located? What is in the scene or what is the landscape like? What is the ambience or mood of the dream?
Who else is in the dream?
How does the dream make you feel? What is your mood when you first wake up from the dream?
How does your dream parallel a situation or experience in your waking life?
5. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are not important when recording your dreams. Just get the dream down on paper before it slips away and record everything that you remember even if it may only be fragments. As you start writing, more and more pieces of the dreams will come to you. Because we are not able to write faster than what we are thinking, it may be a good idea to record your dreams on tape first. However, it will still be a good idea to go back and document the dream on paper.
6. When something is hard to describe in words, draw a quick sketch of the imagery. Color pencils or crayons may help depict your picture more clearly.
7. After you have record your dream, make a little footnote of any major concerns or issues that is going on in your waking life. As your journaling grows, you will hopefully see a correlation and pattern between your dream and reality.
8. Lastly, put a title on it.
9. Highlight keywords, symbols, characters or themes that stand out. It may be helpful to keep an appendix or a glossary of personal dream themes. You will start to develop a pattern and formulate your own significance to these dream themes.
Interpreting Your Dream
Now that you have written your dream down on paper, it is time to disassemble it.
1. Identify the characters in your dreams. Ask yourself who these people are and what qualities they represent for you. Many times, the people in your dreams represent aspects of your own self. Seeing your mother in your dream, may represent your own maternal characteristics. It may also mean that particular qualities that you see in your mother, you see in yourself as well. Refer to Carl Jung’s Archetypes or Dream Mood’s Character dream themes to further your understanding of the characters in your dream.
2. Ask yourself why you are having this dream at this particular time. Make connections to your waking life situations and draw from the day’s events and situations for clues as to why you may be having this dream.
3. Consider the puns that appear in your dreams. The subconscious mind likes to make use of humor, metaphors, and slang in conveying its meaning. For example, when you see a plane in your dream it could mean that you are feeling plain. Or if you dream that you are making dinner reservations, it could mean that you are reserved or hesitant about. Or if you are passing someone on the road, you may be worried about passing a test. You get the idea!
4. What is the general mood or emotion of the dream? How you feel about the dream is important to the dream’s meaning..
5. Try to reenact the dream and take on the role of the different characters and objects. Start a dialogue with the dream object and express how you feel toward each other.
6. Circle or highlight any words you believe to be symbolic. Ask yourself, what does this word mean to you. Consult our dream dictionary to further guide you into your interpretation. Sometimes looking up its symbolism will help make the dream more clearer. No dream dictionary can tell you the exact meaning of your dream, but it will help stimulate your own thinking about the symbol.
7. Create your own list of personal dream symbols and images and what they mean to you. Eventually you may start to see recurring images. However, keep in mind that as you grow, change and evolve, the meaning of your personal symbols can also change.