here are many benefits of journaling as a way to ease your mind of any problems you may be facing in your everyday life. One form of journaling that isn’t often talked about is dream journaling. It’s one thing to simply journal about your everyday life, which is highly beneficial in itself. But this other form of journaling is often overlooked because most people don’t understand the benefits of journaling both during the day and keeping a separate dream journal for nightly thoughts.

Do you often find yourself waking in the middle of the night after a dream? More often than not, you probably turn over and go right back to sleep. But did you know that there are benefits to remembering your dreams? Only a few minutes after you wake up from your sleep, you have already forgotten more than half of the information in your dream. But what if there was a way to remember more of your dreams so that you can later use this information to your benefit?

One simple way you can ensure that you don’t forget your dreams is by keeping a dream journal. By keeping a dream journal, you can manage your stressors better as well as come to a better understanding of how your brain works and why it works the way it does.

Dreams are messages from your subconscious mind. Your mind wants to tell you important information that your conscious self has hidden away or simply doesn’t have the time in the day to think about. This is where the practice of dream journaling can come in handy and work for your well-being.

Keeping a journal specifically for your dreams enables you to look back on previous events played out in your dreams for your conscious mind to decipher. The act of dream journaling can help you overcome problems in your everyday life by addressing the issues you subconsciously have as they are brought to your attention in your dreams. These thoughts and images were brought to you for a reason, now you just need to know how to interpret them.

This article will guide you in:

  1. Understanding the importance of keeping a dream journal.
  2. Learning how to interpret your dreams.
  3. Incorporating and understanding the long-term benefits of dream journaling in your own life.

What is Dream Journaling?

Dream Journaling is an important tool for learning the inner workings of your subconscious. In other words, it’s a form of journaling that can help you come to understand your thoughts and feelings more.

You may not know it, but a million thoughts are entering and exiting your mind every day. You’ve probably had more than five since you started reading this. You aren't always aware of it, but you have millions upon millions of thoughts a day. They filter in and out and are often forgotten about right away. Keeping a journal, specifically a dream journal can help you learn more about the happenings in your subconscious mind.

Woman journaling in bed while holding a cup of tea.
Reading through your dreams can guide you in learning about parts of yourself that your mind keeps hidden away

By doing the simple act of putting your thoughts to paper, you can learn more about yourself than you thought was imaginable. There are feelings, thoughts, and events that occur in your daily life that you might not have the time or energy to address. These thoughts have been stored in your unconscious mind and make an appearance every night when you dream.

Studies show that we dream every night, but don’t have the conscious ability to retain much of the information. But the dreams that we do remember upon waking, only have a mere matter of minutes before most of it is forgotten. So, it’s crucial to keep a dream journal near your bed so that you can journal everything you remember as fast as you can, as details of the dream will slip away faster than you realize.

Being able to interpret your dreams is a simple craft that can guide you in diving deep into the inner workings of your mind. Now that you have a general understanding of dream journaling, you can take this process one step further to learn about the other half of yourself: your subconscious mind and the messages it’s attempting to send to your conscious self.

Learning How to Interpret Your Dreams

After you have gotten the notebook of your choosing, place it next to your bed so you have easy access to it when you wake up. Whether you sleep till morning or wake up sporadically during the night, if you wake up having remembered bits and pieces of a dream you’ve had, write it down immediately.

Notebook and pen lying on a table next to a cup of coffee.
Writing your dreams down makes them easier to assess.

Maybe you want to know why you keep having recurring nightmares of you being chased. Or one night you dreamed about your teeth falling out and that dream sticks with you for days on end. You may be asking yourself: Why am I always being chased? Are these similarities representing events in my real life? Are my emotions dictating my actions? All of these are common questions that you probably ask yourself when you make an attempt to assess the meaning of your dreams. Now you can learn what to do in order to interpret these messages.

More often than not, you’re going to be tired when you first wake up in the morning.

Here are a few tips and tricks to know when assessing your dream:

  1. Keep a writing utensil and the notebook of your choosing next to your bed.
  2. As soon as possible, get as much down on paper as you can.
  3. Write in neat handwriting so it’s easy to read, allowing you to assess it in the morning.
  4. Include as many details as possible.
  5. Don’t forget to write down any emotions you felt in the dream.

Don’t let this make you shy away from dream journaling. When you begin to write in your journal, you’re waking up faster than you would by simply waking up and not journaling. If you’re a morning person, this may appeal to you more so than others but, this isn’t something that should discourage you. You’re going to dream no matter what, it’s just up to you to determine if you want to understand the messages being sent your way. Upon seeing your designated dream journal near your bed that you can easily grab in the middle of the night, there is more of a chance of you writing in it compared to someone who keeps it hidden away or across their room.

Although it may seem like it’s a waste of time, the details are crucial in understanding more of what your mind is trying to tell you. Look at your dreams as a riddle that you need to solve. Every aspect of a riddle is important to the riddle as a whole, most of the time the same thing can be said for your dreams. Certainly, not every aspect of your dream is important, and it may be a small detail thrown into your dream because it’s an image or an object that you saw that day, but even recording these bits will help you understand yourself, even if it’s a little humorous.

Emotions are just as important as images. Although most of the time we can’t see ourselves in our dreams, we know what we feel in that moment. You may be having a good, calming dream or you may be having a nightmare that marks your heart race and panic set in. All of these emotions can be felt by you while you’re dreaming, as well as the dream version of yourself.

Woman sitting in bed and writing in a notebook.
Diving deep into your subconscious is easier than you know when you have mastered dream interpretation.

Writing all of this down is only the first step in coming to an understanding of the inner workings of your mind.

Benefits of Dream Journaling

After you’ve been journaling for a few days, you’ll start to notice an improvement in your memory. Writing all this information down is very beneficial because it makes you think in ways that you don’t normally think. In turn, your memory gets better because you’re starting to train yourself to recall certain moments when writing them down. Even going back and re-reading the things you wrote can help improve your memory significantly.

On top of your memory improving, you learn more about yourself and your struggles. Your brain takes in so much information during the day, that some of your feelings and thoughts get pushed to the side and forgotten for the time being. Or maybe you’re pushing these feelings aside on purpose, not wanting to focus on them because focusing on them means addressing an issue you don’t want to address. But your subconscious works to give your conscious mind information that you are pushing aside in order to send you a message. These are important messages that can help you know yourself on a deeper level. A level so deep that you only have access to it if you are willing to journal and attempt to interpret. It’s a fascinating yet easy way to learn more about what makes you, you.

The Next Time You Dream, You’ll Know All That You Need!

Now that you have an understanding of the basics of dream journaling, it’s your turn to take all that you know and apply that to your daily life. Assessing your dreams can be easy and informative if you just know the basics.

Oct 2, 2023