Guide to Dream Journaling: A Look Inside your Dreams

On average, a person has about 3 to 8 dreams each night. If a person sleeps each night and lives to be 80, that’s about 146,000 dreams in a lifetime. Considering this, it would be unjust to ignore such a huge chunk of our existence. Dreams are one of the only true breaks that we get to escape our daily continuous lives and enter into a realm where anything is possible. Why would we want to ignore this? Dream journaling allows us to delve into these nightly visions, and explore our thoughts, emotions and experiences while in this world for just a little longer.

Why are dreams important?

Dreams have various important purposes. They help us process emotions, convey our deepest desires, integrate memories and help us tackle potential dangers. They also serve an importance to our mental, emotional and physical well-being.

Why is dream journaling important?

A dream journal can be a precious source of insight and creativity. Constant recalling and journaling of our dreams prevents them from simply being forgotten and lost in the depths or our minds. Writing them down actively forces us to confront our feelings associated with them. Personally, dream journaling has made me more aware of my inner life and my needs that have been suppressed into my subconscious. I can then engage with this information in my daily life and form a deeper connection and understanding of myself. 

Starting a dream journal

Starting a dream journal doesn’t have a set amount of rules or limits that you have to follow. It’s more about being open and experimenting with your thoughts. Here are a few guidelines that you can follow:

  1. Remind yourself to remember your dreams. There have most likely been countless nights where you believe that you didn’t dream at all but that is simply not true. You just were unable to recall them. Simply reminding yourself to remember your dreams is a perfect way to help in recalling your dreams. For example, right before you fall asleep, tell yourself, “I am going to remember tonight’s dreams.” This is effective because it increases your motivation and will to dream. 
  2. Journal right when you wake up. It’s important to journal as soon as possible so all the details of your dreams are at the top of your mind, allowing you to have an easier time recalling them. Keep your journal and a pen right next to your bed so they are easily accessible.
  3. Draw pictures in your journal. Sometimes the imagery of your dreams are the most essential part. Especially if you’re a visual person, drawing out your dreams can give you a better understanding of their meaning and their true value in your waking life.
  4. Experiment with your journaling. No one person has the ultimate guide of how a dream journal should look, as everyone has different methods that personally work best for them. You don’t even need a physical journal to evaluate your dreams. Some people enjoy using their phone or recording audio entries. The most important thing is to have a method that is efficient and fits your own personal style.

Dream interpretation

Dream analysis is specific to each individual and completely depends on what’s specifically going on in your life. Every dream is unique. Two people may have a similar dream, but they can be interpreted completely differently. With that being said, there are a few common dreams that people may experience. Here are five of the most common dreams and possible interpretations:

Dreams about falling. A theme of falling has an overall negative connotation, that things in your life are not going the way you had planned. According to dream experts, if you dream that you are falling it could reflect feelings of rejection or helplessness. If in your dream someone pushes you to your fall, it could mean distrust with others. If you trip and fall by your own mistake, it could point to a lack of self-confidence. 

Dreams about being naked in public. Have you dreamed about yourself being nakey-naked? Well, you most likely have a fear of being vulnerable and dealing with drastic change. You might even be afraid of your imperfections or revealing your true self to others.  

Dreams about flying. Depending on what you are experiencing in your life, flying can have a various number of reasons. They may represent feelings of escaping a bothersome burden, handing you a rush of freedom. It could also have a connotation of feeling like you are above others, showing a feeling of success.

Dreams about being chased. Dreams about being chased are definitely far from being pleasant, in my opinion. If you are having these types of dreams, it is usually rooted to immense stress in your daily life as well as poor sleep. Furthermore, you might actively be avoiding something that you wish to not face — a desire to run and hide from your various emotions. 

Dreams about losing teeth. This dream is an odd one of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t common. Like many dreams, it can have multiple meanings. It could indicate that you are worried or self-conscious of your physical appearance. According to experts, any type of dream that deals with the mouth are usually rooted in communication problems. Do you usually speak before you think? 

No matter what you dream about, remember to enjoy it. Dream journaling is a fascinating way to get to know yourself a little better. Have fun and sweet dreams!

Featured Illustration by Serena Rodriguez