How to Keep a Dream Journal
with Professor Nori Muster
You will need a notebook, journal, or note pad to write on, or an electronic device to record your dreams. When you wake up, think about what you dreamed, then write down or record anything you remember. If you are unable to recall your dreams, or forget them before you can record them, just write down any fragments, thoughts, or feelings you had when you woke up.
If you run out of words, draw pictures. Some things are difficult to put into words because they are not linear. Plus, pictures contain symbols that may lead to a deeper understanding of what a dream was about. If you remember any images from your dreams, try to record them in your journal.
If you feel that keeping a notebook is too structured, you may write your dreams on slips of paper then collect them in a box or folder. Whatever you are using, notebook, box, or folder, it would help if you decorate the cover with a collage. While you are working on it, affirm to your subconscious mind that you want to remember your dreams.
To encourage your subconscious to participate, put your journal and a pen in a special place before going to sleep. Consciously affirm that you will remember dreams and write them down. When you awaken, keep the dream in focus as you sit up. Immediately write down as much detail as you can remember. Write in the present tense, because dreams are about our current emotional situation. Writing a dream in the past tense is a form of denial, an attempt to distance yourself from events.
Besides writing down dreams, you will use the journal to record significant experiences, plus any thoughts, or ideas you want to remember. Keeping this information in your dream journal may turn out to be valuable when interpreting your dreams. Something you record about your conscious daytime life may spark a connection with a dream image.
In addition to your dreams and daytime thoughts, I will give you writing exercises that will enrich your dream interpretation experience. You can use these as often as you want, especially if you find the techniques help you analyze your own dreams. (Click here for dream journal writing exercises.)