You are the best interpreter of your own dreams. While there may be certain symbols, images or events that have a wider cultural relevance, it is only you who know and understand their personal meaning to you. Only you know their unique emotional and intellectual relevance to you and why they are of significance to you now.
It is in the process of looking for and exploring that particular meaning that you can really work through your thoughts, emotions and experiences and no one can do that work more effectively than you.
The benefits of keeping a dream journal can include
- recognising and developing your conscious awareness of issues that were perhaps unconscious before
- gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and how the emotions or experiences you are processing in your dreams are impacting on your life
- develop an attunement with your innermost, deepest self
- as a source of creativity and problem-solving
There are no strict rules for keeping a dream journal other than the first step below. But if you follow these five steps to keeping an effective dream journal you may find they help you achieve some of those benefits:
- Record your dreams upon waking, otherwise they tend to disappear quickly
- Identify how you were feeling in the dream and also any feelings you have upon waking: the way you feel about something can affect how you interpret its meaning, are there feelings that seem strange or incongruous to you? Take some time to reflect on the feelings
- Pay attention to the detail. Record every aspect of the dream that you can recall because small details can be important
- Over time, look back on the dreams you have recorded in your journal and pay attention to any familiar or recurring thoughts, feelings and impressions – what do these mean to you?
- Keep asking questions – even dreams that seem mundane at first, when drilled down into may shed light on your current situation
Happy dream journaling!