Dream journaling is similar to creativity therapy because your unmonitored creativity can tap your subconscious in the same way your dreams do. While “the stuff that dreams are made of” is still a matter of some controversy, many people believe that dreams tap the subconscious mind's hopes, fears, goals, worries, and desires.
We all dream, but it isn't easy to remember your dreams, and some people claim they never remember their dreams. Dream journaling is a way to begin keeping track of the images, themes, motifs, and emotions in your dreams. Because it helps you to work on your own mind and train your mind to dream in a way that benefits you, dream journaling is a good stress management tool. Its mental training helps the mind to become more stress resilient. Also, the information you may uncover in your dream journaling may help to root out and dispose of unnecessary stress in your life.
First, find a journal you like that is pleasing to write in. This could be your stress management journal or a separate journal you keep by your bed. Also, find a pen that is easy and pleasing to write with. Keep these items on your bedside table, in a place that is easy to reach while you are lying in bed.
When you are in bed and ready to go to sleep, close your eyes and tell yourself: “I will remember my dreams tonight.” This sets your intention in your mind. It may not work the first night, the second night, or even for a few weeks. But eventually, it should work.
In the morning, the second you wake up, before you get up to do anything, as you are opening your eyes, reach for your dream journal and immediately start writing. If you remember a dream, write about it in as much detail as you can. Even if you don't remember a dream, just start writing whatever impression is in your head. As you write, dream impressions, even full dreams with elaborate plots, may come into your head. If they don't, you'll still be writing from the subconscious, which is more accessible in the first few minutes after awakening.
Write until you've recorded all the dreams you remember, or until your awakening thoughts are exhausted. Then, the next night, state your intention to remember your dreams again, and record them again in the morning.
Dreams of flying may symbolize a feeling of freedom, power, success, or a new perspective. Dreams of falling may symbolize a feeling of insecurity, anxiety, failure, or the inability to control one's situation. Both flying and falling dreams are quite common. To learn more about what your dreams mean, check out
As with creativity theory, try not to look back on your dreams for about a month. Then, after a month has passed, go back and read your journal. Do you see themes, motifs, recurring images? These are probably signals from your subconscious. Reflect on what they might be telling you about the direction your life is going, your health, your relationships, and your happiness. Your dream journal may give you clues about ways to reshape and de-stress your life.
Even if you don't find any obvious messages, persist in your dream journaling. Like meditation, this process helps you to focus and concentrate your thoughts and will also help you to tap into your inner creativity and to feel more connected to yourself. People who devote time each day to themselves and engage in inner reflection tend to feel better about themselves and are less likely to suffer from the negative effects of stress. Let your dreams lead you to a feeling of groundedness and connectedness with your inner self.