Why Keep A Dream Journal?
Dreams are combinations of thoughts, feelings, and images you see in your sleep. Some scientists have argued for centuries that dreams have meanings, whereas some argue they are just our subconscious showing themselves. As time goes by, the number of people who believe dreams have meanings get larger and larger. Opponents of this argument believe that dreams have psychological backgrounds that will make sense as we figure out how to put them together. So, they suggest writing down the dreams we see as detailed as possible to make it easier to see the big picture. A dream journal is a journal or an app in which you record your dreams daily. In those journals or apps, you might also write down your reflections and emotions on those dreams you are recording. That will make it easier to have an opinion on your psychological state that causes you to have such a dream. It will also help you incredibly in your path to self discovery. Psychologists recommend keeping dream journals for their numerous benefits. For those of you who wonder why keep a dream journal, here are some of the major reasons why you should write down your dreams regularly:
1. It Reduces Stress and Fights Anxiety
Reflecting on your subconscious by reliving the moment of it talking to you, that is processing your dreams, will allow you to understand what makes you feel certain ways and what lies beneath them. In other words, writing down your dreams allows you to work through your unprocessed issues. Understanding the roots of your anxious feelings will help you to reach a state of calmness by getting you out of the unknown gray area in your mind. Science shows us that there is a link between our subconscious and our behaviors. By keeping a dream journal, you will be able to have an insight into how your mind works even when you are not aware of what you are thinking. Moreover, studies now show how writing down our dreams improves our physical health by decreasing the physical impacts of anxiety and panic attacks and reducing the probability of depression.
2. It Increases Your Creativity
As we sleep and dream, our minds go out of their usual ways of rational thinking and kind of just float here and there to the unknown areas of our cognitions. That is, there are no restrictions on rationality while we are dreaming. Therefore, dreams are unprecedented sources of inspiration and imagination. Many artists use their dreams as tools of imagination. For instance, the well-known poet and writer Edgar Allen Poe had created much of his art after being inspired by his dreams. You, too, could use your dreams as tools of creativity. But, for that, you need to remember and reflect on your dreams. You need to think about them. However, dreams are easily forgotten, so writing them down in your dream journal allows you to use those images or thoughts in your works.
3. It Helps You to Reflect on and Process Your Emotions
Writing down your dreams also helps you with your psychological state. By writing down your dreams, you could work on your unprocessed emotions or patterned behaviors. Some studies show that, in dreams, our minds might even try to warn us about some undealt traumas. You may have traumas that you have not faced yet or ones you have forced yourself to forget because they were too hard for you to deal with at that time. Psychologists argue that in such a case, you might see dreams about them in later periods of your life. If you reflect on your dreams, therefore, you will be able to understand when you are ready to deal with those emotions or traumas.
4. It Helps You to Dream Lucidly
Lucid dreams are exciting and incredible experiences where the person is aware that they are dreaming, hence, could control what happens in the dream. Since they are very interesting and strange, a good deal of scientific research has been made on lucid dreams to understand how they work and what triggers them. Some studies have shown that writing down your dreams immediately after you wake up from a dream, strangely, increases the chances of lucid dreaming. Writing down your dreams right after you are awake from them will elicit sleep-onset REM periods. This will result in you having more lucid dreams.