Dream journaling: self improvement in two minutes

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Dream journaling can lead to increased creativity, self-awareness and mindfulness.

by Chris Miller, Staff Reporter

What if I told you that you’ve been living a third of your life wrong? 

People spend an average of 26 years of their life sleeping, according to Dreams.co.uk. Meaning that a third of the average person’s life is spent dreaming.

Many people think of sleeping as a mindless activity to pass the time and allow your body to recover for the next day. However, I have found a way to change the way you view bedtime entirely, and that is through dream journaling. 

A dream journal is a collection of dreams that you remember from the previous night of sleeping. This task only requires two minutes of your time and can have tremendous benefits. 

All you need to do is write down what you remember from sleeping. I was a bit skeptical when hearing about this, but I decided to give it a try after my friend recommended it to me. This summer, I recorded a daily log and noticed four very beneficial things. 

The most significant benefit I found from keeping a dream journal was a better understanding of myself. The brain is very active while sleeping, allowing thousands of thoughts to flow through your mind. It may be hard to understand what they all mean at the moment, but once you write it down and take a couple of days to process it, you will find that your dreams might have a theme to them. 

This summer, I had a recurring dream about falling from an elevator and not being able to stop it. After searching online, I found that I was afraid of failure and falling back down to where I started – this was exactly right as I had started a new routine of running every day and was fearful of missing a day. The falling elevator dream made me realize how I wanted to continue running.

An underrated effect from keeping a dream journal was my creativity improving. I have always believed that I was creative, but after journaling, I noticed I might not be as creative as I thought. What I mean is: when you start writing down your dreams, you realize how much more creative you could be. 

My best ideas came to me when I was sleeping. This summer, I thought of two great business ideas just from writing down my thoughts on my phone in the morning. Stay tuned, Professor Walker.

One day, a crazy thing happened to me that I did not expect could happen – my dream journaling allowed me to lucid dream. A typical dream is like watching a movie play out before you; however, lucid dreaming is when you become aware that you are dreaming and control what happens. 

Think of it as if you are an actor in the movie. I found that writing down my experiences every morning allowed for normal dreams to be a common nightly occurrence and for the occasional lucid dream to occur. It is hard for me to describe, but I recommend that everyone give it a try.

Lastly, you should keep a dream journal because it’s just fun. Imagine telling your best friend that they were a part of your zombie apocalypse squad where you used watermelons to fend them off; because of the apocalypse, you were late to weight lifting that morning and got yelled at by your grandma, who was the weightlifting instructor – on second thought, maybe don’t share that. 

Increased creativity, self-awareness and dream quality are only a few of the many things that a dream journal can provide. I think it would be silly not to use two minutes of your time to explore this new journey. It may not be something for you, but you should at least give it a try and see for yourself.