Have you been dreaming more since the start of the coronavirus pandemic? Like really vivid and strange dreams? I know I have. And it’s apparently a real thing.
But if we’re being honest, I’ve always had a strange relationship with dreaming. I’ve had this one recurring dream that seems to rear its head up every couple of years. I sometimes have moments of sleep paralysis, which are the WORST. I often lucid dream without intending to and can control what I want to happen. This all combined has made me curious about keeping a dream journal as well as why we even dream in the first place.
Why do we dream?
I found this fascinating TED Talk that breaks down the top 7 theories behind why we dream. It’s definitely worth a watch (It’s short, I promise!):
The 7 theories are:
- We dream to fulfill our wishes
- We dream to remember
- We dream to forget
- We dream to keep our brains working
- We dream to rehearse
- We dream to heal
- We dream to solve problems
So with that in mind, let’s get into why you should keep a dream journal.
Why should you keep a dream journal?
You might get insight into your personal fears, desires, worries, etc.
I feel that this is the most common reason that drives people to start keeping a dream journal. I’ll admit it’s my big reason. Some of these dreams I have been having lately just feel like they have to mean something deeper. This article dives more into this idea and also provides a neat tip on giving your dreams a title in your journal, so you can find them easier in the future.
It makes you more creative
I’m not sure there’s necessarily science behind this one, but there are many examples of famous singers, musicians, authors, poets, and so on, using something from a dream to create a piece of art. (You can read a list here). I know a lot of my dreams are totally different from how I normally think and perceive the world. By writing my dreams down in a dream journal, I’ll be able to reference back and potentially find some ideas!
It can help boost your memory
There’s something special about writing your thoughts down using pen and paper. Your mind has to first recall the dream. Then you have to write the dream down in a way that makes sense, allowing you to analyze the most important details and create a story.
Yes– I really am that person that puts ‘it’s fun’ as a reason to do something, but it truly is. Writing a dream down allows you to immerse yourself in what happened, to dwell on it. How often do you get to talk about your dreams in daily life? Almost never.
PRO TIP: If you have a journal or notebook that you’ve always thought was too pretty to use for something ordinary, this is a great use!
(One final thought–If you are already in the habit of keeping morning pages, I don’t see why you couldn’t add in your dreams on a daily basis. They’ll just be more difficult to find and reference in the future.)