Soon after I landed at the Wugulun Kung Fu School, I blogged about how doing something small but significant every morning has been suggested to materially positively affect your life. After finding myself dreaming more often in sleep, I took up an idea from a friend of mine called a dream diary. Those with attention to detail of my past photos, would have seen it noted into the new schedule I wrote up a couple of months ago. I didn’t want to mention anything until some time had passed.

If you haven’t already guessed it, it’s a record of the dreams you have which you write down every morning as soon as you wake up. I did this because I thought it would be a great idea to see what my subconscious mind was thinking about and any enlightenment that might bring. Thoughts, feelings and fears. i wouldn’t turn my nose up at a few lottery number premonitions if they came about either.

In this blog I explain what I found in my own dreams and how you could go about keeping one yourself.

What have I found out so far?

I realised that how often I dream is an indication of the quality of the sleep I’m having. By recording the dreams you have, as a byproduct you’re recording when they occur, so you can see the frequency easily. If it’s been a while since you can remember a dream, it could be an indication that you’re due an early night.

Using a dream diary helped me realise more about my fears. In a dream, there are fewer details than life to focus on, so it’s easier to recognise an emotional fear. Most times, the dream itself is “centred” around a fear. Recording the odd fear is probably common, but I found myself dreaming about certain fears multiple times, so it’s obvious that it may not be something I wanted to admit to myself. Understanding that it’s something plaguing my subconscious is an indication for me to understand why and “work” on it. Some of the things I learned about myself during my travels, I realised through keeping my dream diary. As an example, I’m sad to admit it, but my iPhone kept cropping up. Sometimes it wouldn’t work, sometimes I’d be concerned about breaking it, sometimes I worried about it being stolen. It’s a very useful device, but out here on the road, I realise I may be depending on it too much.

In dreams, you sometimes see yourself from a third person’s perspective. How you see yourself can be understood as a reflection of how you feel.

I found negative and positive dreams went hand in hand with how I was feeling during the day. Spotting patterns of multiple negative dreams can be an indication that something is up in your life.

Echoes of significant things during the day seemed to crop up in my dreams. These could be simply odd words, phrases or things I had seen. It made me realise how the information you take in really underpins the minds thoughts that run off in your subconscious. i.e. you’re less in control of your thoughts than you mind want to admit.

 

When should I note my dreams?

It’s amazing how quickly you forget the details of a dream – even minutes after you wake up. @insert fact. I found that if I didn’t write whatever I could remember of my dream down immediately, then minutes or even seconds later, it would be incredibly difficult to recall again. Rather than writing fluent Queen’s english, simply keywords to do a quick brain dump evolved to be the best tactic. Firstly, because I being to forget even as I typed. Secondly, because you generally may not have much time in the morning to do it (flights to catch, work to start, chores to do).

 

What should I note down?

People – Most of them you’ll recognise as friends/family or people you’ve met before. If you don’t recognise them, note down their features. The features themselves could be more important than who they actually are.

Feelings – freedom, fear, confidence, anxiety, joy, love, remorse, regret. The feeling itself can be easier to link retrospectively than what is actually happening in the dream.

Places – you may be associating certain places with feelings. It could be an indication that you should be visiting those places more or less often.

Don’t worry too much about transitions in dreams. What I mean are the separate threads of thought link together. You may have been somewhere one minute, then another place the next. Think of it like a rubbish hollywood movie script. The scenes in isolation are more important than the holes around how they fit together.

If you’re stuck for some inspiration, there are @dream bibles that exist that give a broad stroke definition of what things in your dream could mean. In my opinion though, your own reflection is the best tool, so use this the majority of the time.

 

How should I note it down?

You have two options here. A physical note book is an obvious one. Advantages being that you can draw (in you found something very visual) or dump the thoughts down in a mind map first. Disadvantages are that compared to touch typing, it can be slower to write, you may lose the note book or be concerned about it physically falling into the wrong hands.

Being a technology fiend, I went for the second option of using Evernote app on my iPhone. I figured that being in the twenty first century, my phone is ALWAYS by my bed side, so guaranteed to be the easiest thing to grab in the morning. Secondly, being technology driven, it comes with a couple more perks such as security (password protected), online backup (the app automatically syncs so you’ll never lose your notes), you can type or record speech (it embeds audio directly into the note) and most importantly, you can tag keywords. This is really useful when you want to spot patterns or find an old note based on a keyword. Regarding patterns, the app automatically counts keywords so you can see the things that are most common in your dreams.