How to Create a Dream Journal

Have you heard about dream journaling before? If you haven’t, it’s definitely time to start one anyway! Dream journals are for everyone. Really, there is hardly a downside to dream journaling. The worst thing that can happen is not writing in your journal. But what is the point of writing down your dreams? Why make one? It’s your own dreams after all? 

In short, a dream journal is a great tool for dream interpretation. It not only helps you remember your dreams, but it’s a great tool for self-analysis. Today’s guide will tell you everything you need to know in order to start dream journaling. We will help you find the optimal journal, personalize it, and get started. There is no need to worry even if writing is not the biggest of your talents! Dream journaling is an easy and gratifying hobby that anyone can do! 

What is a Dream Journal? Why Use One?

A dream journal is simply a notebook in which you write down your dreams. But why should you do so, when you remember a dream each morning? Well, it turns out that writing down your dreams makes you remember much more of them. In addition to this, writing dreams down in a journal will help you remember dreams over time. 

Even if you have good recall of dreams, over time you forget the details and hardly anyone remembers each and every dream they had in the course of a year, for example. With a dream journal, you get to have a personal guide to your dreams. Going back through them and finding patterns can be of great help in interpreting your dreams too. And every good interpretation starts with putting the dream down on paper anyway! 

Journaling, in general, is a great way to explore yourself and calm down your thoughts. It can help work through anxieties and make us more self-confident in life. This is true when it comes to dream journals too! Looking back at your dreams can help explore your own emotions and get to know yourself better. It can even be a tool for solving real life problems and making important decisions! 

Finally, once you create a habit of writing down your dreams, it will likely help you dream more vividly and remember everything you dreamt of.

Benefits of Keeping a Dream Journal: 

  • You will actually remember your dreams! 
  • Helps reduce stress 
  • Gives you more clarity in life 
  • Gaining insight into your own subconscious 
  • Helps achieve lucid dreaming (if that’s something you’d like to do) 
  • Aids self-development 

How to Create a Dream Journal

How to start a dream journal? You simply start writing! But, to do that, you need something to write in, right? The thing is, even though journaling is simple, it can be difficult to maintain the habit – especially considering  it’s something best done first thing after waking up. 

To foster the habit, we really recommend getting a notebook that you like and that feels comfortable. This journal will be with you for a long time, and it’s definitely worth splurging on something you actually like! In this section, you will find advice on how to pick out a notebook you won’t mind actually writing in every day as well as all the other supplies you could need (hint: what you actually need is only pen and paper, but some other things are nice to have). 

Step 1: Choose a Journal and Supplies

The supplies (such as the journal, the paper inside, and your pen) might not be as important as the act of journaling, but getting supplies you like working with can make a lot of difference. Below, we list things you should consider when shopping for a dream journal. 

Tips For Choosing a Journal 

Choose something you like (but don’t go too fancy) 

Journals can be beautiful. We mean, really beautiful. Sometimes, when a journal is so well made and looks so good, we can feel anxious to put words in it. Like it would ruin the beauty of the book (not true by the way). If you are familiar with this feeling, we suggest choosing a journal that you like, but in a way that feels comfortable to write in it. 

Choose a practical size 

If you plan to write in your journal every day (recommended for dream journaling), it’s best to choose a medium sized notebook. You probably don’t want to go too small. Small books fll up very quickly, and can be uncomfortable to write in. A very large journal does look beautiful, but it makes it difficult to carry it anywhere with you. Probably the best size is a journal that 7-10 inches long. 7 x 10 inches, or smaller, is usually a good size. 

However, you really don’t have to listen to this advice. A medium journal is what most people feel comfortable with, but if you feel attracted to some other format, feel free to try it out. Find what works for you! 

Different types of paper 

While the covers of the journal can be important for the overall feeling you get, the paper inside makes a lot of difference when it comes to actually putting things down on paper. Think about your style. Do you like writing on plain paper or maybe on lined pages? If you are not sure, do try it out. Getting this one right can be really helpful for fostering the habit of journaling. You also don’t have to only write in your journal. If you are the visual type and you like to draw or paint, you might want to invest in a journal with high quality paper made for art inside. 

Popular Brands & Types of Journals 

A Simple Notebook 

A classic composition notebook, the kind children use in schools, can work perfectly as a dream journal. These notebooks are cheap, come in all shapes and sizes, and you can often find them in almost any store. You can usually get them really cheap too. If you are not sure how your dream journaling will go and don’t want to invest too much money into it, a simple notebook is a great way to try it out. 

Moleskine Journals 

Once you try a Moleskine journal, you will most likely never go back. A lot of people love these beautiful journals. Each Moleskine journal is based on an ages-old concept of a notebook with a pocket and a band for closing it, but today they make a lot of variations of the product. Moleskine journals are incredibly comfortable to write in, very well-made, and durable. Definitely one of our favourites.

Strathmore Visual Journal

Strathmore journals are a classic among all artistic souls. If you’d like to paint or draw in your dream journal (or you’d simply like high quality paper), you can find a lot of options from Strathmore. They offer a variety of journals in different size, all with high-quality heavy-weight paper inside. 

Step 2: Personalizing Your Dream Journal

Personalizing your journal is not a must, but making it your own can help you feel that it is your own space for exploration. Creating your own design for the cover will help you put your own personal touch to the journal. Inside the journal, you can organize the space the way that fits you. This can make it easier to put the thoughts down on a regular basis. 

Ways to Decorate and Personalize Your Journal 

  • Use stickers or washi tape to make the journal more colorful 
  • Use markers, crayons, colored pens, or pencils to add express your emotions with appropriate colors 
  • Add photos or magazine cutouts 
  • Use inexpensive acrylic craft pains or fabric to decorate the exterior of your journal 
  • Use the same acrylic paint, water colors, or any medium of your choice to create pictures inside 

How to Start Dream Journaling: Beyond the Blank Page

Once you got all your supplies ready, it’s time to start your journal. If you are not the type who likes writing, don’t worry. Journaling really doesn’t require any skill. You are writing these pages for yourself, and not for anyone else (although you could always share them with someone if you’d like). Below, you’ll find some tips to help you fill out your dream journal. After some time, you should end up able to better interpret your own dreams. You could also learn a lot about yourself, which could in turn help you solve waking life problems and reach your goals. 

Some Ideas To Help You Get Past the First Blank Page

Try Writing an Introduction 

Starting a journal can always be daunting. If you don’t feel ready to start writing down your dreams in there (and even if you do, this is a great exercise), try writing an introduction to your journal. Think about it, and write down what you expect from your journal. What are you hoping to learn from interpreting your own dreams? What part of yourself are you trying to understand better? If you don’t know the answers, write about this. Make sure to mark the date, so after some months of journaling you can come back to your introduction and see how your thoughts have changed since then. 

Start Writing Down Your Dreams 

The classic dream journal is simply about writing down your dreams, although there are ways to expand this concept. All you need to do is write down all of the dreams you can remember. Make sure to mark the date, and write down everything you can remember from your dreams. Everything. Even the tiniest details. Writing down even the things you don’t think are very important will help you notice patterns later. Some objects appear as insignificant in your dreams, but when you have a journal you can see they are reappearing over time. The best time to write down your dreams is upon waking up – this is when your memory is the freshest. However, you can write in your journal whenever you feel like it. 

Express Yourself Any Way You Like 

It is not necessary to only write in your journal. In fact, if you like drawing, you don’t even have to write at all. Sketches, drawings, and paintings can all work. Just do what feels right, and include whatever you think will help you remember the dream in the future. 

Final Thoughts

Dream journaling can be a very rewarding experience. It can help you learn a lot about your dreams, and about yourself. Have you started a dream journal yet? How did it go? Feel free to share any thoughts and questions you might have in the comments. 

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