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Dream Interpretation Tips: Writing Dreams Down

Updated on March 3, 2014

Mysterious Messengers Of The Night

Whether you're working with a dream interpretation facilitator or analyzing your dreams yourself, these tips will help you get the most out of those mysterious messengers of the night we call dreams.

The first step, of course, in discovering the meaning of your dreams is remembering them. Developing a habit of writing them down will help train your mind to remember dreams more often and more vividly.

Once they are written down, you can work with them yourself or find a dream interpretation facilitator or guide to help you understand the meaning and glean insights for personal growth, healing, decision-making, inspiration, relationships, and overall well-being.

Photo by Melanie Murphy Myer. All rights reserved.

Your Dream Journal - How To Write Down Your Dreams

1. Write down your dreams as soon as you awake. The details and feelings are freshest and most vivid when you first awake, and they quickly start to dissipate as soon as your feet hit the floor. Keep a notebook and pen beside your bed.

2. Write your dreams in the present tense. This will help you capture more of what your unconscious is trying to tell you, as it puts you in the present moment of your internal world rather than separating you from it as if you are describing something in the past.

For example, rather than writing "I was in a big building that seemed familiar," write "I am in a big building that seems familiar." The details, feelings, and meaning will flow more freely this way and open up more insight.

3. As you are writing down your dream, don't worry about whether or not you are recalling it accurately. The dream came from the same mind that it is writing it down, and whatever is coming up for you while you record it is most likely relevant even if it wasn't part of the original dream.

4. Colors, sounds, textures, tastes, smells, and shapes can be important clues to your dream's message and meaning, so don't dismiss them as insignificant details. Write down everything that comes to mind no matter how meaningless or silly it may seem. On the other hand, don't stress if the details you recall are sparse. Work with what you're given.

Dream Interpretation Guidance

After You Write Down Your Dreams

The internet is teeming with information and resources about how to interpret your dreams. There are books and lists of common dream symbols, and many articles that teach you techniques and tips for dream analysis.

One thing to bear in mind is that your dreams are unique to you and, as such, may not always line up exactly with archetypal symbols and representations. That is, you may have personal associations with objects, people, and places in your dreams that supersede common or typical associations.

For example, I worked with a woman whose dream of a pregnant spider in her kitchen sink began to make sense only when we discovered her personal unconscious feelings and identification with the spider in Charlotte's Web, one of her favorite books from childhood.

While you can learn to interpret your dreams yourself, sometimes it helps to have outside guidance to see past your blind spots. I have helped people interpret their dreams for about 20 years, and just recently started working with people online rather than just in person.

I was delighted to hear a man I've never met in person tell me that he received more insight from our one dream session than in six weeks of therapy! For more information, click here.

Do you write down your dreams? - What was the strangest dream you remember?

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I have had very powerful dreams, more when I was younger. I love dream interpretation, I have been in groups and gone to workshops on this. My son just had a dream that the CIA was capturing him because of his psychic ability. Pinned to my dreams board.

    • ManfromModesto LM profile image

      ManfromModesto LM 4 years ago

      Yes. I've learned to first write down action verbs, and critical object names- this is enough to recall objects... then their environment, and to then replay the action. Dream clips can fade so rapidly, it is effective to take a lot of scratch notes, then expand them as a step two. Take time to completely write them out within a few hours for the best detail.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I only write down dreams that I feel are important to me, the ones I don't want to forget!

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 4 years ago

      @tonyaalves3: You're welcome, tonyaalves. Did you resolve the issue of your daughter's teeth dreams? Has she stopped having them? Thanks for commenting!

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 4 years ago

      @rakesarm: Haha. :) Do you mean that you decided your dreams are better left as mysteries? Thanks for commenting! :)

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 4 years ago

      @mel-kav: That's great, mel-kav! I'm glad your dreams helped you work through those tough issues. It's amazing how much our unconscious minds know about what's going on and what we need -- long before we become conscious of it.

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I used to write my dreams down - as I had two separate recurring themes - on a nightly basis. Keeping a dream diary was extremely useful in helping me figure out some issues in my life. Once I figured out what the dreams actually meant for me, I was able to work through some difficult issues. I no longer have these dreams.

    • profile image

      rakesarm 4 years ago

      I tried do to write about it but then I thought its better to put dream in a dream world. :)

      Nice topic...


    • tonyaalves3 profile image

      tonyaalves3 4 years ago

      Well, my daughter kept dreaming her teeth were falling out. So I end up google it. Thanks for sharing your lens