Tips to Help You Remember Your Dreams

We all dream, but we often don’t remember them. But catching dreams can help us see repeating patterns, solve problems, grow our creativity and spark our imagination. Writing down our dreams gives us a record and reminds us when symbols and situations repeat. Repeating patterns in dreams are things we need to pay attention to. It’s our own way of making ourselves aware that something needs another, closer look.



How can we help ourselves remember our dreams?

1. When you wake up, don’t jump up, turn on the TV or radio. Stay still. Lie in the position you woke up in.

2. Try to remember any details of dreams you had. Keep your eyes still and let your body experience details or emotions you felt.

3. If you recall some of the dream, give it a descriptive title. Keep it short, something like “Trip to Rome in a Boat,” or “Flying Through the Night Sky.”

4. If you can’t remember any dream, explore the emotion you feel as you wake up. It’s often the leftover emotion from your dreams. Are you happy? Wistful? Angry? Feeling the emotion might bring part of the dream back.

5. Write down the emotion, any dream fragment, or a word that describes how you feel. The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory when it comes to dream. Even dreams that you remember in great detail vanish in about two hours if you don’t make an effort to capture them.

–Image: The Dreamer, colored pencil on Bristol Board, Quinn McDonald

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and writer who studies dreams and their power to free us from our self-limiting beliefs and actions. You can find out more about daydreams, too, in 10 Steps to Creative Daydreaming.

(c) 2008 All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Tips to Help You Remember Your Dreams

  1. Your dreamer portrait is simply stunning! Must try some of your tips for remembering my dreams…

    —> It gets easier to remember your dreams the more you practice. -Q

  2. That’s a really beautiful portrait, is it anyone you know?

    –It’s an assignment from art class. Color pencil is an amazingly versatile medium, and many people can produce photograph-quality portraits, including my art teacher. The assignment was to take on a challenge of skin tone. I’ve never drawn anyone of color before, so I did a composite of several woman of color. I’m still experimenting with minimalist devices in colored pencil, which is a real oxymoron. And I hate it when my answers are ten times longer than the question. -Q

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