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Two of the founding figures of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, were fascinated with dreams as windows into the unconscious mind, believing they were representations of our deepest wishes and desires.
This was remarkable because many people had long thought that sleep was a state of rest and inactivity for the brain. However, that assumption would change after the 1950s, when scientists discovered Rapid Eye Movement, REM sleep, the stage of sleep most closely associated with vivid dreams.
Nowadays, we know that, regardless of whether you remember dreams or not, your dreams typically take up two hours of your sleep. In fact, we spend approximately a third of our lives asleep, so ignoring dreams would mean disregarding a substantial portion of our existence that is rich with imagery and insights.
“Dreams are just thinking in a very different biochemical state, a very different brain state,” Deirdre Barrett, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of “The Committee of Sleep,” explained. “While sleeping, we continue to think about […] our usual thoughts and concerns—our hopes and fears, […] loved ones, our distant past, and plans for the future.”
It is only one of the many reasons why writing down your dreams via Dreambook can positively impact your mental health. By taking the time to truly think about this unexplored aspect of your life, you could gain a better understanding of yourself. But the benefits of dream journal psychology don’t stop there.
Keeping a dream journal can help you understand complex emotions
Writing down your dreams could enable you to better understand yourself and your life by finding patterns and logic within your dreams’ fleeting or recurring elements.
Scientists believe that even the weirdest dreams may not come out of the blue. If your brain thinks a piece of information is relevant, chances are, it’ll show up in your dreams. In fact, a small study showed that REM sleep is related to processing recent emotional memories, which may explain why writing down how you felt throughout a dream might be helpful in the long run. Who would have thought that taking the time to understand that dream about that flying spaghetti monster could help you cope with difficult emotions?
Writing down your dreams can lead you to creative solutions
Let’s be honest—most of the time, dreams seem to unfold like an arthouse film, with perplexing storylines, the same people playing multiple roles, and a sudden conclusion before you can really understand anything. This is one of the reasons why it’s impossible not to be inspired by all the creative possibilities.
Take director Christopher Nolan, for example. A lucid dream inspired him to write his 2010 psychological thriller Inception. In addition, researchers have already found a link between dream recall and dream creativity, with the non-traditional structure of dreams helping us think more creatively in the waking world.
Your overall health can benefit from tapping into your creative energy. There is evidence that creative activities can help reduce anxiety by activating parts of the brain responsible for processing emotions.
Your Dreambook can help you with self-care
Dream journals can also inspire you to track other things like your mood, sleep, or fitness levels. While these are anecdotal, they can be valuable if you want to better understand your self-care management.
During times of high stress, you may experience recurring dreams about forgetting something important. Over time, recording these repeated patterns may help you recognize what your body is attempting to tell you, benefiting your physical and emotional health.
Overall, keeping a dream journal can be a wonderfully powerful tool to get to know yourself on a deeper level, unlocking previously unknown parts of your psyche. It can improve your mental health while also showing you new ways of improving your physical health is the icing on the cake.