Dream Recall - How to Improve it
The main barrier to recall and to
dreaming (realizing during a dream that one is dreaming) is that waking and
dreaming memory aren't connected nearly as well as they could be with greater
intention, practice and focus. Making a consistent effort to remember and record
your dreams will help your waking mind to ally itself more closely with your
dream experience. It's also an excellent way to increase imagination and
intuitive capabilities which are both intimately connected with dreams. This
alone should provide strong incentive.
- YOU'VE GOT TO WANT IT. First and foremost, you must feel that it
will be useful to you, if not extremely valuable. Without this, motivation will
soon disappear. More importantly, the desire acts as a magnet which draws your
dreams into memory.
- IT'S A MATTER OF FOCUS AND ATTENTION. Understand that dream recall
is an inherent, natural human trait. That is why young children are usually in
touch with dreams, as are some native cultures who share their dreams with each
other daily. Dream recall is a bit like a mental muscle, the more you use it,
the stronger it becomes. Without exercise it may shrink, but it is there if you
decide to work it out again. So if your recall is poor, trust that it will come
in time, and the trust alone will actually help.
- BEDTIME PRACTICE: Before sleep, reread your dreams from the
previous (or more) night(s). This allows you to begin to connect with your dream
memory, and is also an opportunity to interpret your dreams and spot connections
to the day's events. Then, as you go to bed, clearly ask (rather than command)
yourself to remember your dreams when you awaken in the morning or during the
night, and remind yourself that it's a simple, natural process. Also, suggest to
yourself that you will spontaneously awaken when you need to without using
an alarm clock, since it can inhibit recall. This method works well with
practice, but you may initially wish to set your alarm for 15 minutes after your
suggested wake-up time, just to be safe. Any time you awaken, keep your eyes
closed (or shut them if already open) and remain as motionless as possible. If
you moved since waking, return to your earlier body position. Gather as many
images, feelings or impressions as you can, then rise and immediately record
them in a journal (which you keep bedside) or say them into a tape recorder,
no matter how brief or vague they may at first seem. You'll be surprised
at how much more you can remember as you write (or speak).
- BE PLAYFUL, PATIENT, and PERSISTENT. Although most people
start having success the first week or two, dream recall is a mental muscle
which may require some time to get back into shape. Try to maintain a relaxed
and playful attitude of looking forward to your dreams while being willing to
let them come all in good time. Trying too hard or being too serious can be
limiting factors. Dream recall and motivation tend to come and go naturally in
cycles, and also depend upon what else is going on in your life. Once you start
on a cycle of focusing on recall, stick with it for at least a few days,
because consecutive nights can have an additive effect.
STUDY GROUP with a shared interest in dreams is unmatchable for
sustained motivation and inspiration.
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