Six Simple Steps to Understanding Dreams

Here are six simple steps to understanding dreams.

Record it

Keep a notebook or a recording device by your bedside and record your dreams the moment you wake up.  Do not delay because dreams are so wispy; the moment we engage in activity, dreams begin to blow right out of our memories.  Record your dreams in small bits – it doesn’t have to be overwhelming detail.  Odds are, if you record just the meaty bits of the dream, your memory can recall the rest.  Record what seemed most important to you.  Interestingly, studies have shown the process of recording our dreams actually helps us find meaning to them.   The analytical mind becomes engaged with the creative mind, and this marriage creates new understandings.

Summarize it

After you’ve recorded your dream, take a few moments to jot down single words that best describe the overall feel of the dream.  You can do this upon waking, or as you go through the day.  After you’ve safely recorded your dream, your perceptions of it may morph as you go about your day.  Keep track (in a notebook or via recording device) of the single words you’d pick to describe the pervasive feel of the dream.  For example, if you were being chased in a dream, you might choose “panic” as one word to describe the whole feeling of the dream.

Compare it

By now you are starting to crystallize the feeling of the dream.  By recording the dream and then putting single-word identifications on the feeling of the dream you are fleshing out the dream and it is taking on a substantial meanings.  Now you can begin to compare the feelings and events in your dreams with those you experience in waking life.  For example, if you were chased in your dream, think of instances in your waking, every-day life that make you feel the same way you felt as you did whilst being chased in your dream.  By comparing dream feelings with “real-life” waking feels we begin the gap between two worlds – the conscious and subconscious worlds.  And when we do this, dream meanings inevitably follow.

Revisit and Observe it

Revisit your dream and observe the people, places, activities and events in your dream.  Pay special attention to the people and animals in your dreams.  What are they doing?  What do they look like?  What colors are dominant in the dream?  What kind of activities are taking place?  What is the season in the dream?  Just play around in a free-associative way with the various elements in your dream.  You can write down these thoughts, or merely ruminate in a “daydream” sort of way.  Doing this will cause profound meanings to surface in your conscious mind.

Self-project it

After you have taken stock of the different people and/or animals in your dream, imagine these people are you.  For example, if the main player in your dream is a yellow dog, imagine this dog is you.  What does that mean to you?  What was the dog doing that you also do?  I’m taking this straight from the dream master, Dr. Carl Jung, he proposed everything in our dream is actually a projection of the Self.  That means a mother in your dreams is actually the mothering aspect of you.  The yellow dog in your dreams is the loyal aspect of yourself.  That is, if you subscribe to dogs being man/woman’s best friend.  If you have a phobia about dogs, the dream is speaking to a fearful or attacking aspect of yourself.

Putting it all together

If you’ve diligently followed steps 1-5, you now have a great overall outline of your dream.  Now you will put all of your recordings, impressions, single-word associations, observations and self-projections together.  Invest in quiet time alone as you ponder all your dream interpretations.  Ask your spirit guides to help you with interpreting dream meanings too – they often communicate through dreams and are happy to help with interpretations.

I hope you have enjoyed these simple suggested tips to understanding dreams.

For more information on this subject, follow these links on

Dream Meanings

Types of Dreams

Written by Avia Venefica of

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