5 easy ways to ramp up your dream recall and enjoyment

In our daily rush and all the pressures we experience, from the moment we awake in the morning, it is of little surprise that recalling dreams has largely become a lost art in our modern society.

Beyond the time crunch of daily living, there is little cultural context for relating or telling dreams to others. And, writing one’s dreams down can require a level discipline and some type of internal reason for taking
this time our of one’s day.

After all, the kids need to get to school, the boss is demanding our attention and bills need to get paid, right?

But, despite all the pressures to discard dreams as trivial, meaningless
or even dangerous – and let’s face it, we do get this message from official
sources such as doctors, religious leaders, parents and teachers and
others who discourage “daydreaming”, “get your head out of the clouds”
or even the eye rolling you may get when you try to tell others about a
dream experience.

But, despite all of the bad press on about the relative merits of dream
recall, many, many people still have a strong desire for a deeper
connection with the dreaming realm. There is a crazy rush that can
happen from recalling the often bizarre or even surreal events,
characters and settings of dreams and to try to makes some sense of it
all. And there is, I believe, an instinctual need to pay attention to our
dreams, a primal desire to allow them a place a the table, so to speak.
Dreams are full of wonder and mystery and, while in the dreaming state,
one is totally absorbed in a realm that is, to a lesser or greater, extent
completely “other” from one’s waking point of view.

If only we had a magic key to unlock the hidden meanings in these
nightly stories which unfold and keep us riveted during our sleeping

So , if  you are fascinated by dreams and wish to explore them more
deeply, recall them more completely or more often, and to glean some
meaning out of the mysteries within them, there are ways to bring
dreams more clearly into focus in one’s life, and, to benefit greatly by
getting to know this other aspect of ourselves. The result can often be
amazing doors of self-knowledge swinging wide open before us.

1. Walk with a dreaming consciousness in your daily life

Several times a day, when you have a spare moment, ask yourself a
simple question – “am I dreaming now?”. Then notice how this question
impacts and perhaps deepens your perceptions of the world around

Now this may seem like a crazy idea, but remember, we are attempting
to retrain our rational, waking minds to accept and appreciate the type
of knowing that dreams have to offer. By seeing our waking life as a
dream, even for a brief moment, we reaffirm our connection to the
dreaming realm as a significant avenue of exploration. And, it can be
great fun in the process!

This technique is a way of fooling the mind into not dismissing the
information that comes to us from our dreams and it can help in dream
recall by breaking down the walls of perception.

2. Keep a dream journal on your nightstand with pen or pencil handy

Remember, there is a powerful interaction that occurs between our
waking beliefs about dreams and how much we recall when we awake.
Teach yourself to hang onto even the smallest image, thought or
emotion from a dream.

And, as soon as you are awake, jot down these tidbits. You may just be
surprised at how much more is there then you had thought. Also,
sometimes even small bits of a dream can be hugely rewarding to

You may even trigger a much bigger dream recall because one bit of
recall leads to another and another. By writing the dream down you are
essentially telling your waking mind that this information is important
and worth documenting. This is one powerful way to expand on your recall.

Once you have recorded the basic facts, events, people, settings, etc.,
and, very important, your emotional state during different parts of the
dream, record some notes about what you think the dream might mean
in your life.

This is the part of dream recall which is the most juicy and has the
biggest payoff in your daily life. And do your best to steer clear of self
judgment when recording dreams. Think of it as simply being a reporter
of the night’s activities. This can help you retain some objectivity in the

3. Find time to Meditate, even a few minutes a day

This is another way of letting your waking mind know you are intent on
paying attention to your inner states and giving yourself permission to
do so. After all, we are being told more and more these days that
meditation is good for our health, both mental and physical.
So use this official permission to do something which will help open
doors to greater inner knowledge and the recall of your nightly

4. Find a trusted friend or companion to share dreams with

This should be someone who will not dismiss your dreams as
meaningless and who will listen with an open mind. Preferably this will
be someone who also wants to increase their own level of dream
awareness. After all, dreams, like other stories in our lives, are
wonderful to share with others who will appreciate them.

You may wish to join a local dream circle in your area or find a place
online where dreams are shared and discussed in a respectful manner.
This sharing aspect can bring tremendous joy and excitement to dream
recall and dream recording. You may even find that others can offer
huge insights to your dreams that you did not pick up on yourself! An
added bonus!

5. Pick up and start reading books on dreams

This may seem like a no-brainer, but, it really does make a difference
when you act on it. Keep in mind that you are allowing your waking
mind of re-establish a base line of comfort with dreams. Anything you
focus on in your life will begin to increase, and dream recall is no

Start reading about the subject before you go to sleep at night as a way
to remind yourself that sleep is a wonderful time for learning and
adventure. Did you know that many great inventions and works of art
have come directly from the dreaming realm? This can help you build
that excitement about the process and keep your mind engaged. Our
dreaming mind can be a source of genius for all of us!

Good Luck, and Sweet Dreams!

Written by Patrick James


I have had vivid dream recall all of my life and started recording my
dreams the age of 15. Dreams have, for me, Always been a source of
wonder, adventure, challenge certainly, and a mirror to help me see
how my inner workings impact my everyday life in a profound way.
For the past nine years I have belonged to a dedicated dream group in
my local area which meets every two weeks. I also belong to the
International Association for the Study of Dreams based in Berkeley, CA.
which has yearly conferences in the US and Europe and other regional
events throughout the year.