We know dreams spark inspiration. The creation of Google, the sewing machine, Frankenstein, The Terminator film, and the song “Yesterday” by The Beatles were all conceptualized from a dream. Although these creatives could recall the visions in their night’s sleep, what about those who couldn’t?
Dream journals can help your teen remember and encourage them to value the thoughts that occur in their subconscious mind. Finding worth in those recountings and recording them will allow them to tap into self-introspection, which is highly important for young adults as they grow and mature.
The teen years are all about self-discovery. Learning to express themselves as authentically as possible and finding out what makes them unique are staple processes as teenagers come of age. As your girl begins to record her dreams, she’ll be able to identify recurring patterns and themes. This exercise will allow her to identify the things she fears or is passionate about in her life.
Recounting dreams can also give her insight into life behavioral patterns, healthy or unhealthy. Identifying and analyzing these patterns gives will give your girl a chance to become better at problem-solving and regulating her emotional state of being, consciously and subconsciously, which is key to self-awareness during adolescence.
Dream journals are also known for unlocking inner creativity. Having your girl understand what inspires her is essential for a creative mind coming into its own. While asleep, her brain discards all rational thinking, which triggers endless imagination. It’s been proven that dreams inspire many revolutionary concepts in all areas, especially the arts. Dream journaling also allows your teen to be more open-minded and curious as she navigates who she’s becoming.
Helping Your Teen Start a Dream Journal
Keeping a dream journal is simple. There is no elaborate structure or rules to follow as this journal reflects your child and their uniqueness. However, some tips could be extremely useful in processing and understanding dreams.
How vividly you remember your dreams differ from person to person. Therefore, to avoid any chance of memory loss, your teenager should record her dreams as soon as she wakes up. Motivate her to neglect punctuation, grammar, or any formatting or style unless she wishes not to do so. Also, this journal is about them and their subconscious journey. Their journal is theirs and theirs alone.
Secondly, she must write as much as she can remember as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence when recounting dreams. Your daughter may find that she cannot recall as much as she wishes to write, which is okay. She may want to begin with significant events within the dream and return with minor details once they have fleshed out the main ideas.
Remind her that thoughts don’t have to be organized in any specific manner. A helpful tip is to use bullet points or fragmented sentences to write as much as possible in a small amount of time. However, there is no pressure to stick to this method. Instead, she has complete freedom to uncover what way works best for her.
Emotional states of being are also great to keep in mind. Tell her to not neglect how she’s feeling throughout her unconscious journey. One recommendation would be for her to write down the feelings she experienced next to the events in her dream. Try incorporating small doodles that indicate a particular sentiment or one-word phrases like happy, sad, angry, or confused.
Finally, stick to it! Dream journals can be hard to keep up with if it is not something you are used to doing. Make journaling a habit. Encouraging your daughter to recount her dreams is a fun way to help her get in touch with herself and who she wants to become. The ultimate goal is for your girl to become self-aware in a way that she feels comfortable. This exercise should not apply pressure; it’s just her and her thoughts.
It’s All About Her
A dream journal is like a diary full of all the things that make us who we are. Our ideas, aspirations, and personality are all things that we can discover through recording dreams. The easiest way to stick to something is to enjoy what you are doing. Encourage your girl to have fun with this process of self-discovery and creativity.
Not only is a dream journal a path to introspection, but it is also just fun to look back on dreams that she may or may not recall. None of us know what great things we’ll find while asleep. Have your girl write her dreams down, take them in, and, quite possibly, one day act on them.
Written by: Amaya Coleman
Top image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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