(This article was originally written to coincide with one of my appearances on The Dr. Oz Show)
We all dream and we all wonder what our dreams mean. No doubt you’ve woken up on a number of occasions scratching your head over the dream you just experienced. And discussing it with friends, family and co-workers may have brought you more confusion than clarity, huh? Well, scratch thy head no more! I am going to share with you three powerful tips that will help you go into the new year as a better dream interpreter.

1. Keep A Dream Journal In Tandem With A Day Journal

Whatever happens in your life today, whatever thought runs through your mind, whatever accomplishment you make, whatever conversations you have, whatever frustrates you today is likely to show up in your dreams tonight in some form or fashion.

Keeping a day journal in tandem with a dream journal will help you to connect the dots between the imagery in your dream to the events and thoughts and conversations of the previous day. Write down all TV shows, books, etc. that you read, saw or talked about that day.  You never know when your dream will borrow something you saw or read in order to help it make its message. 

2. Identify Yourself And Your Behavior In The Dream

When we dream, we go inward and focus on the self.  Think about it, your eyes are closed, your room is dark, the outside world is shut off, so YOU go in to yourself and focus on YOU and all the things that YOU are dealing with right now.

Our dreams will show us ourselves in the guise of different people or animals or even objects so that we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and our current behavior.

Everything in your dream is you. The exception to this rule is when you dream of someone you deal with closely on a daily basis, such as your roommate, your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your children, your co-worker. The best way to determine if someone in your dream is playing his or herself, rather than representing some aspect of you, is to ask yourself if there is a current concern or issue you have with the person or are they involved in the same situation with you. If the answer is no, then odds are, the person is indeed a representation of some part of you.

So start with yourself first – how is this creature, this person, this object like me?  What three words first come to mind when you think of that person, creature, etc.? Can you connect any of the words you chose to yourself and your life and behavior right now? If the dots don’t connect, then work outward.  How is this creature, this person, this object like my spouse? My best friend?  My child? Etc. Do this and those dots are sure to connect. There is always a link. Nothing and no one in your dream is random.

3. Dreams Speak In Metaphors

“She’s the apple of my eye.”  “Dad was boiling mad.”  “He’s the black sheep of the family.”  Metaphors compare two seemingly unlike things in order to make a point.  Our dreams work the same way, which is one of the reasons they are often so bizarre.  Make it a habit of asking yourself how the characters, the objects, the actions and the settings in your dreams are comparable to yourself and the events in your waking life.  How is your dream last night a metaphor for your life right now or for how your day went yesterday? Does the raging storm in last night’s dream seem like the current state of your marriage?  Does winning the lottery in your dream remind you of how you felt when you recently got that promotion?  Like a metaphor, your dreams illustrate what’s going on in your life and how you truly feel about it.  When you can find the metaphor, you have found the message.

Want to chat with me on the phone so I can personally interpret your dream?  Or you can find even more powerful tips that will help you become a better Dream Interpreter in my latest book Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life.

When you can understand your dreams, you’ll find that they are the best glimpse of reality available. They are the way you are brutally honest with yourself when your conscious waking mind refuses to be. They are the way you nag yourself over a recurring behavior you need to correct or an issue you aren’t giving enough attention to, hence the persistent recurring dream.  They are also your very best friend and advisor when you need to make a tough decision or solve a difficult problem.  No one truly knows what is best for you… than YOU! So why not go into this new year with a new and deeper understanding of your self? When you can understand your dreams, you can change your life!

“I don’t usually read a book more than once. My most recent reread was Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life.”  – Sean Flanigan, Chicago, IL