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    Thread: Retracing Your Steps to Better Recall

    1. #1
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      Retracing Your Steps to Better Recall

      When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I try to do is mentally go back over any dreams I've had during the night. Sometimes this is easier said than done. If I've had a really vivid dream with a great deal of awareness, this doesn't seem to be a problem. However, there are some nights that I've slept so deeply and my brain just doesn't want to wrap around any kind of solid image of what I've experienced during the night. I'll get little wisps of memory that tease the edges of my consciousness, only to be ripped away as soon as I try to focus on them. To try to avoid this phenomenon, I've developed a new strategy of improving my recall.

      Unsurprisingly, the most recent dreams are usually the easiest to remember, while the ones from earlier in the night (unless extremely vivid to begin with) are much more difficult to drag from the depths of memory. However, I've noticed that focusing on things from later dreams will often trigger an association with an earlier dream that I've completely forgotten about. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I do tend to remember most dreams in reverse order. The event that occurred most closely to waking up stands out the most. Holding this event in mind, I'll ask myself, "what happened before that?" which will lead to another scene falling into place, until eventually most of the important parts of the dream are reconstructed. But on nights with limited recall, sometimes I just can't find an answer to the question, "What happened before that?"

      Since I've been having this problem a lot more as of late, I needed to come up with a way to fix it. I decided that some waking life training is necessary. When we recall events in waking life, it's usually done in the exact opposite of the way I just described. We think of our day in chronological order, remembering events as they happened. But since it is easier to remember dreams in reverse order, why not practice this by using our waking life memories as well? What I've been doing is, throughout the day, recalling everything that I've just done--- but in reverse order. I do this whenever I think about it during the day, in as much detail as possible, in addition to a reality check. I try to go as far back as when I first wake up in the morning (or even farther back, to the dreams I had during the night). As the day goes on this gets progressively harder and takes longer to think about each time.

      This exercise actually serves two purposes. Primarily, it trains the mind to have a stronger short-term memory of events, which makes it more likely to recall dreams as well. Secondly, it opens the door for an increased awareness during the day that can potentially lead to more lucid dreams at night. One of my favorite reality checks has been to think back over recent events and determine whether I've missed any dream signs, so this can tie into that as well.

      Overall, I've noticed a definite increase in dream recall even in the short amount of time I've been practicing this method. I hope this can prove useful to other people as well! Please let me know if you have any success with this, or if you want to offer any additional insights.
      Charles3 likes this.

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      I was doing something similar for a week or two until a few days ago. I guess it was wearing me out. While I was doing it, I think my dream recall saw an improvement, but I didn't do it long enough to tell. maybe I will try again. You pretty much described the exact reverse remembering method I had begun to do. I red about it in another article somewhere.

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