What Is Ego Integrity?

One of the main benefits of dream journaling is increased ego integrity.

What is it and why does it matter?

Read on and find out.

Why ego integrity?

Looking forward in life, it’s easy to value money above all other things.

Money is expressed in a number. More seems better. You can buy more things, have more experiences, maybe save it up, retire, and do less—or have more freedom.

It’s harder—though not impossible—to quantify other things like health, positive relationships, or other valuable things.

You need a certain amount of money. We all do. People have to buy food, clothes they wear, and be able to afford housing.

Yet once they take care of those basics, they invariably find themselves looking back. Was what I did worth it? Did I do well?

“Did I matter? Did I make a difference? Was my life meaningful?”

A job, an activity is more than a paycheck.

In retrospect, the calculus can change completely. Valuing money to the exclusion of other concerns can be a mistake. You must balance everything in your mind.  If you think this always goes off without interior controversy, you’re sorely mistaken.

For best results, you want to value the right things.

You want to come to an understanding of the challenges and the questions you faced.

Renowned psychological theorist Erik Erikson called this wisdom you access toward the end of your life Ego Integrity. He contrasted it against Despair.

Erik Erikson is well-known for his Theory of Psychosocial Development.

If you feel like you’ve thrown it all away, made the wrong decisions, you’re prone to feel despair.

Characteristics of ego integrity

Characteristics of ego integrity are a sense of acceptance; peace; a lack of regret; and a sense of wholeness and completion.

Dream journaling isn’t the only way to get these positive feelings, but it’s a good one. It encourages real-time reflection.

Day-to-day life can be a fight. It’s not always easy. There are a lot of potential problems with it. You name it: a variety of aches and pains, complicated decisions, and emotional outbursts.

It’s better to put it all in perspective sooner rather than later.

If you blow your chances, you’re more likely to be wracked with regret.

Reviewing your dreams gives you a chance to put a lot of your life in perspective.

It’s not the only thing you can do, however, to help achieve it.

Reading good books and listening to good podcasts also helps. Expose yourself to solid learning.

Dream journaling is a good way to tie it all together sooner in life rather than later.


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James Cobb RN, MSN is an emergency department nurse and the founder of The Dream Recovery System, one of the top blogs about sleep and dreaming on the Internet.

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