Knowing how to lucid dream is one of the keys to less mental stress and more overall happiness. In lucid dreaming, a person is able to take full control over their circumstances within a dream because their conscious mind has realized that it is a fantasy world they are in, not real life.
This process helps because stressful situations, problematic scenarios, and other issues from life can all be played out to a successful resolution in a completely safe environment.
Lucid dreaming isn’t something that just happens, but there is a good chance it has already happened to you. Have you ever noticed that if you fall asleep with the television on that parts of what you hear on the TV become part of the dream? How a newscast becomes an important event within the dream you start having?
If the news anchor on the television can be part of your dream, so can your inner voice! Here’s how you can start to make lucid dreaming become part of your nightly routine.
Be Patient With Your First Lucid Dream
Having a spontaneous dream that is lucid is a lot different than having your conscious mind bridge into the dream world. It is a skill that must be learned and it takes time to learn new skills.
Some people can start lucid dreaming in as little as 2 nights. For others, and more commonly, it can take up to 3 weeks of consistently making attempts to dream lucidly.
To encourage a lucid dream, you’ve also got to encourage your body to get into a sleep routine on a consistent basis. That’s because the more routine-based your nights are, the more likely you are to begin a lucid dream.
Here are some things to consider adding or altering to your current evening routine:
- Eliminate all electronic devices at least 60 minutes before you go to bed, including e-mails, social media, tablets, television shows, movies, and other screen-based technology.
- Avoid having any coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages after 11am. Caffeine can have a 12 hour life in the body, which means your 3pm pick-me-up could keep you up until 3am.
- Avoid meals within 3 hours of your normal bedtime as a late dinner can stimulate your blood sugar and create enough energy reserves to make sleep difficult.
- Utilize the last 30 minutes before your normal bedtime to still your mind in some way. This may include meditation, prayer, introspective thoughts, or other quieting exercises that bring you both physical and spiritual contentment.
Consistency is the most important trait of all. Find a routine that works for you and then stick with it every night to the best of your ability.
That is the most effective tool there is when it comes to lucid dreaming! Remember – the night you miss your routine is Day 1 of a brand new routine.
Dream Journals Can Help You Learn How to Lucid Dream
Have you ever had a crazy dream that has stuck with you for your entire life? A dream journal can help you track your dreams over time and help you become more aware of your dream states each night.
To say that everyone dreams every night is a myth: you only dream when you reach the REM sleep stages. The deepest sleep and the lightest sleep stages don’t bring the mind into a state which encourage it to dream.
What spurred me into the use of a dream journal was a dream I had one night while in my dorm at the university.
It was cold in my dream and extremely dark. I knew I was on a quest for something, but didn’t know what it was at first. Then I discovered I was in a museum and a rare religious icon had been stolen.
The icon was called the “Spear of the Anti-Christ.” In many religious studies, the telling of Christ’s crucifixion includes a spear to the side. In this dream, because every action has an equal an opposite reaction, the Spear of Christ generated the Spear of the Anti-Christ.
Then some guy was using the spear to kill people and it became my job to catch him.
The dream ended with me being touched by that spear. Was it a lucid dream? Not really. I don’t remember being in control of my circumstances. I journaled that dream, however, because I wanted to be in control of a dream like that in the future!
Any action your conscious mind takes to distinguish dream states from reality will help you recognize a dream and then be able to control it.
Touching objects, watching for scientific laws like gravity, or being aware of linear time can all help to distinguish one state from the other.
Most People Have Consistent Dream Signs
The dreams that get the most attention are either the spectacular dreams of a complex fantasy world, like mine described above, or the nightmares where one of life’s greatest fears brought up for us to confront in some way.
What doesn’t get a lot of attention are the “ordinary” dreams that we all have most nights. These are the dreams that really are part of the fabric of who we each are.
Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy
(Sigmund Freud) Via brainyquote.com
The signals in these ordinary dreams are often the same. That’s right – most evenings, the average person dreams about at least one thing that’s the same in every single dream.
Depending on who you are, the range of consistency in an ordinary dream can cover every topic or event! You might:
- have a conversation with the same person each night,
- find yourself in a similar place, like a beach, in every dream, or
- need to accomplish some sort of task that is similar in each dream.
For me, my ordinary dreams are extremely ordinary. I dream about working in my office, but I can never really understand what it is that I’m trying to accomplish.
These events that are the same – these are signals that the conscious mind can use to recognize a dream state. The instant a dream is recognized is the instant that your dream becomes lucid!
How cool is that? Look for patterns in your dreams, journal them, and you’ll be ready to initiate your first lucid dream. What do you do after you have this recognition within your dream?
Controlling a Lucid Dream Takes Lots of Practice
What most first-time lucid dreamers soon realize is that accomplishing a conscious recognition within a dream state isn’t the most difficult task they face. Dreams are a very fragile state and they can be interrupted in a number of ways. For a first lucid dream, unfortunately, the typical cause of interruption is over-excitement.
Strangely enough, most people tend to have a very similar first lucid dream. It involves standing in an open field, perhaps a familiar one. There is usually a figure off in the distance, one that you know is familiar and that you recognize, but just can’t place at that very moment.
This is when lucidity occurs and people recognize they are in a dream state! What’s the first thing that most people try to do in a dream?
They try to fly.
If you want to talk about having an exciting experience, then imagine being Superman for a few seconds, having the wind whoosh past you with great speed as you explore this dream reality.
What people see as they fly can be different. Home towns, lost family members, or even just an open field are all commonly seen.
What also is common is the adrenaline rush one gets from flying! This causes excitement and that excitement causes people to wake up and then desperately try to replicate the event.
To control the dream, the first step is to stay calm. Becoming too excited is a sure ticket to exit dreamland for awhile! When you can calm yourself down and stay that way, take each decision you make within the dream in a methodical way.
Don’t just rush to try something, create something, or go somewhere. If it works perfectly, you’ll struggle to calm your excitement and likely wake up, if it doesn’t work right, your disappointment will wake you as well.
Dream Spinning: The Lucid Dream “Hail Mary”
Sometimes you can feel like your lucid dream is leaving your control. This is because your conscious mind is literally retreating from the unconscious mind that is generating the dream.
For some people, this might mean they feel sleepy within their dream and begin to fall asleep. For others, they can literally feel their bodies waking up!
How can you prevent your mind from leaving the world of a lucid dream? Through a method of control called “dream spinning.”
Imagine the tornado in the Wizard of Oz that transports Dorothy from her home in Kansas to the magical land of Oz for a moment. There were things in that tornado, spinning around here, while she was stationary, right?
That’s essentially the effect of dream spinning from a dream standpoint. You consciously tell your mind to begin spinning inside the dream and the effort of creating this effect is often enough to remain in control of the dream itself.
How this looks inside the dream seems to be different for everyone. Some people see themselves becoming a tornado. Others see the dream world itself begin to spin.
Don’t worry – the worst thing that happens is that you wake up from your lucid dream and have an excuse to try again!
What Are the Benefits of Lucid Dreaming?
So why go through all this effort to learn how to lucid dream?
Besides the fact that it is extremely fun to create your own realistic fantasy world within the confines of your mind that stimulates your senses as if it were genuinely real, there are far-reaching benefits that can literally last a lifetime.
One of the greatest benefits of lucid dreaming is the fact that you get to know your authentic self. Thanks to the real world in which we live, we each are forced to put on personas that aren’t quite us.
They’re an “improved” version of us that works to reduce conflicts, live in peace, or have the opposite effect and create turmoil and war. We do this for one simple reason: we want to get along with other people.
When you live a lie for long enough, the lie can easily become a new reality. Lucid dreaming counters this false reality with a different false reality but one that is based on who you are instead of what you communicate to others you are.
By knowing your moral centers, your inner self, and what your soul needs, you can quickly find much more contentment in life.
The subconscious mind is also a fantastic place to solve problems. Some of the greatest inventions and scientific discoveries of our era have come thanks to lucid dreams that their discoverers had.
Now you might not be the first to discover warp speed because of a lucid dream, but you could discover a new way to approach a problem you’re having at work.
Lucid dreaming also inspires creativity.
Was my dream about the spear a lucid dream? I suppose it could have been, considering how it inspired me to be a more creative individual. That one dream inspired a lot of future work that was deemed to be brilliant.
The same can be said of your dreams and how it relates to your passion. We think of creativity as an artistic venture most of the time, but any job in any field can benefit from a creative side.
Most Importantly, Lucid Dreaming Improves a Person’s Confidence
The best reason to learn how to lucid dream is the fact that it improves your confidence. There is sometimes a fine line between arrogance and confidence and walking that line can often be difficult.
A perspective isn’t arrogant, however, if it can be backed up and lucid dreaming can help you back up your claims like never before.
Imagine having the confidence to approach a supervisor with a problem that no one else wants to face. Or maybe confidence will take you into a conversation with someone you really like, but have never had the courage to speak with before.
Confidence can help you inspire others to be better today than they were yesterday. In many ways, confidence is what is found in a leader. You don’t have to be a supervisor, or the head of a household, or own your company to be a leader.
Sometimes the greatest leaders set an example by simply doing. Or simply being. Or to walk down that one path that no one else is willing to walk down because it is too scary.
That’s why learning how to lucid dream is so important to the quality of life that each person on this planet has. Are you ready to see where your efforts to lucid dream could take you?
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Public Domain image from Pixabay