So, what is lucid dreaming? You are lucid dreaming when you are able to control your dreams. Because you are aware that you are only dreaming, you control your actions and the direction of the events in your dream. In the lucid state, you know that there is no real danger; hence you are confident to do anything you want. The term makes use of the word lucid, which means mental clarity.
How Does Lucid Dreaming Work?
Lucid dreaming starts in the middle of a dreamer, when you become conscious that what is happening is not real. For instance, being able to fly, meeting a person who is already dead, or encountering monsters, can make you realize that you are only in dreamland and will awaken shortly. This is when you start manipulating things in your dream. The level of lucidity can vary from one dream to another. When it is high, you are aware of everything that goes on in your fantasy. But when it is low, you are only partly aware that you are still asleep, and therefore have limited control over the turn of events in the dream.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is your opportunity to do things you will not dare do when you are awake. Because you know that there will be no physical harm, you are more into what you can do. Experts say that brain activity during the lucid dreaming state is the same during a real life event. Thus, what you learned while dreaming has the same impact as what you learned while awake. You can use lucid dreaming for anything such as:
- Practice. You can use lucid dreaming techniques to practice for an event. Athletes do it to rehearse for a new stroke; coaches do it to design a counter strategy for the team. Artists lucid dream to find inspiration, while others to overcome their anxieties over an upcoming performance.
- Fantasy. This is one of the many reasons people want to learn lucid dreaming techniques. Lucid dreaming enables them to fulfill their wildest dreams without fear. The say that this gives them great pleasure, a feeling that they never experience in real life. Not everyone gets what they wish for, but lucid dreaming is their chance to achieve what they cannot when they are awake.
- Self-assurance. Lucid dreams are used to overcome fears. This is especially useful for problems that can be solved through confrontations with a person you are intimated by. You can use the skill you learned through lucid dreaming to have the courage to handle anyone.
- Overcome nightmares. It is not always easy to wake up from a nightmare. But you can deal with it through lucid dreaming. When faced with a terrifying experience in your dream, lucid dreaming allows you to realize that it will not affect you in any way because it is not real. There will be no need to want to run away. Nevertheless, those who are up for an adventure will have the impetus to act on the dream to have fun.
Is Lucid Dreaming Safe?
Lucid dreaming usually brings about positive experiences to the dreamer. It has to do with the fact that what happens in the dream during the lucid state is in accordance with his or her desire. Lucid dreaming has the tendency to change attitude towards nightmares and unpleasant real life events. Experts believe that dreams are the imagery of assumptions and expectations from the subconscious mind. Lucid dreaming can serve as a stimulus for successfully dealing with situations in the real world. On the other hand, further research is being conducted to confirm if lucid dreaming is entirely safe.
Basic Lucid Dreaming Tips
As per a study, at least 50 percent of the adult population in the world had one lucid dream in their lifetime. Some people have an inherent skill for achieving lucidity; others have lucid dreams without even trying. Lucid dreaming can also be learned at will. It is a skill that you can develop. Below are a few ways to do it:
- Learn to recall your dreams. Many tend to forget about their dreams when they wake up. But if you want to learn lucid dreaming, you must first have the skill to summon up your dreams. If you remember your dreams well, you will become familiar with their traits and patterns. This is when you start identifying between dreams and real-life events. Eventually, you will be able to know that you are dreaming while it is on.
- Reality check. You may think that this is absurd, but doing reality check from time to time enables you to easily realize if you are dreaming or not. The objects in a dream change about 75 percent of the time; they also do not make sense. While awake, make a habit of staring at something for a few seconds and wait for any changes. If nothing happens, it only means that you are wide awake. When you get used to this habit, you will be able to do it even when you are asleep, thus enabling lucid dreaming.
- Note your dream signals. Keep a journal of your dreams. Look for patterns or images that constantly appear in your dreams. Dream signals are unique to every individual. Once you discovered yours, it will become easy for you to realize if you are only dreaming. When you are ready to sleep, psych yourself up for lucid dreaming. Remind yourself that when you see that image, you are not in the real world.
- Be patient. Your subconscious mind can work best if it there is less pressure. Do not force yourself to it. Soothe yourself before going to bed. Believe that you are going to have a lucid dream; feel as though it is really going to happen. You can also decide on what you would like to do in your next lucid dream. Imagine until you drift off. Keep in mind that dreams are a product of what we have inside. So think about those that make you happy, and prepare yourself to have that dream.
Lucid dreaming brings about mostly positive experiences to the dreamer. It is used in different ways to improve quality of life. Lucid dreaming techniques can have different benefits based on the needs and expectations of the dreamer. Many are inherently able to have lucid dreams. Nevertheless, it is a skill that can be learned. With the ability to control the turn of events in your dreams, you can experience things that you can never have the chance to in real life; so it only makes sense to learn lucid dreaming techniques for these fantastical experiences.