Lucid dreaming can enable you to guide your dreams and be more successful and satisfied in your life.
WHAT IS LUCID DREAMING?
Lucid dreaming is simply being aware while you dream. You do not wake up, but while you dream you realize that you are, in fact, asleep, and you recognize the dream for what it is. Then you find you are able to control what happens in your dream. This can be very empowering, as you are able to use the symbols and scenarios thrown up by your subconscious, to positive purposes. For instance, you may dream you are running from a monster, and then you realize that you are dreaming. This enables you to turn and confront the monster, and to create a scenario where you are able to defeat it. This ‘monster’ is a representation of something that you are struggling with in real life, and may feel overwhelmed by. However, by managing to triumph over it in the dream state, it isn’t hard to see that you would then feel empowered to overcome your real-life challenge. When lucid dreaming becomes a regular practice, you grow to be a great deal more confident and successful in day-to-day living. Lucid dreaming has been shown to speed up the healing process from illness and to lead to a more creative and fulfilling life.
RESEARCH ON LUCID DREAMING
Dreaming occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, so it is quite possible to know when a sleeper is having dreams. At Stanford University experiments were conducted to help dreamers become lucid. As REM commenced, a tape recording of a voice saying ‘You’re dreaming’ was played, reminding them to be lucid. Flashing lights also worked, and were less likely to awaken the sleeper. Not all dreams can, or should, be lucid, because ordinary dreams also have value. However, lucid dreaming once or twice a week can be useful.
HOW CAN I LEARN TO DREAM LUCIDLY?
Anyone can learn lucid dreaming – in fact if you think about it there will have been times in your life where you did know you were dreaming. Maybe you wanted to wake up because you were having a nightmare and didn’t know how to escape, and maybe you didn’t realize that actually you could control your nightmare, turning it into a strengthening and healing experience. Or maybe you were having a lovely dream that you wanted to continue, but it changed, or you woke up. Try the following exercises to become a practiced lucid dreamer.
• Get into the habit of recalling and recording your dreams. Have a pad by the bed and write them down, even if you have woken up in the middle of the night. This is making the point to your subconscious mind that dreams are important. It will also be useful in interpreting your dream imagery, if you want to.
• Create dream scenarios just before you go to sleep and imagine yourself entering them.
• When you wake up, re-enter the scene of a dream you’ve been having and visualize it continuing, under your direction.
• Become relaxed and re-create powerful dreams in your mind, tweaking how the dream develops and changing the ending. This can be useful for recurring dreams, especially if they are unpleasant.
• Before you go to sleep, affirm to yourself that you are going to lucid dream. Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen immediately – it may take lots of practice.
• Use visualization to create a lovely dream-scene. Now ‘see’ or experience something within this that wouldn’t happen in real life, such as a singing flower, being able to fly, finding a glowing jewel or symbol that means something to you, such as an ankh, or cross. Tell yourself that when this sign appears you’ll know you’re dreaming and repeat this out loud, three times. Do this several times, visualizing your sign and repeating your message. Go to sleep, but try to keep your sign and your intention in the front of your mind. It’s a good idea to recite ‘With this sign I’ll know I’m dreaming’ to yourself over and over again as you programme yourself to recall.
• You may not see your sign that night, but never mind. When you wake up, consciously visualize yourself going back into a dream and calling up the sign. If you can’t remember any of your dreams, create one and bring your sign into it. It may take some practice but eventually you will break through, and start experiencing lucid dreams.
Like many mental disciplines, lucid dreaming can improve things for you and make you more effectual. But sometimes this isn’t enough and you need support. Or your dreams may throw up issues that you need to talk through. Remember that our insightful readers are there for you whenever you need help and clarity, so put in a call today.
PUBLISHED: 01 October 2014