In normal dreams, you are a bystander or a watcher.
If you get to be an active participant, you act out as if manipulated by an unseen force. You can’t regulate your actions and often wake up not remembering much.
Lucid Dreaming, on the other hand, is defined as being conscious of your actions and taking active control of your dreams. In it, your senses are heightened compared to a normal dream. You can feel, see, taste, hear and smell everything as if you were awake.
“The hit movie, Inception, has popularized lucid dreaming and given us new triggers for our night-time musings – from lucid dreams-within-dreams to working with subconsciously-driven dream figures. The movie was written and directed by a real life lucid dreamer, Chris Nolan.”
Lucid Dreaming is your own virtual world, where you can do anything you desire. The alteration of fantasy to something real in our head is exciting and the benefits show no bounds to bring out the best of who we are.
Ergo, in lucid dreams you get the chance to take on a new life without fear and inhibitions. Alternate realities happen where you can practice new skills, enhance creative problem-solving abilities and even improve your confidence.
The best thing about lucid dreams? It's ultimate wish fulfillment. Your greatest fantasies come in full color.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming:
1. Get Help from Your Subconscious
It’s like having your hidden guru made itself known through a crystal ball. It can tell you anything you want to know about yourself akin to untapped skills or amazing memories. Being able to assess any question accordingly and in clear focus will bring into light a better picture of what you CAN do in real life.
2. Do Anything You Want in Dreams
I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid. I had dreamed of flying too. I once dreamed I enjoyed a walk on a street in a mystical land.
In real life, I wished I could swim like a fish, or soar to the skies like a bird, or maybe even travel to Japan.
In lucid dreams, I could all do of these. To remember every moment of tasting the fantasy will bring about a desire and motivation in real-life to make everything come true.
3. Improve Your Memory
There are two kinds of memories which become active during sleep.
The first one is called episodic memory to which you remember new skills and perfect the ones you already have.
The second is called semantic memory to which you recollect facts.
Lucid dreaming helps in solidifying everything you learned during the day, as well as fully choosing other things you want to solidify in your memory. This is very beneficial to students to soak up information in time for exams.
4. Learn a Skill in One Night
It’s similar to the method of visualization. When an athlete dreams of their sport during the night, the pattern of neuronal activation in their brain is almost the same as if they were scoring that goal in real life.
So lucid dreaming can be taken as extra time to practice anything you want to train on in your sleep. Learn to swim, play the piano or go dancing in a fun and safe environment. Have a fantasy celebrity companion with you to become inspired.
5. Improve Problem Solving Skills
Once you get the hand of lucid dreaming, solving problems becomes easy because you get to draw deeper insights from your subconscious and not heavily rely on your logical brain. This is the ultimate area of free-reign creativity.
6. Improve Your Creativity
Research about famous musical composers like Mozart and Beethoven and you will discover that dreams had been one source of their inspiration. Lucid dreams let us have free-flowing ideas with no restrictions of reality. You don’t have to mind budgets, responsibilities or rant about spilled milk on the counter. All fantasies are possible and you can fashion your own dreamscape according do your preference.
7. The Time to Face Your Fears
Are you scared of snakes? In your lucid dream, why not ask the snake what he represents? Maybe the answer will astonish you. The fact you are aware you are in a dream, it will become a controlled environment where safety will become your strength knowing you will not be harmed in any way.
8. Improve Your Confidence
Lucid dreams are playground for experimentation. I have an issue with public speaking. I am fluent in english, but my delivery needs help. In lucid dreams, I can speak well in front of an adoring public. This will boost my confidence without feeling the anxiety of having many eyes watching my every move.
9. Explore Alternate Realities
This has got to be my favorite part. I ALWAYS wanted to visit Atlantis. I will explore towering pillars, the magnificent temples, the bravura landscape and as my subconscious will dictate, I’ll be one of the known, powerful Atlanteans, who were once fabled the most powerful race in the world. There is even a story of them being ‘winged’ creatures with powers nearing the capabilities of a God.
That will be my ultimate science fiction came true.
So Why Don’t We Always Have Lucid Dreams?
According to scientists, there are three reasons:
- Normal dreams are necessary for subconscious therapy according to depth psychology.
- The brain, being an objective and logical organ, will only accept everything as real. Ergo, we commonly view dreams as hallucinations and won’t take it seriously.
- We accept the dream world having its own set of rules against fabric of reality. Thus, we hardly challenge ourselves to become lucid.
How to Begin Lucid Dreaming:
There are techniques online to aid in controlling your dreams such as ‘How to Have Flying Dreams?’, ‘How to Change Scenery’, How to Travel Through Time’, ‘How to Find Dream Objects’, How to Talk to Your Subconscious’, etc.
For beginners, here are simple steps to get started to:
- Write down at least one dream in your dream journal each morning.
- Have at least 20 minutes of meditation per day.
- Try to remember more dreams more vividly.
- Try to use soundscapes to aid in your lucid dreaming. Tools like Dreams:On of iOS provides this.
- Research for more lucid dreams tutorial online.
Lucid Dreaming is not about remembering a dream memory, but it is about the experience. You perceive yourself in that dream. Lucid dreams gives you a chance of seeing things in another perspective to things you won’t normally do in real life. The way a lucid dream can positively motivate and transfer its influences to real life is great.
There is a healthy way to balance lucid dream and real life. If you feel lucid dreams are giving a negative effect to your daily routine because of procedures undertaken, you might be doing something wrong and need to seek advice from an advanced lucid dreamer or from lucid dream community.