An Overview of Lucid Dreaming
We all dream. Every night every human being will have about 5 dream episodes a night. Most of the time we don’t remember but there are dreams that stick with us when we wake up. Dream experts explain that our dreams mirror basic patterns of human behaviour and reflect who we are, what we need and what we believe in. Dream symbols are presented as metaphor within the unconscious mind and it is down to the conscious awakened mind to interpret them. We have common dreams for example that lend well to psychological interpretation. For example, many of us have had the disconcerting dream of our teeth falling out which reflects anxieties about one’s appearance and how others perceive you. Such dreams stem from a fear of rejection, embarrassment, or feeling unattractive. Teeth are used to bite, tear and chew so losing your teeth can stem from a sense of powerlessness which means you may be experiencing self-confidence issues. Appearing naked in public is another disturbing, yet common dream and symbolises not being able to find yourself, uncertainty or being wrongly accused. Dreaming is the process by which the subconscious and the conscious mind join and align to solve and shed light on the issues we face in our waking life.
Dreams can also represent incredible leaps in human intuition and are extremely useful to human development and creativity. Mary Shelley wrote her literary novel Frankenstein after experiencing a nightmare, Elias Howe imagined a needle pushing through cloth in a dream and subsequently invented the sewing machine. Astoundingly, James Watson saw the double helix image of the DNA chain in a dream, imagined as a spiral staircase, and he went on to be the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. The impact of his discovery on the world of science from his simple dream has been truly phenomenal.
So What Is Lucid Dreaming
Typically, when we dream, we are not aware that the dream is not real. It feels real when we’re in them but when we wake up we realise. But with lucid dreaming we enter the dream state fully aware that we are dreaming and are able to control and direct that movie in our minds. It is self-awareness during the dream state. Have you ever started dreaming and suddenly realized that you were in a dream? Have you ever managed to gain control over your dream narrative? If your answer to these is “yes,” you’ve experienced what is called lucid dreaming.
The idea of a kind of mixed conscious state where you know you’re dreaming has captured the imagination not only of people who try to do this but researchers and even some clinicians. Some report that it boosts creativity and even helps with problem-solving. It’s also being evaluated as a possible approach to treat chronic nightmares, for example in those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Even though the term “lucid” means clear, lucid dreaming is more than just having a clear dream. To have a lucid dream you must know that it’s a dream while you’re dreaming. That’s it. It doesn’t require that you can control anything in your dream, though control is what beginning lucid dreamers often aim at.
The Benefits Of Lucid Dreaming
1. You get to choose what you want to dream about:
You’re able to choose the things you dream about, before going to sleep. You can even decide what to dream about WHILE you’re in the dream. If you decide you want to ride a wild stallion, you can!
2. Discover your creativity:
Lucid dreaming lets you tap into unlimited sources of inspiration. Your subconscious mind is capable of imagining and experiencing almost anything, and with lucid dreaming you’re able to do just that.
3. Remove fears from your mind:
One of the most powerful benefits of being lucid is being able to REMOVE fears from your mind.
4. Practice and improve at REAL skills:
Did you know that you can actually practice REAL life skills in a lucid dream, and REALLY improve at that skill in waking life.
5. Better, more restful sleep:
One of the best health benefits of having lucid dreams is that you’ll experience a better, deeper, and MORE RESTFUL SLEEP as a result.
6. An unlimited source of inspiration:
Inspiration is something lots of people struggle with. It seems elusive and especially for people who need to be creative such as artists, marketing directors or writers this is a great way to get inspired.
Lucid dreaming gives you an opportunity to access your subconscious and play around with extraordinary abilities buried in the unused parts of your brain. Regardless of whether you are a superhuman in real life or not, lucid dreaming is a way for you to put the untapped areas of your brain to good use whilst you are sleeping with all the blocks and obstacles of reality out of the way. If you want to dream of being your best self and go off on adventures that you are in control of, then exploring the phenomenon of lucid dreaming will give you the chance to access the power your own brain.
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