This is a guest article by Emily Johnson
“When you go to sleep, where do you really go?” – Brian Lovestar, Dream Myself Alive
Human brain is amazing. Truly. Did you know that it can generate up to 70,000 thoughts per day? Or, that it can survive without oxygen for up to six minutes? That’s true! Also, human brain never rests. It’s active around the clock. In fact, brain waves are even more active at night, while you’re dreaming, than during a day, when you’re awake. It’s astonishing, isn’t it?
Since human brain shows exceptional activity while we’re dreaming, why not to take advantage of it? Some people already do. They’re called lucid dreamers.
What is lucid dreaming?
The term lucid dream was coined by a Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik van Eeden, who, in his article A Study Of Dreams, describes his unusual vivid dreams.
In short, a lucid dream is a dream during which you’re aware that you’re dreaming. Thus, you can control it.
Think about it for a minute. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but for some reasons cannot? For example, making love to a celebrity, flying, riding a dragon or perhaps, doing magic? Guess what? Lucid dreaming will allow you to do all that, and much more… Intrigued?
Let’s take a look at top seven reasons why you should try lucid dreaming today:
- Conquer nightmares.
There are a few theories why we sometimes dream disturbing dreams. According to one of them, your subconscious mind provokes nightmares to help you deal with your emotions. Another theory, on the other hand, states that nightmares are a physiological phenomenon. Thus, they represent your brain’s attempts to make sense of thoughts and experiences you have during a day. No matter the cause, though, nightmares can be not only terrifying, but also, they can have a negative impact on your quality of life. For example, they can cause sleep deprivation, obesity, or even, heart disease. Therefore, stopping nightmares is important for your well-being.
One of the ways to eliminate bad dreams is to learn lucid dreaming. How come? Well, lucid dreamers can effectively communicate with their subconscious minds, which means, they have power to stop nightmares.
Imagine yourself dreaming of being locked in a cage and unable to escape. That would be horrifying, especially if you have claustrophobia. However, what if in that very moment you could reflect on what’s happening, become aware of the fact that you’re dreaming, and thus, melt the metal bars and run away? That would be great, wouldn’t it?
- Overcome anxiety.
Just like lucid dreaming can be used as a tool to stop nightmares, it can also be used as a tool to treat anxiety and phobias. Once you’re a lucid dreamer, you can practice being social, stand up to a bully, or, like Neville Longbottom, in the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, change your greatest fear into something funny (do you remember his Snape-like boggart that changed into one dressed in grandma’s clothes?). There are many possibilities!
- Improve your skills.
In his book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, Stephen LaBerge mentions a person being apprehensive before her 10 km run, because the race was supposed to take place on a hilly terrain and she had never run on hills before. That night, she dreamed of running on hills using a few techniques she only read about and it worked – she mastered a new skill. By the same token, you can use lucid dreaming to learn or improve your skills, for example, public speaking, swimming or even, overcome writer’s block and start writing incredible blog posts, articles or books. It’s all up to you.
- Solve problems.
Have you ever slept on a problem and have it solve itself by morning? No wonder. According to Deirdre Barrett, a Harvard University psychologist, “in the sleep state, the brain thinks much more visually and intuitively.” Thus, you can wake up in the morning with a bunch of brilliant ideas. Now, lucid dreaming can improve the process of problem solving, for it trains your mind to have a completely new level of insight.
All you need to do is to think about your problem while lucid dreaming and your subconscious mind will come up with creative ways on how to solve it. Once your mind’s figured out a way to tackle the problem, you can recall it when you wake up and apply it in the real life. Wonderful, isn’t it?
- Get inspired.
If you’re an artist, you can use lucid dreaming to improve your creativity as well as get inspired. How? Well, imagine a painter who struggles to paint a nature landscape because they simply cannot find inspiration around. Then, they move to a rural area, a jungle or somewhere next to the sea in their dream. Thus, they get inspired and can finally finish their painting the next day. Did you know that there are many books, pictures and songs that came from dreams? That’s right! People have been using dreams for inspiration for decades. Perhaps you’d try it too?
- Release anger.
If you’re a person who often has a lot of anger built up inside, you can release it in a dream. For example, if there’s someone you hate who’s ruining your career, you can play a trick on them in your dream. Or, if your mother-in-law is giving you a hard time, you can tie her up in your dream, and hide her in a hut deep inside a dark forest. You can also get rid of the negative emotions by fighting with your enemies on a battlefield. Why not?
- Have fun.
The last way you can use lucid dreaming is to simply have fun. For example:
- Eat dream food,
- Fulfill your sexual fantasies,
- Become an animal,
- Travel to exotic places,
- Fly across the mountains.
Remember, the only limit you have is your imagination.
Can anyone learn lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is a skill that can be learned by anyone regardless of their age, personality type or IQ level. If you’d like to try lucid dreaming today, check this article here. You’ll find there easy techniques to use for beginners.
Also, if you’d like to learn more about lucid dreaming, check this amazing documentary movie about how lucid dreaming changed history.
Emily Johnson is a blogger and a content strategist at OmniPapers. She’s also a bookworm and a dreamer. In her free time, she writes inspiring articles about personality psychology, creativity and how to sleep better. Feel free to follow Emily on Twitter.