How To Lucid Dream In 4 Simple Steps

Flying to the moon, swimming in volcanic lava, creating new galaxies: all of these things sound like the characteristics of a new open-world video game, coming to you soon! But alas all of you extreme gamers, put down your controllers. These characteristics are those of lucid dreams, in which the sleeper has full control over themselves, their surroundings and everything in-between.

lucid dreaming

What are lucid dreams?

Dreams are fuzzy, like a television with bad signal. While it is proven that we dream almost every time we sleep, not many of us can say that we remember anything from them. Remembering our dreams is like putting together a puzzle with only half of the pieces.

Lucid dreaming is the ability to actually be fully conscious within the dream, thus having the ability to make decisions. Imagine you are watching television, but instead you are on set, directing the show as it unfolds. That is the difference between dreaming and lucid dreaming: the control, the clarity and the experience.

Who can become a lucid dreamer?

Even hearing the phrase “lucid dream” is enough to have even the most skeptical interested in the idea of controlling one’s dreams. Here’s the great part: lucid dreaming is obtainable by anyone, regardless of age, sex or even spirituality. If everyone dreams, everyone would then have the means to have a lucid dream. That’s not to say that becoming a lucid dreamer can happen overnight (pun intended). As do most good things, it requires patience, practice and motivation.

The benefits

To all you skeptics out there: lucid dreaming has been scientifically proven. So I suppose the next cynical question to ask would be why should one want to do it? What’s the purpose of lucid dreaming? If it is so seemingly difficult to obtain, would our energy not be better exerted elsewhere?

While the idea of escaping your own reality and possibly breathing fire is enough to motivate some to take the required steps to become a lucid dreamer, there are many other benefits that come with this untapped, unconscious world. Some benefits to lucid dreaming include improved problem-solving skills, creativity and confidence as well as developing your sense of self. The steps to becoming a lucid dreamer all have positive reinforcements as well.

Now that your curiosity is peaked, let’s explore the four steps to becoming a lucid dreamer.

1. Dream journal

The first and most simple step to kick-starting your journey to becoming a lucid dreamer is to keep a dream journal. Leave a notebook or journal close to your bed, and whenever you wake from a dream be sure to take note of everything and anything you can remember. Reflect on your dreams. Some suggest immediately writing down your dreams when you wake up, while others think the best way to eventually become a lucid dreamer is to stay in bed awhile, reflect on your dreams and then record them.

Some people might think they don’t dream. This is not the case; everyone dreams. In order to get the most use out of your dream journal, try telling yourself over and over before falling asleep that you will remember your dreams. Part of becoming a lucid dreamer is remembering even the most mundane dreams.

2. Meditate

Meditation is great for improving your dream controlling skills once you enter a lucid dream, including visualization and your ability to prolong the dream once you enter one.

Start off with something simple, like sitting and focusing on your breathing. In and out; in and out: be sure you are consciously sitting upright with your legs crossed. At first, you will notice that you are bombarded with thoughts seemingly out of your control.

Even realizing how many thoughts you have at any moment is a small baby step towards practicing meditation. Your thoughts will become clearer the more you practice, and you will find them less confusing as they come and go.

Regardless of how you meditate, you will be closer to having a lucid dream the sooner you start meditating. Meditate in the morning, before bed in the evening or pick a time during the day in which you experience the most stress and help alleviate it with a quick 20-minute meditation session. Knowing how to become completely aware during the day will help you become more aware in your dreams.

3. Recognizing a dream

There are different ways to determine whether or not you are dreaming. Some would classify certain things in their unconscious as “dream signs.” For example, my dog passed away about a year ago, but she made her way into my dreams a while back. That’s a dream sign; something that is simply impossible. Being cognizant of these things is one way to establish that you are dreaming, thus making you a lucid dreamer.

4. Be in touch with reality

Now that you can recognize what is not reality, you have to also know what is. The more aware you are of your surroundings while you are awake, the easier it will become to determine when you are dreaming and, eventually, enter a lucid dream by doing so.

That saying about knowing something like that back of your hands? Being able to say this and actually knowing your hands (like the back of your hands) is one way to being more in touch with what reality looks like.

Study your hands and learn them; become acquainted with every crease in the folds of your fingers to the length of your fingernails. Then, before you fall asleep, recognize that this is what your hands look like when you are awake. If you remember seeing your hands look differently than how you have trained yourself to see them while you are awake, that means you are seeing them in a dream.

You can also do things such as asking yourself out loud during the day, “am I dreaming?” It might seem like the answer is painfully obvious: I am awake. The more you acknowledge the fact that you are awake, however, the more you will be able to recognize when it is that you are not.

These four steps are not canvas instructions for everyone to learn how to become a lucid dreamer. Some lucid dreamers became so just by reading about lucid dreaming. Even though they had stopped reading about it, their subconscious clung to the idea until they fell asleep, and they found themselves being able to control their dreams, as simple as that. Others will find that become a lucid dreamer is a long process, requiring much patience. Regardless, these steps can act as guidelines to eventually becoming a lucid dreamer.

Kelly Iverson is a writer currently taking a year out to teach and travel in Thailand. Read more from Kelly here on her blog.

Why not try our Lucid Dreams Binaural Meditation for further help with your lucid dreaming experience.

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