Lucid dreaming is where, you 'wake up' during a dream sequence, and become aware that you are dreaming. It is similar to astral traveling or OBE's in the respect that you are awake and in a different environment than normal.
There are what are known as triggers or cues in lucid dreams, that make you aware that you have woken up. Some of us can lucid dream with relative ease and no training involved, but they are the lucky ones. Many of us either are not aware that we are lucid dreaming, of we fail to recognize the signs which tell us that we are. We interpret the signs as normal dream events.
Some of these signs for example are that we are flying, or we notice multi colored animals in our dreams. Once we understand these triggers of clues, we can then 'teach' ourselves to lucid dream and to change the sequences of our dreams. There are no limits to what you can do, and it is perfectly safe to change the sequences. It is also beneficial if you are for example having a nightmare. You can change it into a peaceful dream, the possibilities are endless.
There are techniques you can use, to train yourself to lucid dream. Results wont come overnight, but with the correct attitude and training of your mind it will happen for you. Some of the techniques are as follows:
Keeping a dream Journal
Keeping a dream journal is beneficial because you train your mind to remember your dreams in greater detail. You will then recognize your own personal triggers and cues, then when you see them in a dream you will know that you are lucid dreaming. Write everything in the journal, if you awaken during the night, write the dream down then. The reason for this is that if you leave it until the next morning, most, if not all of that dream will be lost, you will forget. Write your dreams in the journal for several weeks before moving onto the next stage. It takes time to train your brain to alert you to the changes whilst you are sleeping.
Checks in dreams
With this exercise what you do is, you carry a piece of paper around with you for several days. Look at the text on this paper periodically each day, reading what is written on it. It can be anything from a poem to a grocery list, the body of the text doesn't matter. This will train your mind for a trigger when you are sleeping. Before you go to sleep, have another look at the text, put it to one side then settle down to sleep. If you feel you have 'woken up' in your dream and see the piece of paper, look at it then look away. Wait a few seconds then look at the paper once again. Whilst you are looking, try to see if any of the text has changed, if it hasn't; try changing the text just by looking at it. If it changes you are lucid dreaming. It is prudent to say here to check and double check the text etc before you try and change your dream sequence.
Checking for triggers and cues
Like everything this requires diligence. Every persons trigger or cue that they have woken up in the dream will be different. It is suffice to say that these triggers and cues will be something that is out of place, or doesn't 'normally' happen, like flying around the room for example. So if you 'feel' or you are flying that is your trigger to tell you that you are lucid dreaming. As was stated earlier, some people just 'know' they are lucid dreaming. Although the above exercises will be beneficial to them also.
Once you begin to teach yourself, and have mastered the techniques for recognizing that you are lucid dreaming, the possibilities are truly infinite. You can change your dreams to be what you want them to be, and you can be who you want to be. Although this wont happen in your wakened state, lucid dreaming is a great exercise for situations which you may find it difficult to do or say whats on your mind. Example: you would like a pay rise in your job, or you are going for a job interview, if you can lucid dream, you can practice and plan your answers in advance. You could not of course rely on the answers that your request elicited in your dream state; as your dream people are not the 'real live' people you will be talking to when awake. Lucid dreaming gives you both the practice and the confidence to achieve your goals in your wakened state.
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