I am very new to lucid dreaming and have been practicing the steps when i am trying to sleep at night. I often can start to picture blurry images or colors when I keep telling myself that i am dreaming while my eyes are closed. I can start to picture trees or outlines of people i may know but i often get very stressed when something like a dark cloud passes through and can not get myself to calm down. My heart rate starts to go up and i begin to panic forcing myself to wake up and open my eyes. What are some tips to help keep myself calm so i can further dive into the dream seeing more vivid images?
Your issue doesnt seem to be technique but an issue with is fear and that is what you do need to work on. I personally think its best to work on your fear outside of the dreams as much as you can (otherwise quite possibly if you are regularly stopping what would of ended up being LDs due to it, it could put a subconciousness block onto things eg cause the subconciousness to dislike what you are doing and stop working with you to achieve a WILD. You could get to the point where you are blocking out getting images due to fear.. or just start to create intense scary ones). So I do suggest to work on this outside of altered states.. approach your fear in a rational way.
So what are you really scared of? Shadows as such arent usually scary.. .. why are these shadows scaring you? You need to completely convince yourself that your fear is irrational so it stops appearing in the dream. Think too about how you can deal with shadows in your dream. If fears do appear while inside a dream, you really need to face them (if you cant face them in the dream as I said you need to face your fear and sort it out before doing this stuff. Going into a LD when you know you have a fear that you cant face..is asking for issues... as your fears WILL create things in your dream if you are thinking of them.
Doing another technique if you have undealt with fears you are manifesting in dream state, is very unlikely get rid of fears and this issue. The moment you get a little darkness coming into a LD you are going to panic. There is no other way to get over a fear then to rationalize it and face it. (try doing some deep breathing whenever the fear comes up).
You need to really get the idea into yourself that your dreams can not hurt you and that you will be able to control some things in a LD and that you will be likely to be able to wake yourself up if you do end up in a dream in which there is an actual issue (rather then just seeing a shadow which has done nothing at all to you, you arent even trying to deal with it with just coming out of it). If you dont feel like you can try to face anything scary, LD may not be for you.
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