Learning exactly how to control your dreams is a crucial part of lucid dreaming. It is not enough to merely recognize when you are dreaming - you must learn the laws of the dream world! This is the really fun part...
You can learn how to do anything in your virtual reality dream world by using certain techniques and playing with what works best for you. So, without further delay, let's look at some of the most popular lucid dream themes.
When they first learn how to lucid dream, most people go flying. It's a very common desire and I'm sure every lucid dreamer has done it at some point.
However, flying dreams are not always easy to control. It's not normal to fly in real life so when you try to have flying dreams, the conscious brain can have trouble believing it.
You might find you can only get so high - or you convince yourself you will fall. This is not a physical problem, but a mental one.
Think of the movie The Matrix, when Morpheus asks Neo how he beat him in a virtual reality fight. Was it because he was stronger, faster, or fitter in the simulated world? No. It was because he truly believed he was better. It's the same concept in lucid dreams!
To nurture this belief and have wonderful flying dreams, start by hopping or bouncing along the dreamscape, gradually allowing yourself to get higher. Remember that it's a dream and you can't get hurt. With practice, you will soon be soaring above the clouds and flying over cities like Superman!
If you want, you can use a flying aid. This can be anything from a jet pack to giant wings, or even sitting on the back of a dragon!
Making a dream scene morph in front of your eyes can be difficult - mainly because you don't expect it to happen.
Of course, when it comes to knowing how to control your dreams, there is always another way. Lucid dream research has revealed various ways to change the scenery in conscious dreams.
Once, I wanted to eat while lucid but I was in the middle of a field. So I applied some lucid dream logic. I imagined a restaurant standing behind me, and when I turned around a second later, there it was. I went in and ordered a delicious meal for free!
Sometimes, I find a dream door (a door which stands randomly in the middle of the dreamscape) and step through it. Visualize your destination on the other side, or let the dream take you wherever it wants to. You can also try this trick with mirrors, as they often lead to other places in dreams, acting as portals to alternate realities.
The most important thing is to truly believe that the scenery will change. Otherwise you could end up in a battle of logic with your conscious brain. Make it a habit to say to yourself "this is a dream" every now and then so you don't lose lucidity, and you will soon learn that anything is possible.
This is a really easy way to learn how to control your dreams and time travel. Fly up above the clouds so you can no longer see the ground below. Visualize the time and place you want to arrive at, then descend back through the cloud cover. Instant time travel!
Or, step into your own personal time machine. Press all the buttons and tweak all the levers you need to convince yourself you are traveling through time, then step outside again.
Both of these methods also work for changing the scenery and moving to a different point in space - whether you want to travel to a new country, a new planet, or a new universe.
Dream research has found dozens of ways to find new objects in a dream. The key is visualization. Objects are unlikely to materialize in front of your eyes, but you can turn around and find things that weren't there before.
Find dream objects in your pocket, behind you, under a rock, in a drawer, behind a tree, in a box... you can pretty much improvise as you go!
If you are more practical, try going to a place where you would find that kind of object (such as a restaurant to find food, or a zoo to find monkeys). You should find a way that works best for you.
~ William Dement
When you know how to lucid dream, you have easy access to your unconscious mind. You can communicate directly with it to gain deeper insights about yourself and how you perceive the world. It is definitely something worth trying when you are awake in dreams.
Once you become lucid, the simplest way to communicate with your unconscious mind is to personify it. Create a dream character (human or animal) that you are happy to talk to, and then ask them open and direct questions. You may be surprised by some of the answers you get straight from the horses mouth.
As you can see, knowing how to control your dreams is a matter of talking the same language as your unconscious mind. It is not always a literal translation.
Many impossible feats are perfectly acceptable in the dreamworld - while other seemingly logical things may escape you. It's your goal to decipher the rules and discover new ways to control your dreams.
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Does this face look familiar? It should. This is the result of image averaging - a technique in which multiple headshots are averaged out into a single face. In this case, our composite guy was generated by psychology student and photography enthusiast, Bill Lytton. Lytton averaged out 32 attractive male celebrity faces. To avoid personal bias, he referred to Maxim's Hot 100 and other opinion polls. He also averaged out a bunch of unattractive male faces for comparison.
It's a myth that you could exhaust yourself having a great big run in a lucid dream. After all, your real muscles are paralyzed during sleep. Your body isn't really running or burning up energy. So why would you feel depleted? So, in terms of physical energy depletion, there's really no logic to this argument. But what about dreams being mentally or emotionally tiring? The best way to test this is to survey lucid dreamers themselves. Go ahead, take our poll. My intuitive response is no - and that's based on my 17 years of personal experience. Lucid dreams aren't tiring for me at all.
When Dom Cobb spins his spinning top in Inception, he does it to determine whether he's awake or dreaming. In reality, the top eventually runs out of energy and falls over. In a dream, it has the potential to spin on forever, which tells him he's dreaming. This idea of using a totem has really caught on with some lucid dreamers. Ryan Hurd of Dream Studies has recently produced a totem specifically for lucid dreaming, called the Lucid Talisman.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?