Self hypnosis is another powerful way to incubate lucid dreams.
Like meditation, it draws on the same relaxation response that helps calm your body, reduce stress hormones, and focus your mind on affirmative thoughts.
However, hypnotizing yourself is different from meditation because it uses auto suggestions to plant specific thoughts and affirmations. To use self hypnosis for lucid dreaming, use suggestions like: "I can remember my dreams clearly" and "The next scene will be a dream".
In this way, you can use hypnosis to improve your recall, program your dreams and increase your self awareness, teaching you to habitually recognize when you're dreaming - and thereby trigger lucidity.
To listen to self hypnosis for lucid dreaming, see the special audio tools in my home study course. The guided visualizations and auto suggestions are designed to help incubate lucid dreams every time.
If self hypnosis is new territory for you, it may help to understand what's really going on in your mind while you're in hypnosis.
Hypnosis is the act of sending your brain into a relaxed trance. It makes you more suggestible than normal. It is not unnatural, evil, or mind control!
Hypnosis gets a lot of dubious press - most people are familiar with stage hypnotists, who often make fun of very suggestible people in a trance state. They convince their victims to perform embarrassing tricks such as flapping around like a chicken or humping a chair.
In the real world, hypnosis has much more productive uses in therapy and personal development. It gives you the ability to talk to your inner self and program your unconscious mind. So let's dispel a few myths about hypnosis:
In self hypnosis, you become closer to your inner voice and more suggestible. You'll enter a deep, relaxing trance, causing the release of endorphins (the natural happy chemicals). You can then plant any number of powerful auto suggestions to improve your life - in this case, to encourage lucid dreaming.
Most people choose pre-recorded self hypnosis audios, which contain soothing music and specific instructions to guide the experience. However, it is possible to hypnotize yourself:
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie. Don't cross your arms or legs - have an open posture that is easy to stay in for the next 20 minutes.
Allow your eyes to close naturally. Take three deep, slow breaths - releasing any tension and anxiety as you do.
Observe the thoughts that enter your mind and gently release them without any interaction. Let yourself float.
Focus on releasing physical tension throughout your body. Starting from your toes, visualize each muscle relaxing and melting into the furniture. It brings a pleasant, warm feeling of relaxation.
Systematically release each muscle group, heightening the sense of relaxation every time.
Spend extra time on your shoulders, upper back and jaw, which hold a lot of tension. Visualizing soothing water or a golden glow may help to free up the muscles.
Visualize yourself at the top of a staircase. This represents your consciousness. As you descend each stair one at a time, drift deeper and deeper into your soothing, relaxing trance state.
Count the steps if you like, starting from 10. Try rolling your eyes gently back into your head and keep your body still.
Once you reach the bottom of the staircase, you are ready to begin your auto suggestion script.
Softly repeat one or more of the following phrases in your mind (choose whichever feels right for you):
Of course, you can introduce any type of auto suggestion. Just remember to make every phrase positive and in the present tense:
Repeat your chosen affirmation as many times as you want. Revel in the feeling of deep relaxation. Visualize yourself achieving your goal.
When you're ready, prepare to wake up from your trance. Tell yourself you will count to 10, and with each step you will slowly return to full awareness. Then count upwards as you climb the steps in your mind.
Take a deep breath when you reach the top, then open your eyes. Sit for a moment if you like - and remember to stand up slowly.
Self hypnosis is a deeply relaxing state. I believe everyone should try it.
I used self hypnosis a lot when I was learning to lucid dream. I became very familiar with the hypnotist's voice on the tape. Even in the first few seconds of hearing his voice, my mind was triggered with a rush of thoughts about having more vivid dreams and becoming lucid. It became self-perpetuating.
It's good to fall into a self hypnosis routine - perhaps by listening every night just before sleep or when you wake up early in the morning. Your mind will relate the feelings induced with relaxation and lucid dreaming. In NLP this is called anchoring and it's a good way of quickly inducing a feeling or state of mind. There is no better time to do this than when you are in bed ready to dream.
To listen to self hypnosis audios for lucid dreaming, see The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track. Choose from Day and Night versions (depending on your schedule) and the guided visualizations and auto suggestions help incubate lucid dreams every time.
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
Inspired and named for the notion of Flatland, artist and photographer Aydin Buyuktas has created a series of works where "a space of surprises creates a space that creates surprises." Based on photos of Istanbul, Buyuktas explains: "We live in places that most of the times don't draw our attention, places that transform our memories, places that the artist gives another dimension; where the perceptions that generally crosses our minds will be demolished and new ones will arise. These works aim to leave the viewer alone with a surprising visuality, ironic as well as a multidimensional romantic point of view."
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?