29 Jan The Baby Boomers Guide to Lucid Dreaming
To sleep, perchance to dream. These words made famous through Hamlet by William Shakespeare may have been our official introduction to lucid dreaming. Was Hamlet aware that he was dreaming? What was he really seeking by falling asleep and dreaming? Those who are able to dream lucidly may be able to answer with authority what it means to be aware while dreaming.
Lucid dreaming can be defined as awareness by the dreamer that they are dreaming. With an awareness of dreaming, the dreamer then may experience any number of behaviors and results. With the awareness comes the ability to manipulate and generate not only the content of the dream but also the outcome. Reasons for attempting, and succeeding, at lucid dreaming vary among those who either desire to engage in or have been successful at lucid dreaming. Some of those reasons include:
• Engaging in an otherwise impossible activity. Perhaps you have a deep desire to rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite on the red carpet. Through lucid dreaming, you can use the abilities within your own mind to control your participation in after-parties and festivities attended by all of those on Hollywood’s A-list.
• Standing up to the enemy. Maybe your co-worker is an office bully or your in-laws are unconscionably disrespectful. Lucid dreaming gives you the power to voice your opinion without the threat of retaliation.
• Combating nightmares. Nightmares make our sleep restless and uncomfortably. With the ability of lucid dreaming, nightmares can be ceased at will and (hopefully) eradicated for good.
Whatever the dreamer’s desire to engage in lucid dreaming there is not necessarily a sure-fire way to experience lucid dreaming. There are many theories behind how to elicit a lucid dreaming state. Some of the most common suggestions for being successful at lucid dreaming are:
• Journaling. Write down or audio record your dreams as soon as you wake. By documenting your dreams you are better able to organize them both mentally and thematically and you will encourage your mind to put a more intense focus on dreaming.
• Napping. Sleep for a period of time, wake up and perform some physical activity, and then return to sleep. Lucid dreaming is thought to come easier after some type of activity and regular sleep intervals.
• Testing. Do some basic reality check tests to see if you are really dreaming. Some of the tests include checking your image in a mirror (mirror images in dreams are blurry), look at your hands (hands in dreams have too many or too few fingers), or pinch your nose and try to breathe (nasal obstruction does not affect breathing in dreams).
The results of lucid dreaming vary among those who experience the practice. However, some general changes that may be seen include a greater awareness of surroundings and events, a more intense sense of control over one’s own life, and a reduction in stress brought on by the challenges of daily living. Through lucid dreaming, the dreamer learns to analyze, accept, and alter the progression of dreams. As a result, in an awakened state the dreamer can put into practice those behaviors that were successful during lucid dreaming.
It has been reported that everyone dreams. Are you part of the dreaming elite who are able to experience lucid dreaming? Would you like to become a lucid dreamer? Tell us what you think at BoomerYearbook.com.
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