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Lucid Dreams: 8 Ways To Control What You See While You’re Sleeping

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Have you ever been woken up too early from a good dream? For me, it seems like every good dream I ever have is interrupted.

Of course, waking up is it’s own cruel punishment, but waking up before I could take a bite of the juicy burger in my dream is just like rubbing salt in the wound.

Sometimes, if I’m especially intent on continuing my dream, I will incorporate the sound of my alarm into it. Oh, that’s not my alarm, that’s just the sound of a police siren on TV in my dream.

Little did I know, that this kind of behavior is one of the first stages of a lucid dream and a step towards being able to control dreams while you’re sleeping.

Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and it turns out that he might have actually been right — in a sense.

Scroll through to learn more!

Thumbnail Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What Is A Lucid Dream?

<u>What Is A Lucid Dream?</u>
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The word lucid means clear, but lucid dreaming can mean a lot more than just having a vivid dream.

Psychology Today explains that lucid dreaming is a dream where you are aware that you are dreaming.

Lucid dreaming opens up the opportunity to do something incredible — control your dreams while you’re sleeping.

It’s not something that comes naturally for everyone. But there are steps you can take to make yourself one of the lucky people who can be the narrator of their own dreams.

How To Lucid Dream
Lucid Dream Step #1: Keep A Dream Journal

<u>How To Lucid Dream</u><br>Lucid Dream Step #1: Keep A Dream Journal
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Keeping a dream journal is a great way to remember and reflect on your dreams and their meanings regardless of whether you’re trying to learn how to control them.

With that said, it is a great first step towards being aware of yourself in your dream state.

According to How To Lucid, your dream journal will serve as a blueprint for future dreams, and your ability to recall and understand them.

Keep a notebook next to your bed where you can record your dreams first thing in the morning or whenever you wake up from one.

Lucid Dream Step #2: Identify Dream Symbols

Lucid Dream Step #2: Identify Dream Symbols
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

After learning more about your dreams and being able to remember them, you may begin to notice patterns.

Are certain people popping up in your dreams? Does it always involve water? Is there always a snake in your dream? Are you constantly feeling happy or anxious?

These are all important patterns to identify, that will help you begin to develop an understanding of when you are, and aren’t dreaming.

Lucid Dream Step #3: Practice Wakefulness

Lucid Dream Step #3: Practice Wakefulness
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Learning how to control your dreams starts when you’re awake.

If you begin consciously noticing the world around you in more detail, it will carry over into your subconscious and help you recognize when you are dreaming.

Lucid Dream Step #4: Pick Your Target Dream

Lucid Dream Step #4: Pick Your Target Dream
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

When you gain familiarity with your dream symbols and think you’re beginning to recognize a dream from reality, you can start getting a little more creative.

According to Omni Magazine, picking a target dream is a good first step towards gaining complete control.

It’s best to get as specific as possible. Pick a person, place and visualize yourself there before you fall asleep.

Lucid Dream Step #5: Ask Yourself, "Am I Dreaming?"

Lucid Dream Step #5: Ask Yourself, "Am I Dreaming?"
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

During a dream, the ability to know whether it’s dream or reality is what makes a dream lucid.

If you’re dreaming, and met your target dream, ask yourself “Am I dreaming?”

If the answer is yes, and it probably is, then you have overcome the biggest hurdle to lucid dreaming.

You can also repeat this exercise throughout the day to help reinforce the differences between dream and reality.

Lucid Dream Step #6: Perform Reality Checks

Lucid Dream Step #6: Perform Reality Checks
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’re in your dream, and have answered your, “Am I dreaming?” question, perform a reality check.

One great way to do this is by looking at something like a clock or a book in your dream, then looking away and back again after a few seconds.

If the numbers, or the text changes, then you are dreaming and you were just able to control an activity within that dream.

This kind of reality check can work with any object that feels weird or shape shifts within a dream.

Lucid Dream Step #7: Try Walking Through Objects

Lucid Dream Step #7: Try Walking Through Objects
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Now let the real fun begin! When you begin gaining control of your actions in your dream, you can try all kinds of fun activities.

For instance, walking through an object. In reality, a tree is a solid object, but there are no laws of physics in dreams.

If you’re dreaming, try walking through a tree and seeing what happens! Because it’s not really there, you will walk right through it.

Lucid Dream Step #8: Practice Makes Perfect

Lucid Dream Step #8: Practice Makes Perfect
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Neither Rome, nor your wildest fantasy lucid dreams, were built in a day.

Lucid dreaming takes practice, and you’re going to want to build up to bigger activities as you get more comfortable with your new ability.

When you gain full control of your dreams, the world and the whole universe is your oyster!

You can meet anyone you want, go anywhere you want, breathe underwater, fly or do anything beyond your wildest dreams!

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