When you are lucid dreaming, anything in the world is possible. You are the director of your own internal movie, and you can use this skill (and it is a skill that requires practice to master) to work out a wide variety of issues and to explore things you never thought possible. You can go to Paris one night, and try to unravel your spiritual concerns the next – and it’s all up to you! The following are some of the more common reasons that people lucid dream.
If you’ve ever wished you could take a moment in time back, and “do over” some of the things that made that moment turn out badly, you will appreciate lucid dreaming for social practice. All of us have made mistakes in our dealings with others, because all of us have things that we need to learn. Obviously, lucid dreaming will not be able to bring back the moment that you regret. It can, however, serve as a kind of rehearsal for awkward or uncomfortable confrontations or discussions (firing someone, proposing marriage, or even asking for a date). Because no one knows how another person is going to react, most of the dialogue coming from the other side will be guess-work. It is still, however, an excellent way to give yourself confidence in situations that otherwise made you uncomfortable.
Adventure and Excitement
Dreams offer unlimited possibilities for adventure and excitement, and the only thing stopping you from experiencing that is your own inhibitions. If you’ve ever wished you could visit a location from a movie or a book, or wanted to go to the jungle or to Paris, you can, with a little practice, master dream control and take yourself there. When you’re done, you will be in a safe and private place, refreshed and ready for your next adventure.
Some of the world’s greatest works of literature and pieces of art have been the fruit of dreams. While today’s consensus is, to a large extent, that dreams are useless bits of fancy, lucid dreamers can have the recall and dream clarity necessary to end a writer’s block or an artistic dry spell.
While most of us happily anticipate sleep, because it is a peaceful respite from the interminable turbulence or our waking lives, some people fear sleeping because they suffer from nightmares. If you want the nightmares that plague you to stop, lucid dreaming can be a wonderful tool. Once you are completely coherent and lucid in the nightmare, you will understand that fear cannot hurt you, giving you the power to “confront” the nightmare. Some people decide to destroy or change the nightmare, while others choose to open a dialogue with it to gain understanding as to why they are having the nightmare in the first place. And even if you don’t achieve full dream control, just the knowledge that you are dreaming can lessen the terror associated with nightmares and perhaps lessen their devastating effects. Lucid dreaming can be a wonderful psychological tool that can help you to face your fears, realize that they are perhaps unfounded, and give you ways to cope with them, ridding you of nightmares completely.
One of the more interesting aspects of REM sleep is that, while sleep is viewed as a time of rest, the activity of the brain during REM is comparable to the activity of the brain when we are awake. Using a lucid dream to problem solve is one way to utilize this active period of brain function. However, it must be stated that it is very easy to become distracted in dreams, as things one thing leads to another, completely different thing. With that being said, thinking about a problem during a lucid dream may help you come up with a creative solution to that problem.
There are, of course, other reasons that people pursue lucid dreaming. Among them is spiritual exploration, which is highly personal and beyond the scope of this article. Many people believe that lucid dreaming can be used in “dream sharing,” wherein you can find and connect with another person during a dream. Others believe that astral projection, the projection of the soul or astral body to a different place than the physical body, is also possible during lucid dreaming. Whatever your personal beliefs, lucid dreaming can help you to find deeply personal answers to questions you were previously unable to answer.
*Featured photo by Tohlen