Mar 11, 2010
Control your dreams at night easily with a few practice techniques that expand your ability to both recall and influence your dreams.
Being able to make things happen in your dreams gives you some amazing benefits. Not only can you use your dreams to do things you might not get a chance to do in real life, but your dreams are visions of your brain’s thought processes. Getting clues to what keeps your brain occupied at night can help you find out amazing things about yourself – self-esteem issues, fears, and phobias. Once you know what those things are and can tackle them in your dreams, your experiences can help you tackle those same things in real life.
In order to control your dreams, you need to have really good dream recall. The average adult dreams 4-6 times a night during their REM sleep. The Labratory of Neurophysiology, Dept of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School published a study in 1997 in which a number of students kept dream journals in an effort to measure the rate to which people remember their dreams. Comparing the number of remembered dreams to the average number estimated to actually occur, it appears people remember their dreams somewhere around 40% of the time. That would equate to recalling 11-17 dreams a week!
Your chances of being able to influence your dreams will be better if your dream recall is at least average, if not better. (For tips on improving dream recall see: How to Remember Your Dreams.)
The next objective is to be able to tell when you are dreaming while you are in the dream. This is called “lucid dreaming”. If you don’t KNOW you’re dreaming, how will you be able to have any impact on your dream? (For tips on lucid dreaming see: Lucid Dreaming Guide.)
Assuming you already have some dream awareness, the final step is to actually make things happen in your dreams. There are a number of techniques you can use:
Removing Yourself from Danger in Nightmares
Letting dreams play themselves out is really what gives you the clues to your inner self, however, sometimes dreams can get pretty scary. Yes – that’s what we’d call a nightmare….one, very, scary dream. Dreams are fun. Nightmares are simply terrorizing. I’m not sure I always want to know exactly what my head is thinking about when presenting a nightmare and so I’d rather escape. Once you can exhert a little influence in your dreams, you can remove yourself from dangerous situations. Hover or fly out of danger, rescue your family, put a wall up to block any beasty animals or wild creatures that may be chasing you.
Stop the Chase
There are times in your dreams when you’re chasing someone. Maybe you see a long lost loved one in the distance and it seems you can’t get close to them to talk to them. You can stop them from running or get yourself closer to them so you can actually stop the chase and get to the meat of the dream.
Talk to Famous Personalities in Your Dreams
Sure, it would be really cool to talk to the entire cast of your favorite movie, but some might prefer a chat with Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus. Before going to bed at night, read up on the person you want to chat with to try to induce them showing up. When you enter a lucid dream state, try calling out to the person you want to talk to or imagine a piece of technology you could use in your dream to reach them.
Expand Your Creativity
Have you ever had such a great dream that you knew if you could have captured it on film it would have been a blockbuster? When you are aware within a dream, you capture more detail for longer periods of time than if you simply woke from the dream and tried to grasp at it like an evaporating mist. Soon, you’ll be able to write down incredible journeys you’ve taken in your dreams with much more detail than you could before. Aspiring writers can unlock unique story concepts. Artists can envision new projects. Even scientists can develop new experiments and theories.
© paul (dex) busy @ work
There are a number of tools you can use to enhance the ability to control your dreams at night. Use sound and images to inspire your dreams. Immerse your awake self in what you want to do in your dreams to prepare your mind for such an adventure. If you want to journey to the moon in your dream, watch a video about walking on the moon right before going to bed, study NASA’s website, read books about the people you want to meet, look at pictures, use visual aids, listen to binaural beats to create a lucid dream state.
Mar 11, 2010
© Richard0 - Catching up!
Want to dream in high def with beautiful detail? You already do – you just don’t know how to SEE it. Learn how to make your dreams more vivid and intriguing and how to really be aware of the colors, detail, and actions you experience while you’re dreaming.
If your dreams seem blah and humdrum, it’s most likely because your attention to detail is not an overly strong trait in your waking life. Train your waking eye to see more detail and your “sleeping eye” will follow.
Some people just have a knack for an artist’s eye. They notice the curve of the inner petal on a blooming red, rose. They see the different shades of yellow cast by a sun’s ray on a white beach. They notice if lightning is a sheet across the sky or a bolt firmly shooting towards the earth.
If not, then work on improving your attention to detail. Set aside some time each day to just stare at an object – any object. It could be the face of your child in a picture, a pebble you find along your daily walk, or a leaf from a tree outside your house.
Inspect the object from every angle. Turn it upside down and around and over again. After the first few minutes, write down some things you notice about the object. What stands out at you? Color, shape, texture. Then look at the object again and find ten more things you can list about the object. Repeat the exercise again until you have at least 30 different descriptions about the characteristics of that object.
After you’ve practiced this a few times with objects around the house, take the experience outside with you. When you go for a walk, stop and look at flowers along your route or cracks in the sidewalk – even the door to your own home. What do you see?
When driving, take the time at stoplights or while stuck in traffic to perform the same exercises. You might not be able to write down your notes but by now you should know what you need to do well enough to simply list descriptions and things that you see in your head.
Another great technique is to study those I Spy books for kids. Have you seen those? They’re a jumble of objects and you need to find a list of objects within the jumble. The books train your eyes to see things with new clarity.
Over time, what you see when awake will improve and it will follow you to your dreams. This is how to make your dreams more vivid.
Mar 11, 2010
© Ramona Forcella
You can practice skills that will help you learn how to remember your dreams more often and use those dreams to help you solve challenges in your life. These tips will walk you through improving your dream recall skills.
Did you know that everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams to the same degree? I remember my dreams several times a month, a friend of mine remembers his dreams several times a week, and my husband never remembers his dreams. The ability to remember your dreams is called “dream recall”. It’s a skill that can be improved over time if you work at it – like any new skill you want to develop.
What is a Dream?
A dream is a visual of your brain at work when you’re sleeping. There are different levels of brain activity that take place when you sleep. During one phase of sleep known as REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), your brain operates at a level similar to that of being awake. During REM, your brain is actively working away and you see your brain activity played out in symbols and pictures. If you remember that visual upon waking – you remember your dream.
If dreams are visualizations of your mind’s work, then being able to interpret those visuals into meanings can give you incredible insights into what problems you are facing, what type of stress they are placing on you, even clues as to how to solve those problems.
Many people dream along a common thread, although the pictures and visuals may be different, the meanings are similar in nature. Over the years, collections of symbols in dreams have been documented to have a specific definition. For example, lots of people have dreams about snakes. This doesn’t mean they are afraid of snakes. Instead, a snake can symbolize a transition state or, in some references, might be representative of an evil or danger you sense close to you in your life.
There are tens of thousands of symbols in dreams that have been documented in collections and books you can use as reference guides for your dreams. This is the key to being able to use your dreams to gain information about what’s troubling you and how to resolve any issues you may be dealing with.
Review some of the best available reference guides here: Dream Interpretation Books
Since everyone dreams, the fact that you don’t remember them or don’t recall them very often simply means you’ve trained yourself – subconsciously – to ignore those visions. To remember them more often, you need to train yourself to pay attention to them again.
Start keeping notes in a dream journal. Keep a notebook or tape recorder handy beside your bed. Journaling your dream memories should be the first thing you do when you wake up as the memories are fresh in your mind and can fade quickly. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night, make a note of ANY details you remember from dreams.
If you have really poor dream recall, it may take some time before you have anything to write down but having the notebook readily available does two things. First, it lets you take notes quickly (keep a pen or pencil tucked alongside). Second, it’s a visual reminder to your brain that you know you are dreaming and you’d like to be able to experience them.
Dream Recall Exercises
Have you ever tried to lose weight and reached what’s called a plateau? You’re zipping along losing a pound or two a week and then, no matter what you try, you can’t lose a pound for anything. Weeks go by and you’re stuck. That’s a plateau. To break past a plateau, experts tell you to shock your muscles. Do a new workout, try a new routine, change up what you’ve been doing. If you’ve been running a mile day, run two miles next time. If you have trouble remembering your dreams, you need to change things up.
If you go to bed without any background noise, try sleeping with the television on one night or with your radio on softly. If one type of music or television show doesn’t jolt a dream you remember, change stations. There are MP3 audio clips that are designed at certain frequencies to help induce a dream state. Put those on your iPod and fall asleep with headphones on. (You can get some free binaural beat audio clips to try at: the Unexplainable Store.)
You could also try sleeping in a different position or different place. Take a nap in the middle of the day outside on a patio chair (wait until the snow is gone!). The different noises you hear while being outside during daylight can jolt more vivid dreams.
Read a mystery novel while in bed right before you fall asleep. Make it one you can hardly put down so it’s the last thing you remember right as your eyes start to close. (A good Stephen King novel can do wonders for dreams!)
If you exercise your ability to remember your dreams, you will find they stick with you more often, no matter how little you recall them right now.
Mar 11, 2010
If you can control your dreams, can you influence your dreams to include certain people? With the right practice and the appropriate dream inducement, you could be speaking to people you haven’t seen in awhile, famous historical figures, stars and entertainers, and even heads of state. I know I wouldn’t mind having a little one one one with Obama right now. (Can you tell me what you are really trying to accomplish with your medical program because I’m getting a little confused!?).
In fact, talking to specific individuals is one reason why people want to learn to control their dreams.
It’s important to remember, though, that talking to a specific person in your dreams is not like you were really talking to them. I mean, if your Aunt Alice passed away ten years ago and you want to ask her why she didn’t tell anyone where her custom made wedding ring was kept, you aren’t likely to get an answer in your dream. Your dreams will only include pieces of information you really know – pieces of information already stored in your brain. You aren’t really talking to dear Aunt Alice – you’d be talking to your memories or impersonation of Aunt Alice.
That doesn’t mean that talking to the people you want to talk to again isn’t worthwhile. As I’ve mentioned, there is a lot of information stored in your brain that you’ve simply forgot how to access. All of those childhood memories – even what happened last week – can get covered up with more recent memories and information.
It can be extremely cathartic to talk to your loved ones in your dreams.
I was 9 1/2 when my maternal grandmother passed away. I loved her to pieces. She introduced me to Benji (anyone remember Benji the dog?) and Animal Kingdom. She loved animals, wrote snippets of poetry, and a great laugh. When she died, my brothers and sister and I did not go to her funeral. I don’t know that at that age I would have understood what it would mean to miss her funeral and I was probably very glad at the time not to have to go – I was sad enough, as it was. However, years later I had dream about my grandmother that I’ve never forgotten.
I was maybe 13 at the time. In my dream, I went to the mall by our house and found a little cave with a small wooden door tucked away along one of the side hallways of the mall. I don’t know what led me to the hallway or the door of the cave nor why I wasn’t afraid to go in, but I wasn’t afraid at all. Inside, I found my grandmother snug and comfortable in a little home she’d made for herself. She looked as if she’d been expecting me and a pot of tea was brewing on her small stove. She pulled out a chair and poured me a cup and there we sat and talked for what felt like hours.
I had a chance to hug her, to tell her how much I missed her, and to learn that she was doing fine (she told me). When I woke up, I felt so much closer to my grandmother. I felt as if I’d finally had my chance to say goodbye while also having opened up a new way to talk to her.
© Mari Cho
I know I wasn’t really talking to her, although for many more years I would believe that was the case (I was a teenager – we’ll believe all kinds of things at that age that get shaken out along the way to becoming a responsible adult with children of our own). I do still, though, believe that any time I’m missing her, I can just go visit her in the place I last saw her. I can talk to her in my dreams.
How to Call Certain People in Your Dreams
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as laying down to sleep at night and saying “Gees, I’d like to talk to grandma tonight.” Do you know how many dreams you have that you don’t even remember having? According to the Psychology department at UC Santa Cruz, adults have anywhere from 4-6 dreams a night. Do you remember 4-6 dreams every morning? I know you don’t!
If you want to talk to someone particular, you need to work on a couple of skills. First, you need to have really strong dream recall. Many of us remember an occasional dream or two every month but you can increase your dream recall by writing down what you remember each morning.
Next, you want to gain the ability to dream lucidly so that you are aware you are dreaming. This leads to the ability to influence what happens in your dreams.
And, finally, in order to dream about a specific person, you need to induce that dream with memories that will put your mind in tune with dreaming about that person:
- look at their picture before bed
- play their favorite music while you sleep
- write stories about your time with that person or your knowledge of that person right before going to sleep
- watch videos of that person while you fall asleep, if you have any available
If you influence your dreams to include certain people, have a plan for what you want to accomplish in the dream. Do you want to spend the time talking, is there something you want to learn from them, do you want to know the answer to some deep question? You might not get the answers you expect, but you may find bits of buried information in your brain that are worth dragging up and out of the dark attic in which we store some incredibly valuable insights.
Mar 11, 2010
In order to learn how to have lucid dreams, you must first establish a high level of dream recall – the ability to remember your dreams. Once that skill is in place, you can work on becoming lucid – or aware – of your dreams while you are in one.
Lucid dreams are dreams in which you consciously know you are dreaming. It is like a blending of your awake state with your sleep state. In between these two “worlds” lies the chance to learn more about yourself, your passions, the challenges you are facing, and solutions to your problems. It’s a melding of your two minds – the conscious with the subconscious.
Once you are comfortable your dream recall is sufficient, you need to work on the awareness of being in a dream. To get there requires that you practice a skill while awake that will then carry over into being a skill you use while dreaming. You need to practice being more aware of your surroundings.
I know – you’re already “aware”, right? You know what’s happening around you all the time. How could you drive your car or get yourself through the day if you weren’t already quite cognizant of your surroundings?
BUT – how many times a day do you stop yourself and ask whether or not you are dreaming or if what you are experiencing is real?
Probably never and that’s the challenge. If you don’t ask yourself the question during the day, what’s going to prompt you to ask the question when you are in the middle of a dream? Practice asking yourself whether you’re dreaming or not while you are awake and you will start to ask the question in your dreams. When you reach that point, you will be able to become aware of being in a dream and, therefore, achieve lucid dreams.
If you want to learn how to have lucid dreams, start asking yourself the following question several times a day:
© How to Control Your Dreams
It may take time, and using a lucid dreaming kit to help you induce a lucid dreaming state will help teach you many other tricks for getting to a lucid dream state and STAYING there, but this trick will at least help you build the awareness phase of understanding when you are dreaming.
Eventually, you will find yourself in a dream, you will ask yourself if this is real or if you are dreaming and you’ll be able to look around you and assess your surroundings and when you see that jellyfish are hanging from your bedroom ceiling, you’ll be able to positively answer the question “Why – I AM dreaming!” When you know how to have lucid dreams, you can then move on to controlling your dreams and using your sleep state to accomplish all kinds of things and have all kinds of new experiences.