What are Lucid Dreams?
Some people conflate lucid dreams with merely vivid ones. While both can be “vivid,” they are astonishingly different. Most have probably had them and perhaps, a lot more than they imagine, but they can’t recall any; the issue is that just like regular dreams, we can quickly forget them, and perhaps more so with lucid ones. Especially if you don’t wake up immediately after having one, you most likely won’t remember it. So, what are lucid dreams?
“A lucid dream is when one becomes aware they are dreaming and can exert control over the dream environment. It is more than being able to change events or alter the environment of the dream—you must be fully aware that it is a dream. Although there is a debate as to how ‘aware’ or conscious one has to be. The vividness of the dream can range from looking ultra-real to fuzzy and blurry and perhaps even being partially blind in it. Sometimes you can be partially blind or have other senses that feel significantly dulled down.” How to Lucid dream — Joel Durant.
What Causes Lucid dreams
Dreams can be incredibly illogical and downright bizarre. In my experience, what causes lucid dreams, has something to do with the logic centre of our brains. There have been times where I found myself questioning the absurdity of the dream I was having, and then it triggered me to become lucid. Another example is dreaming of a dead loved one and then realizing it can’t be possible because the person had passed away; this has also triggered me to become lucid.
What are Lucid dreams Like
Lucid dreams can be just like waking life, and in some cases, can feel ultra-real; there are times where all your senses feel heightened to a level you’ve never experienced before, and then there are times when the experience is fuzzy and blurry, hard to focus. Usually, everything in the dream environment can be altered; you can walk through walls, taste food, fly through the air and visit other planets. The possibilities of what you can do are limitless. Here is an excerpt of my first lucid dream:
Standing in the hallway in awe, I slowly take in my surroundings. It’s the same small hallway outside my bedroom, but the colours of the painted walls are off; all the colours are pastel versions of what it should be in reality. Intuitively, I begin adjusting the colours of the walls, and they immediately began to change; I never got it exactly to how it should be, but it was close enough, and I had far more exciting things to do!
At first, it was startling because I couldn’t see my body. It was as if I was no longer in the hallway. Everything around me looked like static TV noise that you would see on old analog TV sets. Except instead of dots or squares, the static was made of vertical lines. Waving my arms closer to my face, I could see the edges become denser, but when they weren’t moving, I wasn’t able to distinguish them out of all the static. When I decided to look up, it was as if I went back to a ‘camera 1’ view, and everything looked normal this time. Lucid Dream Experiences – Joel Durant.
How to Wake up from a Lucid Dream
Typically, trying to wake up from a lucid dream is the last thing you would want to do. Some people who are new to this concept may be worried something terrible could happen, and they don’t want to be trapped there. Don’t worry about being stuck in the dream world! Usually, the worst thing that happens is seeing something scary and becoming afraid. Some people have experienced lucid nightmares that they are unable to stop. In that situation, it’s most likely people who are inexperienced with lucid dreaming. With a bit of learning and practice, though, this issue can be easily corrected.
One of the biggest frustrations in lucid dreaming is that it often doesn’t last very long. Quite often, the experience can feel very unstable, and if you are unable to stabilize it, the dream will end. So it’s not so hard to get out of one even if you don’t try.
Here are some methods to wake up from a lucid dream:
- Lay down and go to sleep.
- Run as fast as you can—supersonic speed—this can easily cause the dream to destabilize and end.
- Stop engaging with the dream and close your eyes.
- Yell out that you want to wake up.
Learning to lucid dream can be an incredible tool to explore your dreams and subconscious mind. You can go on an adventure, experience the thrill of flying or use it as a tool to face fears. There are myriads of other things you can do; it’s just up to you to decide—the possibilities are endless.