The Effects of Lucid Dreaming Aliyah Abdus-Shakoor Citrus College Since the dawn of time
The Effects of Lucid Dreaming
Since the dawn of time, sleeping has been a vital component to life for humans, and other species as well. If we don’t get the adequate amount of sleep we need per night, we will be groggy and drowsy and not able to get through the day. The average person over the age of ten dreams at least 4-6 dreams every night. The only problem is, most of us forget our dreams within the first ten minutes of waking up, so most of the time we feel like we didn’t have one at all. Normally when you dream you’re not really aware of what’s going on. You’re dreams have a mind of it’s own, and they can take you anywhere or make you do anything. What if I told you there was a way to control any of those dreams? That’s the power of lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is when you are completely aware of yourself within the dream, and you can make your own decisions. Imagine being able to dictate who you can talk to, what you look like, where you’re going, and who you’re hanging out with. However, that is at the really advanced stage of lucid dreaming, it probably won’t be like that at the very beginning. The reason why people are able to have lucid dreams is because they are able to ‘wake their mind up’ while they’re still sleeping. Normally when we go to sleep, we aren’t aware of what’s really going on because our brain shuts off in a way. With hard work and practice however, you can train yourself and unlock that part of your mind that allows you to be able to control your dreams.
One of benefits of lucid dreaming is that it can heighten your overall creativity. Studies have shown that lucid dreamers have improved performance in tasks dealing with creativity (Dreaming, a journal of the American Psychological Association, 2016). Lucid dreaming allows you to create any scenario in your head and make it come to life. You could reconnect with your inner childhood, and boost your creativity. You can also reunite with loved ones during this process. If you ever lost a family member or anyone close to you, lucid dreaming gives you the ability to re-create that person, right in your dream. It could be found as a form of closure for most people. You have complete control of your dreams. Often times you can dream about your fantasies. For example you can have sex with who ever you could possibly imagine about if you really focus at it. One of my biggest fantasies would be to spend an entire day with Trey Songz. He would wake me up with flowers, wine me, dine me, serenate me, basically make me feel like the best woman in the world. With lucid dreaming, I have the ability to induce that fantasy of mine just by focusing on it in my head before I go to sleep. Now it doesn’t happen over night, it takes a lot of skill and practice to master the art of creating your own world within your dream. Many experts on the topic say that being able to be in total control of your dreams is completely worth it.
As we go through our lives day by day , we are not always faced with the best of times, and we often have problems that hinder us from doing things. During the state of lucid dreaming, you are able to work through those problems, and possibly come up with a solution for some of them. Many experts say that our mind is always working, sometimes even harder, when when we are asleep. So if you run through your problems in your head, right before you go to sleep at night, sometimes our mind can subconsciously come up with a solution to the problem, even without the effects of lucid dreaming. You are even able to dictate your fears and emotions while lucid dreaming. Even if you hate your job, or you hate going to school, you can choose to create that same scenario in your dream, except choose to be happy and excited, rather than in discomfort. It can be a great tool for learning how to manage your emotions, and have more control over your own future. Now we all have fears – those little thoughts that keep us up late at night telling us we can’t make it. However, imagine having a tool that you can use to confront your fears, and actually overcome them. For example, if you have a deep fear of spiders, the best thing for you to do while lucid dreaming would be to recreate those spriders. Create a world with only spiders, small ones, large ones, ones of all different shapes, and sizes. Once you create that world, you have to immerse yourself in it until the fear goes away. You just continue to induce that exact same setting in your head, until the spiders no longer scare you. Eventually, you’ll come to the realization that those spiders aren’t real, and the fear is actually all inside your head. Studies have proven that people who induce their fears while lucid dreaming, have a higher chance of overcoming that fear.
While lucid dreaming can be a great benefit to ones health, and improve their overall quality of life, there are also a few negative effects to using this method. One of the ways lucid dreaming can be considered as a negative tool, is when people can get a little too carried away with it. Stephen Laberge, a psychologist from Stanford University, specializes in the scientific effects of lucid dreaming and he says that, “some people devote too much time to lucid dreaming ” (World of Dreaming, 3). It can be a possiblility for someone to get distracted with the mechanics of lucid dreaming, and get so hung up on trying to induce the deepest lucid dream, and loose sight of their main reason they’re using this method in the first place. Lucid dreaming can distract you from your actual goals in life, in you put too much time in it. It shouldn’t be a way of life, the goal is actually to stop using lucid dreaming once you’ve benefited from it. You aren’t supposed to use it 24/7, otherwise you wouldn’t have time to do anything else. It’s only supposed to be used on your down time, when you don’t have anything else to do other than rest. It is also possible for someone to get so wrapped up in the success you have in your fantasy, that you can neglect real responsibilities that will lead you to success in real life.
In conculsion, the bennefits of lucid dreaming heavily outway the risks of it. Just remember, you are in control of your dreams and your path. So the ability to be positively or negatively effected by lucid dreaming is in your hands. You can still practice lucid dreaming at a successful rate with out spending all of your time on itLucid dreaming can improve anyone’s quality of life if you just take the time to reflect on your issues, and then dream about them!