Controlling your dreams…….
You can remember and interpret your dreams, but can you control them? To a degree, and with time, practice and patience, you can. Dream incubation involves actively generating a desired dream and has been widely practised throughout history. There are various techniques that will help you to dream about a chosen subject, person or place, to generate ideas, make decisions or simply to have fun.
Consider carefully what it is you hope to achieve from a dream and write down what you would like to learn from it. Before going to bed, immerse yourself in the subject/person/place you wish to dream about. Look at photographs of the person, think about their character, try and remember times you have shared together, or look at photographs or objects from the place. If you have visited it, try to remember the time you spent there. To dream of a relationship, think about the other person, the times you have shared or the direction in which you want the relationship to go, or how you might change or improve it.
Saying a short, upbeat sentence to yourself can help your mint work in a constructive way. It should be in the present tense and the first person; it should include your name and should be easy to remember. You can use positive affirmation to decide the subject matter of your dream, for example: “I, Jo, will dream tonight about surfing in Cornwall,” or to help concentrate your mind on finding the solution to a particular problem. If you are using it for the latter, make sure you focus on the positive outcome and not negatively on the problem itself, for example: “I, Jo, will cope with my workload tomorrow,” not “I, Jo, will not get stressed out and feel under pressure tomorrow.”
Your affirmation sentence can be written down or spoken. Repeat it regularly during The day, and in bed repeat it to your-self to the rhythm of your breathing.
Visualization is a form of daydreaming that can help bring about a desired mental state. Once you are in bed and feeling relaxed, empty your mind. Now, think as clearly as you can about the end result you wish to achieve from your dream, such as the solution to a practical problem or relationship dilemma. Now try to picture in your mind how you would behave and feel if the problem was resolved — relaxed, more confident and less anxious.Try to be as detailed as possible in your imaginings, then let your unconscious mind mull it over while you are asleep.
It is possible to share a dream experience with a friend or partner. Most people practised in the art of mutual dreaming. aspire actually to meet in their dreams. People who are emotionally close usually have the best results, as they often share many of their waking experiences, which can provide them with the dream’s subject matter.
Choose a mutual destination that is familiar to both of you. Visualize the scene and describe it to your dream partner in as much detail as possible. Set a time to meet. Be very specific about the arrangements and rehearse them a few times before you go to sleep. In the morning, tell each other your dreams as soon as possible. Sometimes comparisons will not be immediately obvious, for example if you both dreamt in symbols, you will need to decipher the meanings first to see if they compare.
The most important thing is patience — if you don’t succeed at first, try again. It is obviously easiest to compare notes if you share a bed with your dream partner.
A lucid dream is one in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming. Experienced lucid dreamers can consciously manipulate the dream’s content — they can think and reason, make decisions and act on them. Not everybody can have lucid dreams easily, but it is possible to learn.
The term “lucid dreaming” was first coined by the Dutch physician Frederik Van Eeden, who began to study his own dreams in I 896.,It has only been accepted and studied relatively recently, after dream researchers discovered solid evidence that lucid dreamers not only dream vividly but are also aware that they are dreaming.
Lucid dreamers are usually alerted to the fact that they are dreaming by an illogical or inaccurate trigger: for example, bumping into someone they know to be dead, or flying from a tall building. Sometimes it can bean emotional trigger such as fear or anxiety. Nightmares often lead to a period of lucidity: that fleeting sense of relief when you realize that the horrible scenario you are experiencing is just a dream.
Is there any point in being able to dream lucidly? Tibetan Buddhists believe that lucid dreams are a way of preparing for the afterlife, an environment similar to the dream world. Some masters of Tibetan yoga are said to be able to pass in and out of sleep without even losing consciousness.
A high proportion of ordinary dreams (some people have estimated it as high as two-thirds) have unpleasant elements. They may involve being attacked or chased, or falling from heights, and make you feel scared, anxious or miserable. Lucid dreams, however, rarely focus on unpleasant events. If a dream is frightening, lucid dreamers can detach themselves with the thought, “This is only a dream.”
If you are aware that you are dreaming, you could, in theory, be able to change the course of the dream’s events. You could decide where you wanted to go, what you wanted to do and who you wanted to meet. You could even decide to confront fears, for example to face the monster chasing you rather than run away from it. Or you could just decide to entertain yourself.
If you want to develop lucid dreaming, you first have to be able to recognize that you’re dreaming. There are certain things you can do to help raise this awareness. First, ask yourself the question “Am I dreaming?” while you are awake during the day and just before you go to bed. This will make the question a constant presence in your thoughts. Check the physical reality around you. Is there anything strange or surreal about your surroundings? Can you float above the ground? Have you shrunk in size? The idea is that you make the same checks while you are asleep, and so come to realize when events are in a dream.
Try to maintain a level of mental alertness while falling asleep. Stephen LaBerge, the Director of the Lucidity Institute in California, suggests counting sheep or reciting the 12 times table. This should enable you to remain aware during the transition between wakefulness and sleep, with the aim that at some point you will become aware that you are dreaming. Repeat a positive affirmation before you go to sleep, such as “Tonight I will be consciously aware that I am dreaming.”
There is an element of control with lucid dreaming, but you will still be restricted by your own expectations and limitations. You can direct the dream to a certain extent, but you cannot completely control it. For example, once you know you are dreaming, you might decide to visit a tropical island, but you won’t know what it is like until you get there. On the whole, dreamers have to accept the basic scenario or concept of a dream, allowing it to evolve while exercising some control over their own actions or reactions. Exerting too much control could also wake you up.