Overcoming Nightmares Through Lucid Dreaming
By Jenna Barrington
Have you ever had a nightmare that kept coming back for several nights or even weeks? Or longer?
Have you had a nightmare as a result of something happening in your waking life?
Some people, for one reason or another, really struggle with nightmares. This may be because of past experiences, current stress in their waking life, or simply because of their vivid imagination. Whatever the cause, nightmares can be a real pain if they interrupt sleep or leave you feeling tired and unsettled when you wake up in the morning.
Luckily, there is an ancient technique you can use to pop out of your nightmares, or even face and overcome them. Some people discover this by accident when they are in the middle of a nightmare and realize that it isn’t real.
This is how Drew Canole discovered lucid dreaming. He was only five years old when he began experiencing terrifying nightmares that mirrored the difficulties he was experiencing in his waking life. After six months of nightmares, something amazing happened…
“One night before I went to bed, I asked myself if I was dreaming, and I pinched myself before lying down. So, I fell asleep quickly like I always do. Halfway through the night, the ugly monster—at least seven feet tall with horns coming out of its back, some real gnarly-looking teeth, and eyes that were a bright oozing green—was coming for me again.
This time was different, though. Something had changed inside of me.
I looked at the monster, and then I looked down at my hand and asked the question that every beginner lucid dreamer must ask: Is this real, or is this a dream? I pinched myself and feeling my skin change, I immediately knew that it was not real. In fact, I had entered one of the coolest worlds I would ever experience in my whole life.
What happened to the monster next would change my confidence outside this realm forever.
Without a second to spare, I began running after the monster. Instantly, I imagined a sword falling from the sky, and as I jumped at least 25 feet in the air, I called forth the power of the clouds to charge this sword with the fiercest lightning the world had ever seen.
It was me versus the monster that was responsible for stealing my personal power at night and that made me wake up even more miserable and hopeless in the morning.
Plunging back towards the earth as if I were a falcon with laser focus, I saw the ugly-ass monster and had no fear of beheading this nasty creature from the depths of hell.
I approached it, and when I was ten feet away, all of a sudden the dream changed. It was no longer a grown monster—it was a little baby.
My fear was gone. I no longer needed to attack this creature that was probably, deep inside, just as scared as I was, and I was able to let go and forgive all of the many nights we spent together.”
Not only was he able to conquer the monster in his nightmares, but because of his experience, he was able to challenge the monsters in his waking life as well.
“Siri, what is lucid dreaming?”
Lucid dreaming is the process that people have used for thousands of years to wake up during their dream and see it as a dream. Once the dreamer is in this state, it becomes like a video game or a movie in which they are the actor, director, engineers, and the space, all at once.
In a lucid dream, you become fully conscious that you are dreaming. You are then able to change your surroundings and the people, places, events, and circumstances of your dream.
Lucid dreams are very vivid and feel like they are real; sometimes they seem more real than reality itself. Many people question lucid dreaming by saying that it is not a state of sleep, but a state of actual wakefulness.
Have you had a lucid dream before? Some people do it all the time and don’t realize that it is anything special.
We believe that everyone has the ability to lucid dream. Some tap into it naturally, while others have to learn a few techniques first. Either way, lucid dreaming is a fantastic tool you can use for all sorts of things.
Why Lucid Dream?
Lucid dreaming is not a woo-woo science, nor is it meant for only a select few. It is a real tool that has been around for thousands of years. Inventors, prophets, poets, and some of the most creative people who ever lived were able to harness the power of their dreams.
You can use lucid dreams to…
- Face and overcome your fears
- Tap into your inner confidence
- Boost creativity
- Help you reach your goals
- Practice new skills
- Heal old wounds
- Overcome victim mentality
Are you afraid of heights? Public speaking? Dogs? In a lucid dream, you are able to create and control the circumstances around you. You can actually use your dreams as a practice ground for real life. Since it feels pretty dang real, it is a perfect space to practice facing your fears.
The best thing about it is if you work on something in a dream, it will actually help you in real life. Whether you are thinking something or actually doing it, the same neural pathways are created in your brain. This means that if you dream about giving a speech in public, it will create a pathway in your brain for doing that action. The more you dream practice (or actually do it in real life), the stronger that connection will become. How cool is that! This is science, peeps!
The same applies to practicing new skills. Have you ever heard of mental rehearsal? This is a tool athletes, musicians, and performers use to boost their performance. Basically, they rehearse in their mind before doing it in real life. There are some really cool studies out there about how effective this is. Lucid Dreaming is like super-enhanced mental rehearsal!
Lucid Dream Lucid Life
One of the main benefits of lucid dreaming is that it pushes us to lucid living. Waking up in our dreams teaches us to wake up in our lives.
When you ‘wake up’ in a dream and see it as a dream, you are empowered to take control and make the dream into something you want it to be. You realize you aren’t just the victim anymore. Amazing things will begin happening at night while you sleep if you choose to keep having this experience. And once you discover this at night, you can’t help but start applying the same principles to your real life.
It’s pretty cool. 🙂
If you’re interested in learning to lucid dream, stayed tuned for some future articles and the release of our Dream Hacker’s program! We can’t wait to hear about your experiences.
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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