Lucid dreaming gives you power in your sleep, which is where you spend about a third of your entire life. Instead of being driven away by the abnormal constructs of a dream, you are there, present and awake, somewhat like your normal day-to-day reality. This is a powerful moment where you can literally take full control of the dream and create anything you want. To lucid dream on a consistent basis is an art, that takes practice and consistency. Similar to working out, your brain is like a muscle that needs training and direction on what to focus on. If you are new to lucid dreaming, you may be expecting quick results or getting frustrated if you have not had your first lucid dream. If you are already a lucid dreamer going through a dream drought, do not worry, even periods of non-lucidity have a lot to teach us, and it is a good time to strengthen your mind and waking life lucidity. Whatever the case, it is important to remember that it takes patience and getting frustrated will only hold you back. There are many techniques to get lucid you will find online, and it may take some trial and error to find out which ones are best for you. There is no right or wrong or best or worst because lucid dreaming is a personal practice depending on your goals and personal dreamwork. Everyone’s brain works differently, yet, there are two things that every lucid dreamer should take seriously, and that is dream journaling and effective reality checks. Emphasis on the effective.
The Dream journal is crucial for lucid dreaming. Not only will it improve your recall, but it will help you identify dream signs that you can incorporate into your reality checks & become lucid more often. It is also amazing to read back on old dream and form connections, or remember things you would have otherwise forgotten. It is most effective to record dreams the second you wake up while it is fresh because the more time passes, the more you will forget. You can create a voice recording, a phone note, a sketch, or write on paper, just record it the best way that works for you. Try to capture the emotions you were feeling in the dream, which will help to properly interpret and understand your dreaming mind. There are many phone apps that are great for dream journaling and help you identify emotions and patterns, such as Capture. Over time, you will notice items, people or places that commonly appear, these are your dream signs.
Dream journaling over an extended period of time can reveal patterns, through recurrent dreams or the repeated appearance of important details in your waking life, and the more familiar your mind becomes with these patterns, the more awareness it might begin to have in wielding them while asleep. You can use these dream signs to trigger you to perform reality checks. A reality check is an exercise that if performed correctly, will lead you to realizing you’re dreaming within the dream (DILD Dream Induced Lucid Dream). When you are awake, it may feel silly because you know you are not dreaming, but in a dream you are also convinced you are awake. Throughout the day, find ways to truly test your environment to see if it is a dream or reality. You can pinch yourself, count your fingers, try to breathe with your nose shut, really anything that may act differently in a dream. It is good to try two things as a backup. For example, when I pull my fingers, in a dream it will stretch like rubber, which immediately tells me I am dreaming. The more often you form the habit of reality checking, the more likely you will do it in a dream and realize something is not right. Most people initially try to set an alarm on their phone to remind them to do reality checks. This is not effective, because it is unlikely you will have that reminder in a dream. That is why using your dream symbols to trigger reality checks are most effective, because it will cause you to do a reality check while dreaming, causing you to become lucid. For example, if you see cats in your dream often, perform a reality check every time you see a cat.