Imagine it is night, the moon is shining in its pale glory, and you are about to sleep, ready for the arrival of a new day.
Now, everyone desires a peaceful sleep, maybe even an experience filled with pleasant dreams.
But now and then, these dreams turn into nightmares that leave you disturbed and in a sour mood. It becomes too distracting to get any work done the following day, thoughts plagued with morbid images and disturbing visions.
What if your dreams were not just dreams? You may be lucid dreaming without even realizing it! Consider allowing yourself to hop onto the dream journaling bandwagon. You’ll be taken aback by the power of this habit.
Hence, read ahead as we explain how does a dream journal help lucid dreaming.
Lucid Dreaming And Dream Journals
Are you startled by your recent dream? Because moving past nightmares, dreams turn eventful pretty often.
There is a battle unfolding before you, and the next second, your vision is enraptured by the sky while you fly around. These fictional scenes that are a stranger to daily life may leave you baffled and guessing once you arise from slumber.
What’s more, the vivid imagery just within hands-reach a second ago completely vanishes as soon as reality breaks through the day. The details that were traceable before dissipate as if they never existed. Hence, you are left with a void, feeling stuck between a frenzy of curiosity, agitation, and confusion.
But, if you thought dreams were just random visions, you are wrong because most have a meaning or cause behind them.
Above all, you might be lucid dreaming without realizing it. And even if you belong to the category of people interested in lucid dreams, wanting to understand the deep expanse of your subconscious mind, dream journaling is the perfect solution.
Do You Think You Are Lucid Dreaming?
We go to sleep every day, and innumerable times we dream. We are peaceful because we don’t know we are dreaming while asleep.
But what if you are sleeping and dreaming while also being aware that you are dreaming? That is when one experiences lucid dreams.
The manipulation of dreams was made known to us via movies. While it is questionable to gain control to the extent shown on the big screen, it is doable to have some command over your lucid dreams.
For most, when asleep, they are unaware that they are dreaming. After all, are dreams not supposed to feel real? But, lucid dreamers know that they are inside a dream and are currently dreaming. That’s the catch!
On top of that, if done over a long time, the lucid dreamer can slowly subjugate their surrounding characters and narratives to a certain extent.
How Does Lucid Dreaming Impact Your Personality & Everyday Life?
In addition to being fascinating, there are many benefits that lucid dreamers enjoy.
- Relieves nightmares
If you are someone who has nightmares frequently, lucid dreaming can be your solution.
Recurring nightmares can be taxing on health and decrease overall functionality by constantly interfering with quality sleep and deep dreaming. When someone having nightmares starts to lucid dream, they can overpower the situation in the dream and tone it down to a neutral or pleasant event.
- Counters anxiety
In some cases, lucid dreaming helps to overcome anxiety too. Not only is it helpful in reducing nightmare-induced anxiety, but also it can relieve anxiety caused due to PTSD. For some, it has even proven beneficial in recovering from their overall physical, mental, and emotional anxiety.
- Exposure to creativity
Are you an innovative soul always bustling with ideas and curiosity for the unknown? If yes, lucid dreaming will be alluring to your tastes.
Lucid dreaming ensures a great exposure to creativity. The people able to lucid dream are likely to be creative because of their heightened ability to recall dreams and visualize stuff. Just imagine taking on superpowers in dreams or distinguishing traits that are not possessed otherwise. Heck, you could even be the modern-day J.K Rowling.
Apart from that, lucid dreaming is strikingly similar to storytelling, becoming an enjoyable activity for many.
- Deals with phobias
Lucid dreaming can also help face phobias, as the dream creates a realistic enough environment, allowing room for the experiment without feeling unsafe. It all boils down to your degree of awareness and how you harness the awareness of knowing you are in control!
Experiences Of Lucid Dreamers
Lucid dreaming is a period of deep slumber marked by eye motion, faster breathing, and more brain activity. They occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and while some may do it subconsciously, others can train themselves to start lucid dreaming.
You may have experienced the lack of physical laws, gravity, and a confusing notion of time if you are a lucid dreamer. The basic structures no longer apply in the world of dreams. Hence, the sense of self can start turning fluid.
Although, not all who lucid dream can manipulate their dreams. Some might wake immediately upon realizing they are dreaming, while others can influence their actions in the dream or affect entire parts of the dream itself.
If you are starting, do not be stopped by failures. Lucid dreaming is a practice that people can achieve with resilience, hard work, and dedication. Best of all, the more one practices, the better they get with time.
Side Effects Of Lucid Dreaming
Is there anything out there that does not have cons? Hence, lucid dreaming may have several pros, but it does not come without the side effects.
- Since lucid dreaming techniques involve planned sleep interruptions, people can develop sleep issues. Especially, those with sleep disorders have a higher risk.
- While it can help cure anxiety, it can also intensify depressive symptoms. Especially in the event it starts interrupting a normal sleeping schedule.
- It can cause derealization by blurring the lines between dreams and reality. Therefore, making it hard to determine what’s real and what’s deceptive.
- When dreams and reality overlap, it can also cause dissociation from surroundings.
Myths About Lucid Dreaming
There is an abundance of stigma surrounding conversations about dreams, and lucid dreaming is no exception.
Few people worry if they can get stuck in their lucid dreams. But, do not get troubled because getting stuck in a lucid dream is not possible. There is a maximum amount of time for dreaming. Since there is a specific time limit for which people can sleep and dream.
Moreover, it is possible to stretch the entire process by a little, but it is impossible to sustain it for long.
Another concern that people wanting to lucid dream have is if it will affect their sleep cycle since it requires focus and effort. However, lucid dreaming causes no harm to sleep cycles. Even better, it cannot be the cause of tiredness unless the person trying to lucid dream has mental health problems.
How Does A Dream Journal Help Lucid Dreaming?
We discussed all there is to know about lucid dreaming, but what to do once you start? Is there a way to enhance and expedite the process?
Yes, dream journaling and correlating dreams to everyday life can boost the lucid dreaming experience by a certain degree. Remembering dreams solidifies your chance to lucid dream. If you have a strong retention hold over your ordinary dreams, lucid dreaming will become easier for you to master.
Here is where dream journals come into view. Those who want to experience lucid dreaming find it extremely useful to keep a dream journal. It is helpful because it records the dreams in as much detail as possible, provided you don’t hold your horses back and promise to pen down the most intricate of details that can be remembered.
Because, people who find it effortless to lucid dream can easily recall dreams regularly. Although, that is not the case for the ones just starting on their lucid dreaming journey.
Moreover, we tend to remember dreams that have a stronger emotional pull. Think about it. Writing and journaling these dreams could be a great way to confront feelings.
Different Ways To Start A Dream Diary
With each person comes up a new possibility of a dream diary, but some common mediums of dream journaling are:
- Audio recordings
Not much of a writer? Fret not, because you can always record your dreams through a quick narration!
If you are forgetful or just not motivated to write and maintain a diary, you can dream journal using your phone or a video recorder. Just keep your eyes closed while narrating to the recorder, which can help to recall it later with more ease. Additionally, try and record as soon as your eyes open.
- Dream diary app
If laziness threatens to break the journaling ritual of writing using a pen and paper, you can opt for the technological way.
You get the date and the time automatically by using a dream diary app on your phone to type out your dream. Even more, plenty of people nowadays check their phones as soon as they wake up. Now, you can constructively use your morning time!
- Classic dream diary
You can never go wrong when going the traditional way. The best way to maintain dream journals is using a diary for writing. It gives substantial proof of the dream happenings. Any stationery lover should grab this chance because you get to use a beautiful notebook and pen of your choice, and keep track of your dreams simultaneously.
Why Should You Indulge In Dream Journaling?
Having a place where you can record all the happenings of your dreams is desirable. Lucky for you, that’s what a dream journal does!
Firstly, it is a place where you can record all your dreams, pleasant or nightmarish. By having a record to reflect on later, you can also interpret your lucid dreams to your heart’s content.
Secondly, to train your oneiric memory, a dream journal is essential. Not all who dream can remember in detail. The reasons for this could range from an individual’s sleep habits to changes in routine. But if you have a good memory, you can remember scrambled parts, details, and scenes of your dreams without a mental push.
In addition, writing dreams can help highlight inconsistencies. If you make reality checks when you are awake, you can also make them when you dream. It helps to become lucid in a more spontaneous way.
When you dream journal and record your dreams regularly, you start noticing themes and patterns repeating over time and discover the various psychological processes associated with dream journaling. The journal also serves as a treasure linking a precious connection to your subconscious.
Additional Benefits Of Dream Journals
Dream journaling can benefit lucid dreaming, but it also has several more benefits. Although keep in mind, all these benefits assist you in your lucid dreaming adventures as well.
- Stress reduction
A moment of quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of life never fails to have a calm and therapeutic effect, thereby assisting stress reduction.
Moreover, writing about dreams can also help you tackle unprocessed issues. There exists a scientific link between our mind and behavior. Maintaining a dream journal can help give insight into your mind while asleep.
Tap into stress-causing factors while you lucid dream and experiment without any real life drawbacks!
- Better self-understanding
The best way to remember these short-lived dreams is to write them down as soon as you wake up. It will strengthen memory retention, thereby making the journey to lucid dreaming easier, while also providing a better outlook on your subconscious mind.
Once journaling begins, you can discover your inner self better as you get to peak at the unresolved conflicts hidden in your subconscious. Carry this habit to your lucid dreaming sessions, and you’re as good as a budding wizard.
- Improves problem-solving skills
Keeping a dream journal can offer better insight and understanding of various underlying issues we may have. Dreams have a survival function that can help get adjusted to real-life situations.
Over that, it improves motor skills as the lucid dream environment presents situations where you have to do things you may not otherwise. It can also help people with disabilities as a form of therapy.
How To Begin Dream Journaling?
It may seem intimidating at first, but starting a dream journal is simple. It depends more on how much someone is willing to experiment and explore rather than remain fixated on following rules. Here are a few tips you can follow and start your dream journal:
- Set an intention
Before setting off to the dream world, giving mental reminders and devoting your time and attention towards a dream can help generate a desire to remember and learn from dreams. Frequent mentions of a phrase before sleeping can prove beneficial. For example, “I am going to remember my dream today.”
If you are unable to remember dreams, you need to remind your subconscious repeatedly. After waking up the next day, try to focus and recall without drifting away from your dream memory.
- Experiment with different dream journals
One can’t depend on memory alone, no matter how vivid the dream was. But it often disappears within a few minutes or a few hours at best. Hence dream journaling can be a great gift.
You should opt for the method that stimulates your memory-recalling capabilities the best – audio, apps, or traditional handwritten journaling. Remember, it’s vital to have the set up near the place you sleep. This way, the dream is captured as soon as you wake up.
Bonus Tip: You can record both events from your dream and real-life in one place. It will help distinguish and make connections between the two without much mental struggle.
- Maintain peace and jot down your dream
When trying to record dreams, it is crucial to record as much as possible before losing memory. Therefore, let the dreams’ memories come to the surface while remaining in a half-asleep state. Be careful because an abrupt awakening can lead to a complete wipe-out and forgetfulness.
What you can do instead is, re-enact the events that happened in your dream. Move around slowly and jot down everything you can recollect. Even drawing dream images could work for people who are artistic and find writing monotonous.
Moreover, if you cannot remember a huge chunk of your dream, do not be discouraged. Even if you only retain 10 percent at the start, it is necessary to note it down. Not only will it train the oneiric memory for the longer run, but it also improves recollection power.
The dreaming land is vast and there lie many facts and possibilities that are still unknown. Lucid dreaming is an intriguing way to understand the subconscious mind better, and it also presents the opportunity to unravel hidden parts of your personality.
Hence, we discussed how does a dream journal help lucid dreaming. And now, with a few efforts, you too can start your journey of lucid dreaming and dream journaling.
Bonus Read: Ever seen a hooting owl in your dream? These owl dream interpretations will make your jaw drop.
An enthusiastic dream journaler who has connected sleep-time visions with real-life occurrences in the past and present, Karandeep believes in tapping into the subconscious and demystifying strengths, insecurities, and deep-rooted desires. Besides identifying the interconnectedness of dreams in his personalized dream journal, he continues to study the significance of celestial objects and their relation to mythological tales that keep modern society intrigued about past civilizations.