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7 Steps to Start Lucid Dreaming

7 Steps to Start Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming is consciously being aware within your dream. When you are dreaming and you become conscious that you are dreaming you can start to control your dreams and the direction they go in.

Lucid dreaming can help with recurring nightmares, solving creative problems, speaking with loved ones who have passed on, anxiety, and problem solving. It can be an exhilarating experience and the feeling of euphoria after your first few lucid dreams can last for days. <!–more–>

7 Steps to Start Lucid Dreaming

1. Remember your ordinary dreams.

A lot of people say ‘I don’t dream’, everybody dreams, whilst you may not remember them you still dream. To start remembering your dreams try this simple technique.

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Each night before drifting off to sleep repeat the phrase ‘I will remember my dreams as soon as I wake up’. Say this phrase over and over until you fall asleep, after a few days you will start to remember your ordinary dreams.

2. Keep a dream journal

This can be tedious but it’s well worth the effort. Even writing a few short sentences about your dream is enough. This will get you into the habit of remembering your ordinary dreams and to start looking for dream signs within your dreams. It can also be a tool to analyze your thought processes.

3. Pick out dream signs

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A lot of your ordinary dreams will have objects or people in them that could act as a cue to you waking up in your dreams. For example if you regularly talk to ‘Elvis’ in your ordinary dreams this is an obvious dream sign and can be used to ask yourself if you are dreaming because you know Elvis is dead.

4. Notice your waking world

To be conscious in your dream world means you have to be conscious in your waking world. That might sound crazy, as you are conscious when you are awake. However what I mean is ‘consciously focused’ . For example you are consciously focused when learning a new task, you are thinking about every action you are taking to get the right steps. When you have learned the new task you no longer have to focus as intently as you did when learning it. Being consciously focused means looking around you and saying what you see, feel, hear, smell and touch and voicing it. This has the added benefit of being in the moment and can help you to inner calmness, it’s almost zen like.

If you start to consciously focus on the world around you, you will carry this over into the dream world.

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5. Ask yourself; ‘Am I dreaming?’

Ask yourself just now ‘Am I dreaming?’. Your obvious answer is to say no, of course you are not dreaming. How do you know? Don’t just say; because I know, try and think about why you are not dreaming. For example you could say if I was dreaming I would be able to fly. When you are dreaming you cannot read text for longer than a few seconds, so try reading text to prove to yourself you are not dreaming.

This again will carry over into your dreaming world and you will start asking the same questions in your dreams which can turn into a lucid dream.

6. Your first lucid dream

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Many people have their first lucid dream simply by reading about it. You might find that you become over-excited and lose the lucid dream however, you first lucid dream will be remembered for years to come.

7. Staying lucid

I have used different techniques to stay within a dream however by far the best one is calming myself down with self talk and dream spinning. If you find that you are losing your lucidity you can talk to yourself to calm yourself down and just start noticing the things around you in your dream.

Dream spinning is when you feel you are losing control of your dream you mentally spin like a tornado to stay within your dream. This is focusing the mind on staying lucid.

Have you ever had a lucid dream? If you have why not tell us about it by leaving a comment.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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The power of habit

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to make a reminder works for you

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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