Self, Health And Wellness

7 Steps To Teach You How To Control Your Dreams And Escape Even Your Worst Nightmares

Can You Learn How To Control Your Dreams? These 7 Steps Can Help You Learn How To Lucid Dream So You Can Escape Your Nightmares

Your heart is racing. You are ducked behind a dumpster on a street you haven’t walked since 9th grade. Someone is chasing you. You can feel your heartbeat in your ears and you are sure that the attacker can hear it too.

You reach into your pocket for your phone, and you realize that its broken. How did it break? When you go to put it back in your pocket, you realize you are not wearing pants anymore. ?! Now you don’t know which is scarier, getting murdered or getting discovered by someone who maybe wont kill you, but they will see the extra seven pounds you're carrying.

All of the sudden you are in your bed, gasping for air. It was all a dream.

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Nightmares can be traumatizing. There are cases where some people can dream so vividly, that the develop PTSD from the memories of these dreams. Some people are afraid to go to sleep because sleeping can be more stressful than waking life.

Lucid Dreaming, the concept of being aware that you are dreaming, can be very helpful in escaping your nightmares.

In some cases of Lucid Dreaming, the dreamer is able to control the landscape, characters and narrative of their dreams. Using the same concepts as ludic dreamers you can attempt to control your own subconscious storytelling.

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If you suffer from chronic nightmares, you can use the steps I've listed below to learn how to know if you're dreaming, teach yourself how to control your dreams and have a lucid dream. That way if you're having a nightmare, you can change the narrative and control the outcome so you can sleep more peacefully.

1. Write all your dreams down in a journal.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to start keeping a dream journal. Keep this right next to your bed. Every night when you wake up from a dream, weather it be when your alarm goes off, or in the middle of the night, write everything that you remember down. Write down every single detail.

2. Read your past dreams before bed.

Before you go to sleep, review your dream journal. This should bring about some familiarity with your dream worlds. Once you become familiar with your dreamscapes, you will be more likely to recognize them when you are actually dreaming.

3. Pay attention to your body and what you actually look like.

You’re going to want to examine your body, primarily your hands and feet. When you’re dreaming, a lot of times your extremities will have some distortion to them. Perhaps your hands will be larger or maybe they will be really, really tiny. This is something you will have to practice in waking life, until it becomes a habit for you to recreate in your dream world.

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4. Take note of unusual situations or strange things that are happening.

Another indicator of a dream is realizing that your electronics are inexplicably broken. If you look down and your cell phone is dead and it had a full charge not a minute ago, that is an indicator. Cracked phone screens, cut TV wires, smoking microwaves or toasters. These are all signs to look out for.

5. Ask yourself how you got here, in this moment.

The main indicator that you are in a dream is the appearance of people who shouldn’t be there. Perhaps an aunt who died years ago, or a childhood friend with whom you haven’t spoken in years. If these people are interacting with you, with no explanation to how or why they are there, you are dreaming.

This should be obvious. The trick, however, is to practice in waking life, reminding yourself how you got to the moment you are at, with the people you are with. Tell yourself "I called Matt and asked him for coffee, I got on the subway and we met outside the coffee shop. We walked in together, and now were in line and ordering.

If you start training your brain to think like this is waking life, the hope is that it translates to the way you process your thoughts in a dream.

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6. Practice pushing your finger through your hand.

While you are awake, take your pointer finger and try to push it through your palm. Do this with the expectation that it will work. The idea is that if it does eventually go through, that should be a trigger to let you brain know it is in fact dreaming.

7. Say your mantra.

When you fall asleep you should practice saying a mantra. Something along the lines of “I know I am dreaming”. Say it over and over again 100 times. Hopefully when you do get to sleep you will know it is a dream and you will be able to stop a potential nightmare.

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Once you become aware that you are dreaming, you should be able to control them.

If there is someone chasing you, and you look down and your feet are enormous, you should be able to train your brain to recognize when you're dreaming. Once you realize that you should be able to change your dream completely through lucid dreaming, escaping the horrors of your subconscious.

RELATED: How To Decode What Your Dreams Mean (So They Can Help You When You're Awake, Too)

Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers love, relationship advice, astrology and personality topics.

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