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Overcome Fears Through Lucid Dreaming

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

It took me a second to realize what was happening.

I was hanging onto a rope and headed straight for the sky.

I must have been around 100 feet in the air. I was looking at the ground and it kept getting smaller and smaller. I couldn’t take it anymore and closed my eyes.

When I opened them again I was lying in my bed.

But this was no ordinary dream. I was actually aware of what was happening, as it happened. I was “awake” inside my head.

Let’s Rewind 7 Days

I was looking around the Internet and came across something called lucid dreaming. It talked about learning how to hack your dreams, to wake up inside the dream world and manipulate it as you wished.

I wasn’t skeptical in the slightest. You see, I remembered back to my childhood where I would “wake up” in these strange places then all of a sudden I’d be right back in bed.

Could it be? Something I’d been puzzled about my whole life was finally to be answered. It was more than I could ever have imagined.

Not only could I wake up in my dreams, but I could train myself to do it whenever I wanted. I’d heard it can take up to three months for the average person to learn, so I got to work straight away.

Seven days later when I was thundering toward the sky, it was my first taste of intentional lucidity. Nearly one year later and my eyes have seen things people only dream about.

Let’s Get One Thing Straight

I don’t want you to think of lucid dreaming as some weird new-age phenomenon. That couldn’t be further than the truth. Buddhists have been practicing it for thousands of years, and it’s even been scientifically proven.

A lucid dream simply means you are aware you are dreaming. Even though you might not remember them, I can guarantee that you dream multiple times per night. All you need to do to become lucid is switch on your conscious mind.

Once you are awake inside the dream you have the power to do anything. The dream world is inside your head, which means you can control anything with your mind.

  • You can fly like a bird
  • You can walk through doors
  • You can visit alien planets

There are literally millions of things you can do. I’m not going to waste the next 1,000,000 words listing a few of them. I would like to tell you about one special thing I’ve noticed.

What Is an Amygdala?

The amygdala controls the body’s flight-or-flight response. And it can cause you great pain because of the way it works. Let me explain…

Imagine some bullies threw a young boy into a swimming pool. He is frightened for his life and thinks he will die. His amygdala programs itself to associate water with fear.

Now that young boy will grow up scared of going in the water. The only way to reprogram the amygdala is to expose himself. If he goes into the water and his amygdala realizes nothing bad will happen, the fear will be gone.

Vertigo and Roofing Don’t Mix

I was scared of heights. I also ended up working with my dad’s roofing company, which meant I was required to climb up high ladders and walk around roofs.

I’m sure you can imagine how scary this was. I knew the subconscious mind couldn’t tell the difference between the dream world and reality, so I decided to do a test.

I would overcome my fear of heights using lucid dreams.

For the next few months I would do crazy stuff in my lucid dreams: jump out of a helicopter without a parachute, climb about roofs, and even do massive backflips off a huge ski jump.

After a while I just stopped being afraid of heights. I reprogrammed my amygdala to stop flicking my flight-or-flight response on overdrive when I was up anywhere high.

This Can Work for You

After hearing about what people use their lucid dreams for, I determined one thing: I wasn’t the first person to use lucidity to banish fears, anxiety, and confidence issues.

People have been using them all the time, only they didn’t tell you about it because they didn’t have lucid dreaming blogs.

Let’s Talk Pick-Up

I only use this example because you will recognize it, plus it can give single people around the world hope.

In pick-up (I’ve read The Game) the teacher will tell the student to go around the club and ask hundreds of girls out. They do this for a reason. Once the student has been rejected hundreds of times his amygdala will reprogram itself to feel no fear.

Now he can confidently walk up to any girl in the club and speak to them with ease. It’s such a famous tactic because it works. But that’s hard, right?

Who has the guts to get rejected by hundreds of girls in a club?

Do you remember what I said about the subconscious mind not knowing the difference between dreams and reality?

Dreams Can Mimic Reality

You can walk up to hundreds of girls in your lucid dreams and ask them out. You can do the funky chicken in the middle of the dance floor if you like. But after a while you will no longer fear approaching girls in clubs or doing the funky chicken.

And your brain is reprogrammed so you have no fear in the real word, too.

This is another list that goes on and on:

  • Practice giving speeches in front of an audience
  • Touch scary animals
  • Ride in an elevator
  • Shop in a busy supermarket

You can banish any fears, anxieties, or confidence issues through lucid dreaming.

Let’s Get to the Juicy Stuff

You know the score by now. The possibilities within lucid dreams are unlimited. Here’s a simple way to start today.

Remember your dreams.

You won’t remember being lucid if you don’t have good dream recall. This means you have to start training yourself to remember your dreams. Pretty self-explanatory, yeah?

All you need to do is start writing down your dreams in a journal. As soon as you wake up in the morning, go over the dream in your head then write them down before they disappear forever. Your dream memory will slowly improve.

Try remaining still and keeping your eyes closed before you start going over the dream in your head. Don’t worry if you don’t get this part straight away as it takes time.

Perform reality checks.

Some things won’t be as they seem in the dream world. You need to start staring at your hands during the day and asking yourself if you are dreaming. You really need to shift your awareness onto your hands and really believe it could be a dream.

Soon it will eventually become a subconscious habit and you will automatically stare at your hands in a dream. When you do, you will notice they are completely different and your conscious mind will switch on. Remember and do about 20-30 of these reality checks during the day.

Use lucid affirmations.

When you go to bed at night it’s important to give yourself affirmations. It’s a bit like planting secret codes inside your mind. Tell yourself when you are dreaming you will realize it’s a dream.

A better one to do is stare at your hands for about five minutes while repeating to yourself, “When I see my hands in my dream, I will become lucid.” This might not bring on lucidity on its own, but it’s part of the full package and they all work together.

Visualize your lucid dreams.

Once you finish your affirmations you should be getting ready to go to sleep. When you are lying in bed try and visualize yourself dreaming, then suddenly becoming aware it’s a dream.

What are you doing? Who are you with? When you are visualizing the lucid dream you should try and use as much of your senses as possible. I want you to continue visualizing the lucid dream until you fall asleep.

These 4 Steps Work

The steps I’ve laid out for you are the exact same ones I used to have my first lucid dream. If you keep doing them every day you will definitely wake up inside the dream world at some point. It’s all about remaining committed.

I can honestly say that lucid dreaming is the most important thing in the world to me. I hope you push through until you have one, because I know it can change your life.

Photo by Stefanie Neves

Avatar of Jamie Alexander

About Jamie Alexander

Jamie Alexander teaches people how to have lucid dreams and explore the dream world at his website, www.LucidAbility.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/vipul.bansal.378 Vipul Bansal

    I remember my dreams…but they are not worth remembering :P coz they are more about phantoms.
    But your article has really guided me to control my dreams.
    Practice Started. :)

  • ShadowsAV

    I also have lucid dreams … Well, rarely, but I’ve trained and some time ago. And to me is one of the most important things that exist, because it is one of the best. [Google Translate =P]

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Thanks great, Vipul.

    Remember, they are worth remembering if you decide what happens :)

  • pink:pika

    Another tip I learned that has worked for me is to try and read something while in your dream. Not just a word or a sign, but a page or paragraph of something. If the words constantly change, or it is very difficult/frustrating to read, then you know you are dreaming. I have found this to be a reliable method, and often will not realize I am dreaming until I try to read something.

  • http://kaizenways.com/ JeffreyFriend | KaizenWays.com

    Jamie this is crazy timing (yet synchronous as we both know), but last night I finally had an OBE from a lucid dream for the first time! I’ve been practicing on and off for the past year, but I’ve really been giving it my all and practicing daily for the past two weeks, and it finally paid off! Have you experimented with OBE? I’m sure you have with all of the lucid dreaming you do. What are your thoughts on it?

    This is a perfect post for those looking to overcome any fears that they have. It will work if they give it the time. It will also help with any self-esteem issues. Unfortunately you only have so much space to write, but it’s cool that you have a blog that people can get a ton more info from.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Jeffrey,

    That’s amazing you’re into OBE’s and good timing for the article :)

    Funnily enough, I’ve never went through the OBE techniques and ended up lucid in my bed. I actually have opened my eyes and been in bed, but I ended up getting sucked into space through my pillow but that’s another story lol

    TBH, I haven’t reached the stage yet where I’m convinced there’s a difference between OBE’s and lucid dreams. I would never try to upset people who do believe by saying they’re the same, so I’ll just say that I’ve not experimented enough with them to know for sure yet.

    I used to do WILD’s a lot or what you’d call OBE techniques, but at the moment I’m more focused on experimenting with spontaneous (DILD) and instant (DEILD) techniques to try and make them easier for people, so I don’t play around with WILD/OBE techniques at the moment. I will for sure in the future.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey friend,

    That’s another good method and something I’d put in the same class as the digital watch test. I’m not a fan of things that can fail in the dream like flying/putting your finger through something, and I much prefer the tests that won’t fail in a dream.

    Thanks

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Shadows,

    I feel the exact same. It’s more important to me than anything and when you realize you are awake inside your own world it’s just something I can’t put into words. If I could include a video to explain it there would be lots of running around and dancing like a crazy person.

    That’s amazing you have them already. I’m hard at work coming up with ways to make them more regular, quicker and more often so I hope I can help you in the future.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • pink:pika

    Can you please share what the acronyms WILD, DILD and DEILD stand for? I am guessing the LD is lucid dreaming, but cannot guess the first letters in each. Thank you.

  • renpic

    This is a very cool post. I’d been meaning to learn and write more on lucid dreaming. I trained myself to get out of nightmares when I was really young. Since then I find myself occasionally lucid within dream states, though not on purpose.

    I never, ever thought about using lucid dreaming to get past fears and anxiety..brilliant! Thank you for sharing.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Thanks renpic,

    I’m glad you got something useful out of it. I hope it means you’ll continue on where you left on and experience more of the dream world.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    WILD is wake induced lucid dream = It’s when you go straight from an awakened state into a lucid dream.

    DILD is dream induced lucid dream = It’s when you realize you’re dreaming inside the dream.

    DEILD is dream-exit induced lucid dream = It’s when you wake in in the morning, keep your awareness on the dream and go straight back in.

  • pink:pika

    Thank you!

  • http://kaizenways.com/ JeffreyFriend | KaizenWays.com

    I’m in the same boat man, no idea if they’re different…I just know that it’s awesome! The sky is the limit on this stuff…oh wait, not it’s not! Lol. But seriously, it feels SO good to know that there’s more out there than I’d ever dreamed of (these puns are getting out of hand). It’s all about being conscious while experiencing it though, and then writing as fast as you can when you wake up!

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Haha that’s exactly it. It doesn’t really matter as long as you experience it and it feels awesome.

  • anon

    WILD = Wake Induced Lucid Dream
    DILD = Dream Induced Lucid Dream
    DEILD = Dream Exit Induced Lucid Dream

  • Kirra lee

    Okay wow. I had never heard of this. Does it seriously work? How unreal, can’t wait to have a go. Going to check out your blog- thanks!

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Kirra,

    It’s very real. Instead of thinking about it like waking up in a dream, just think of it as altering your state of consciousness so you become conscious.

    I like to think of it along the same lines as meditation and hypnosis, only a more extreme version that happens while you dream.

  • Marcin

    Wow, just few days ago I watched a video about lucid dreaming on YT ( type ASAPscience lucid dreaming ). The moment I heard about all this lucid dreamning I thought of Inception. It must be awesome experience.

  • Irving Podolsky

    Years ago it was very important for me to KNOW what REALITY truly is…to know if there is an immortal soul, consciousness continuing after physical death, a self-aware organization of universal intelligence we call God. So I set out to find those answers. My journey took me to the point of spiritually dying and I was given a short glimmer of All-There-Is, which I understood in feelings and on a cellular level, but not intellectually; for the knowledge I was accessing was far beyond my human capacity to understand it.

    Soon after that transformation I started having spontaneous out-of-body experiences and lucid dreams. I found them to have many similar qualities and I eventually learned that in many ways, they are the same.

    The difference between them is the percentage of focus we apply to what we are perceiving. One hundred percent attention to the experience, while dropping the ego, creates a total non-physical experience.

    But swimming in the unknown can be very unsettling and so part of our human mind anchors us to our physical expression, like a helium balloon on a long string, keeping us literally grounded.

    The most memorable “lucid dream” I had happened in Switzerland and brought me to Germany in a time shift as well. Without going into details, the following day I ending up staying in the apartment building I had observed from above. The night before I had made mental notes of landmarks and buildings, and that meant that later in “reality” I could, and did, predict where I would find those same buildings and signs. That’s when I knew for sure that my shifting of consciousness was more than the brain/mind’s imagination.

    And yes, back in the seventies, I too experimented with looking at my hands. They were Mickey Mouse gloved three-finger hands the first time I glanced down and realistic human hands a moment later when I checked them again. I found that I could manipulate my environment up to a point. Yes, I could control my behavior as well as “dress and prop” a scene within a lucid dream, but once I started interacting with other entities and “creepy crawlers” I knew I had totally shifted into a non-physical environment.

    The images that I “saw” I later learned were tangible symbols, things I lived with like houses and trees, overlaid onto the non-physical experience so that my human mind could understand it and relate to it. In actuality, many of my lucid dream and OOBE perceptions were mental translations of the real experience applied after I experienced it. That could be micro seconds or minutes or even hours. I think I would have to die to perceive those alternate realities without the filters.

    This is heavy stuff, Jamie. Shifting consciousness is the exploration of who we really are, and WHAT really IS going on! And anyone who can make this expanded perception happen at will is gifted with the keys to enlightenment. Don’t underestimate the experience and its information.

    Irv

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Marcin,

    It definitely feels great when you’re the only person in the entire world. I’m sure there was a film about it, I Am Legend. I guess it kinda feels like that lol

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    I just want to say I Am Legend isn’t lucid dreaming, just what it would feel like :)

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Irving,

    That’s an interesting story. Sometimes when I don’t become fully lucid I sometimes wake up convincing myself the world is just an illusion.

    When you realize you are in a world inside your head, It really makes you question what reality actually is and who our physical world is any better than the dream world. TBH I still don’t have a proper answer.

    All I know is that a memory from the dream world and what you did on holiday last year feel the exact same, so memories mean the two seen kinda equal.

  • Kevin Cook

    The dream journal is legit one of the best ways to keep track of your lucid dreaming progress! Not to mention, it’s also a great way to track how your daily life reflects in your dreams. Great article!

  • Brandon Ballentine

    “When you realize you are in a world inside your head, It really makes
    you question what reality actually is and who our physical world is any
    better than the dream world. TBH I still don’t have a proper answer.”

    This is one of the major themes of the Hermetic text, “The Kybalion”, which is available online and the Yogic text, “The Yoga Vasishtha”. “The Kybalion” is a relatively concise summary of the subtle and esoteric principles which govern the universe and I think “The Yoga Vasishtha” and/or the Vedas from ancient India were probably the source material.

    If these are the kind of questions that one entertains, these are worthwhile reading materials, in my humble opinion. The notion that, to paraphrase these texts, “The universe exists entirely in the mind of Source, made of the mind-stuff of Source…” would have seemed completely implausible to me if I hadn’t started lucid dreaming before being exposed to it. Now I can’t imagine there could possibly be a model of reality that makes more sense.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Thanks Kevin,

    I’m glad you liked it. I agree, it’s great knowing why some of the things happen in our dreams and recording them definitely helps.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Thanks Bradon,

    I’ll look them up and give them a read. They sound interesting.

  • http://topvincent.com/ Chris-Vincent

    It is quite easy to know when you are in a dream sometimes…There are times you can be for sure what is going on is a dream and that is when you can decide to take control of it.

    Also, there are times you wake up out of a dream, then when you start thinking about the dream, you fall asleep again and like a tape, the dream continues…I am not sure if this only happens to me or others too. In such times, because you are aware what you are going through is a dream, you can decide to make it fun or manipulate it with your mind…

    It looks like the whole inception thing has gotten some strong grounds when it comes to dreaming…I remember a friend telling me that you can’t be killed in a dream and I think he may be right…I have been chased by animals and people before in dreams and I get to escape…Sometimes when it is a very dangerous dream, for some weird reason, all of a sudden I realize it is a dream (whiles dreaming) and try to open my eyes to discontinue it-And it really works.

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    Hey Chris,

    I’m glad you’ve had success with it before. Do you know it’s a dream and can decide what happens, or are you actually fully inside the dream the same way you feel right now?

  • Sally

    How interesting and I find this really fascinating. I have had lucid dreams ever since I can remember and did not realize until now that I can use them to my advantage. My fear of speaking publicly will now be overcome. Thank you for this:)

  • http://lucidability.com/ Jamie Alexander

    No problem. Have fun with trying new things out.

  • roger

    what a wonderful post, thank you. you have very useful information.

  • http://www.LimitlessMindset.com/ Jonathan Roseland

    Hey Jaime, Here’s an infographic I hope you’ll find useful on three technologies that compliment Lucid Dreaming. For further explanation: http://su.pr/1KzoXp

  • Sarah

    This educates people everywhere about lucid dreams and how to overcome fears through it. Going and doing lucid dreams to over come fears would be quite frightening, but you also know that you can control your own dreams and if you do get frightened, you can always make it go away.