How to Turn Nightmares into Lucid Dreams

Turning nightmares into dreams may seem impossible for people who struggle with chronic, frequent nightmares, but with lucid dreaming techniques, it’s actually not. Because nightmares are often filled with bizarre characters and situations, it’s not unusual for you to be at least vaguely aware that you’re dreaming when you’re in the midst of a nightmare. Therefore, it’s relatively simple to actually become lucid so that you can turn your nightmares into dreams.

The two things you really need to turn nightmares into dreams are to become lucid and to know that you have complete control over your dreams, even frightening ones. You become lucid in nightmares the same way that you do during your regular dreams – it’s just another form of DILD! If you’ve successfully become lucid in your dreams, you know what will probably work for you to become lucid in your nightmares.

If not, it’s time to start trying reality checks and lucidity-inducing techniques now. Remember that you’ll need to practice reality checks during the day for them to become part of your subconscious mind’s reaction to certain stimuli. When you do a reality check in your dreams, you should find that you’re dreaming so that you can become self-aware. You may need to use techniques that will increase your lucidity from there, but becoming aware that you’re dreaming is the crucial first step to taking control of any dream, nightmare or not.

Steps to Turn Your Nightmares into Dreams

The first step to turning your nightmares into dreams is usually just waking yourself up. This seems counterintuitive, right? How are you going to turn anything into a dream if you’re awake?

The key here, though, is that you need to build confidence about your own ability to control your dreams. Once you’ve woken yourself up a few times and find that you can wake up at will when you’re having a nightmare, you’ll start to become confident that you can control your dreams. Also, try to work on dream control techniques when you’re having regular dreams, since this can also boost your confidence levels and help you feel more in control of your nightmares.

Next, you may want to completely change your nightmare into a dream. Practice things like teleporting or changing the dream landscape. These techniques can help you create a dream where a nightmare once was just by moving locations. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but teleporting to a calming location, like a beach, can induce more feelings of calm and can make your nightmare turn into a dream more easily.

Once you have enough control to teleport or transition out of your nightmare to totally turn it into a dream, you might actually want to start leaving your nightmares as they are, and start exploring them. You can actually have conversations with your subconscious about interesting things that you didn’t even know were bothering you when you confront your nightmares.

For me, nightmares are most common when I’m worried or anxious about something, whether it’s my personal finances or a relationship I’m in. At any rate, when I have nightmares around these times, I become lucid and start to look for symbolism about the things that have been on my mind recently. Often by confronting the monsters in my dreams (only after making myself invincible, of course) I figure out what’s going on in my mind that hasn’t surfaced yet. Sometimes this leads to solutions for practical problems, and other times it just gives me insight on how my mind works. It takes a great deal of self control to actually confront a nightmare, but if you can use lucid dreaming to do this, it can be a huge self-help tool for you, too.

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"The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation." - M. C. Escher