Interacting with the Environment

Interacting with the environment is the number one way to increase lucidity when you first become lucid during a dream. If you find yourself lucid and become a little scared or excited by it, it’s easy to quickly lose that lucidity and wake yourself up. However, if you start immediately interacting with your dream environment, you’re likely to increase your lucidity and make your dream stay stable for longer.

There are as many different ways to interact with the environment as there are lucid dreamers. However, if you think about what this might be like before your first (or next!) lucid dream, you’re more likely to put these principles into practice.

A word of caution

One thing that can stall the efforts of many lucid dreamers is the desire to start dream control techniques right away. This, though, can be pretty dangerous, actually. Starting to use dream control techniques too early can actually cause you to lose control of your dream more easily and to wake up more quickly. It’s a bit of a paradox, I know, but it’s true.

Before you start using dream control techniques, it’s important that you first use dream stabilization techniques to really ground yourself in the dream. Once you get to the point that your dream is as vivid and detailed as the waking world, then you can start trying to control your dreams.

This cautionary note mostly goes for dream control techniques that try to manipulate the environment, though. You can’t let your dreams be controlled by fear, or you’ll never try anything new. Things like trying to jump really high or fly are more about controlling your dream body, and these techniques may be more easily used in the beginning of your lucid dreaming experience without making you less lucid.

Ways to interact with the dream environment

Interacting with your dream environment will obviously depend on what that environment is like. However, these are a few basic things you should keep in mind next time you become lucid:

Move. Standing in one spot is a great way to start feeling your physical body lying in bed, which makes you all the more likely to lose lucidity or even wake up. Instead of just standing there, make sure that you walk around in your environment. Jump. Run. Jog. Turn around slowly to see what’s all around you. Just start moving when you get into the dream.

Notice details. One of the best ways to ground yourself in your dream by interacting with the environment is to notice details. Visual details can be helpful, but for most people, tactile details are best. Reach out and touch the ground or an object near you. Notice its texture and the heat or cold it’s putting off. Noticing these details can make the visual and auditory details of the rest of the dreamscape come to life. Remember, the more detailed and vivid your dream world is, the more you’re going to become grounded in your dream and increase your lucidity.

Talk with dream characters. Interacting with dream characters is one of the best parts about lucid dreaming, I think. At first, don’t try to bring up specific dream characters, but just see who is there in your dream. Walk up to friendly-looking characters and start interacting with them and seeing what they have to say. Talking with dream characters can ground you even more in your dream, engaging your mind in new ways so that your lucidity increases and your dream extends.

Of these options, I’m most likely to touch items, which is what I’d do in real life because I’m a very tactile person. But talking with dream characters is also incredibly helpful for grounding me in the dreamscape and helping me boost lucidity.

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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