Shaking Your Head

Shaking your head can be a great stabilization technique when your dreams are starting to fade out, but it is also a technique that wakes some people up when they’re ready to get out of a dream. Shaking your head is definitely a technique to try, particularly if you don’t like spinning around or if rubbing your hands together doesn’t work for you.

Shaking your head is a kinetic technique. The reason, many lucid dreaming experts think, that things like shaking your head works is that you are more grounded in your dream when you’re starting to be able to feel your physical body lying on the bed. Shaking your head can be a valuable technique for some, so it’s worth learning to use.

Before you start using the shaking your head technique, though, you should check out these tips for making the shaking your head technique more effective for you:

Go slowly. As with the spinning around technique, you don’t want to just wildly move. That can be a good way to make your physical body move, thus making you wake up. When you’re starting to shake your head, go slowly and deliberately, as this will help you make the movement intentional and more effective.

Experiment with your eyes. Some people prefer using kinetic movements like shaking your head with their eyes closed, but for many people, this can be a problem. Closing your eyes may make you more likely to wake up or to teleport in your dream. While teleportation isn’t a huge problem, waking up defeats the purpose of this dream stabilization technique. If you have trouble staying in your dream when shaking your head with your eyes closed, try it again with your eyes open, as this just might work for you.

Use it with other techniques. Shaking your head is a great technique to combine with other dream stabilization techniques. I personally like combining it with the rubbing your hands together technique, which is one of my personal favorites. Other people I know, though, usually combine it with a speaking aloud technique where they say or shout, “Increase lucidity” or something similar.

Combining this technique with others may make it more effective for you, particularly if you aren’t an overly kinetic person and if you prefer to use speaking or touching techniques, instead.

In my experience…

In my personal experience, the shaking your head technique can be particularly useful when I run out of other things to do. If a dream is fading very quickly, I’ll use it instead of rubbing my hands together, which tends to work a little more slowly. However, if I find myself in a total void, I find that spinning around normally works a little better, so I prefer to use that technique instead, even though it’s not one of my favorites.

I’ve talked to several lucid dreamers in forums and in real life that say they use the shaking your head technique in order to wake themselves up when it’s time to get out of a dream or when they’re no longer comfortable there. As you become more adept at dream control techniques, this may not be necessary, since you’ll be able to turn a bad dream into a good one. However, when you’re starting out and have less control over your dreams, it could save you some emotional turmoil by learning a technique that will wake you up.

Shaking your head, which can double as a good dream stabilization technique can also be a good way to teach yourself to wake up, but it all depends on what works best for you.

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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