Ever since the Netflix hit '

Behind Her Eyes

' everyone has been talking about lucid dreaming: dreams in which you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming. Did you know that you can actively induce such dreams and that they can be very useful psychologically? Psychologist Tim Post, author of the book 'Dream Master', lectures about it worldwide. He explains: 'Once you know that you are dreaming, you can take control and direct your dream. You can do special things that would never be possible in real life. '

It is no exaggeration to say that Post is an expert in lucid dreaming.

His Ted Talk lecture on the topic has been viewed over a million times.

"The term lucid dream was coined by a Dutch psychiatrist in 1913", Post starts.

"Lucid literally means 'clear' because you are clear of the fact that you are dreaming."

Lifelike

"We mainly dream during our REM sleep or dream sleep. Our brains are hyperactive, sometimes even more active than when we are awake. That makes dreams sometimes seem so lifelike and you can have very vivid, true experiences. You wake up and say: wow. "I just met a pirate. Or, I kissed my secret love. You know it's just a dream, but it's so realistic that it leaves a deep impression on you and can have a very valuable impact on you."

Nightmares

“When I was young, I had a lot of nightmares,” Post continues.

"During those nightmares I knew I was dreaming, without waking up from it. I felt trapped in dreamland. I had no idea at the time that you could take the reins yourself to make your dream more positive and pleasant. It wasn't until high school that I learned about lucid dreaming. I was impressed then, because I didn't know that you can have such cool dream experiences. Then I immersed myself in the science of the phenomenon and I started practicing a lot. I got better and better and started teaching about it. "

Creative ideas

"When I first discovered lucid dreams, I had several per night. But now I only have lucid dreams on request. For example, if I see a nice movie or read a good book, I think: hey, I would be tonight. use a lucid dream. That way I can learn further from it or develop creative ideas around it. "

Psychologist Tim Post

Psychologist Tim Post

Photo: Reinier van Willigen

"Once you know that you are dreaming, you can take control and direct your dream. You can do special things that would never be possible in real life. You can fly, you can fight with dragons ...

Very nice.

But you can also have lucid dreams that really benefit you the next day.

A lot of research is being done on this in Germany.

It has often been shown that you can make yourself mentally stronger through visualization.

When athletes prepare their sports performance in their dreams, it has a positive effect.

The next day, they will be better prepared and able to carry out the efforts in question with greater confidence. "

Astral projection

In '

Behind Her Eyes

' the characters engage in astral projection.

"Astral projection is more in the spiritual than in the psychological," says Post.

"It is a special experience in which it seems as if you are stepping out of your body. An experience that can be perfectly explained from science."

"Just before you fall asleep, your nervous system is activated. If you fall asleep very gently and gradually, you may feel your body turning itself off. Research shows that this is a natural experience that comes with going to sleep. It feels like you have one leg in dreamland and the other leg in bed. That can indeed feel like you are leaving your body, I have already been through it. But there is no proof whatsoever that you could actually leave your body abandoned, as some claim. "

Lucid dreaming step by step

"Research has discovered all kinds of techniques that you can use to consciously induce lucid dreams. I have devoted a full book to it, but I will try to keep it brief here. (Laughs) With many beginners, the clear moments remain. short at first. Once they realize they are dreaming, they are so excited that their body wakes up on its own. In general, you have to practice for about a month before you can have your first scheduled lucid dream. "

Step 1

"This is the most important step: teach yourself to remember your dreams. Often when people wake up to their nasty alarm clock, they immediately think about their work, how cold the bedroom is, etc. It is very important that you ask your very first question. the awakening is: what have I dreamed? In the long run you will be able to remember up to three, four or five dreams per night. "

Step 2

"Write down your dreams in a diary as detailed as possible. You can do this with text, but you can also use drawings. Keep this up for about two to three weeks."

Step 3

"Scroll back in your dream diary and see what you often dream about. Very often there are repetitions and patterns of situations, places, emotions or people. Once you know what you often dream about, chances are that you will dream about it again that same night. will dream For example, do you often dream about a pink flying elephant The next time you see one again, you know I'm probably dreaming So that's your dream signal As soon as you spot the pink flying elephant, you stand with both feet in dreamland and you can give it your own twist. "

This article is from HLN.

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