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    Thread: Anxiety upon becoming lucid?

    1. #1
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      Anxiety upon becoming lucid?

      Some time ago, like I think a few years ago, I attempted to become a lucid dreamer. I'd do reality checks and got a few dreams where I'd reality check and become lucid.

      I soon gave up, because it seems I'd immediately awaken. Gee, not much point in becoming lucid if doing so ends the dream, is there?

      Now I'm doing some more thorough research and understand that this is common for new lucid dreamers, waking up upon achieving lucidity.

      But I'm understanding it is generally because of excitement.

      From what I remember, and keep in mind this is a few years back, it was more anxiety. Not necessarily fear of harm or anything...more like "Oh crap! I'm dreaming! I'd better wake up quick!", with really no reason it seems.

      Since I've started attempting to LD again, I did become lucid the other night and was awake within a second, if even that. I don't remember the anxious feeling from before, but rather, oh look, I'm dreaming, oh look, I'm awake.

      As for anxiety induced awakening, is it possible that stabilization techniques recommended for excitement induced awakening?

      And if so, how does one stabilize when they sometimes have less than a second between becoming lucid and waking up?

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      I can relate to the feeling of being "scared" by lucid dreams - after all, it is a rather overwhelming and weird experience to suddenly exist in some place where nothing is any actual physical matter.
      I often feel like that in my lucid dreams, it feels so weird to exist inside one's own mind and suddenly I get that feeling like it would be more comfortable to be back in the well-known physical world - but at the same time I dearly want to stay in the lucid dream, and this creates a lot of confusion and wakes me up.

      It's true that the reason why people often wake up from lucid dreams is because of excitement or shock - this is something you will need to practice, and learn to control that excitement.
      One way to do that is to stop thinking about the waking world, and start exploring the dreamworld instead.
      Keep all your senses active, and try to convince your brain that you actually exist in the dream at that point and that it is just as "real" as the physical world - because from your own subjective perspective, they are equally real.

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      Had my first lucid dream a few nights ago, I can relate to this since in reality, I do suffer from various amounts of anxiety, but right when i hit lucid for the first time ever, I got so nervous and I remember in my mind inside the dream saying that I don't want to be stuck in this state forever so i woke myself up. Very nerve wracking to be honest!

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      Quote Originally Posted by MichiganDreamer View Post
      From what I remember, and keep in mind this is a few years back, it was more anxiety. Not necessarily fear of harm or anything...more like "Oh crap! I'm dreaming! I'd better wake up quick!", with really no reason it seems.

      Since I've started attempting to LD again, I did become lucid the other night and was awake within a second, if even that. I don't remember the anxious feeling from before, but rather, oh look, I'm dreaming, oh look, I'm awake.

      Quote Originally Posted by Blitzy View Post
      Had my first lucid dream a few nights ago, I can relate to this since in reality, I do suffer from various amounts of anxiety, but right when i hit lucid for the first time ever, I got so nervous and I remember in my mind inside the dream saying that I don't want to be stuck in this state forever so i woke myself up. Very nerve wracking to be honest!

      First of all, welcome to DreamViews! I'm sure you'll both find tons of useful material and discussions around here!

      As for the waking up so fast, I think you could do well by taking up mindfulness-meditation. It seems to me that your primary problem is being startled by realising, what is going on (dreaming).

      Mindfulness-meditation (also known as Vipassana) is concentrating on what your senses are telling you, without in any way evaluating these observations. You merely notice whatever there happens to be noticeable at that time. If you start thinking about it, then notice that you were just thinking, and then simply go back to noticing again.

      At first, it is very difficult, and you will probably start thinking before one second has passed. But with practice, it is completely possibly to extend this period to several seconds, and then minutes.

      One of the by-products of this meditation is being able to remain calm, whenever something startling comes up. You get into the habit of simply noticing that which is startling, without it provoking a lot of thinking in response.

      That ought to help you maintain calm, whenever you realise that you are dreaming.

      Try 5 minutes worth of meditation every day! It also has lots of other benefits, and not really any drawbacks (except the 5 minutes spent every day on meditation).
      Last edited by Voldmer; 03-03-2014 at 01:10 PM.
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

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      2 things that often times work great to prolong lucidity:
      -shout loudly and with authority "Increase lucidity!" and the world around you will stabilize and become alive
      -rub your hands together fast. This brings focus and attention to your dream body, which stops the dream from fading

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      Glad I'm not the only one who gets anxious upon realizing I'm dreaming. Like Blitzy, I also suffer from anxiety in waking life.

      Voldmer, thanks for the tip on mindfulness meditation. I'm actually not unfamiliar with it, and should make more of a practice of it.

      Mimihigurashi, think I'll try one or both of those.

      I did become lucid last night/early this morning. I did get the anxiety but remembered to try to stabilize. What I did was grabbed the counter in front of me, braced myself on it, and just focused on what was immediately in front of me.

      The good news is, the anxiety faded. The bad news is, so did the dream and I woke up.

      While waking up was kind of disappointing, it was presumably my method of grounding myself that caused the dream to fade and not the anxiety itself as that was settling. I actually did think to ground myself, and it was working on the anxiety, so while I did wake up, I think it's fair to say I made a bit of progress.

      Mimihigurashi, question about shouting. Would that cause my sleeping body to sleep-talk? Like could someone else in the house here me shouting?

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      Quote Originally Posted by MichiganDreamer View Post
      Mimihigurashi, question about shouting. Would that cause my sleeping body to sleep-talk? Like could someone else in the house here me shouting?
      Nono, it should not. In fact, in the dream, you might find it difficult to differentiate between speaking aloud and thinking. If that happens, it's fine, it doesn't matter, what matters is to realize that it is your world and you must authoritatively command it to behave.

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      Well, that's good to know. I live alone, but wouldn't want to bother folks in other apartments. And when I'm staying with my parents, well, it would be a little embarrassing for my mom to ask what all that shouting was about last night. lol

      I guess, theoretically, one should be in sleep paralysis and thus dream talk shouldn't be audible to the "real world".

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      As far as I know dream talking or shouting can't have any effect on your physical body, because of the sleep paralysis. In cases where you do talk in your sleep, it will probably be in a lighter non-rem sleep state.

      As for the waking up from anxiety, I'm afraid the best way to fix this (at least for me) is to have more lucid dreams. You'll become more and more comfortable, and get a little routine you do every lucid dream. (stabilize, explore, stabilize some more, etc) and you'll know when its time to stabilize in order to not lose the dream.

      And if so, how does one stabilize when they sometimes have less than a second between becoming lucid and waking up?
      If there's literally only a second between becoming lucid and waking up, so be it. Try to do a DEILD and start a new dream from an already lucid state. Some dreams cannot be saved
      Dream goals: Not completed / Tried / Completed
      Summon the Sword of Lucidity / Gravity Shifting(Walking on walls)

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      Okay, I think I'm making progress. I had another "oh crap" LD the other night in which I immediately awoke, but not before attempting to stabilize. This morning I took a little nap (okay, more accurately, I pulled an all nighter and went to bed a bit after 8am lol) where I actually did maintain some lucidity. I think I kind of faded in and out of lucidity but stayed within the dream.

      The other night, I was in my parents' full bathroom. I looked up at the lights. Now, in the fixture above the mirror, there is a row of seven lights. Got that? Seven. So when I see more than seven, it should clue me in that I'm dreaming, but no, usually what happens is I'll figure my dad must have added more lights or something like that. So I've been telling myself that if there's any number other than seven bulbs, I'm dreaming, and if I go in there I'll look at the lights and ask myself if I'm dreaming.

      Okay, so I'm in the bathroom looking at the lights. I do count seven bulbs, but something doesn't seem quite right. I may have suspected I was dreaming, or something, but something told me that even though I was counting the correct number of bulbs, the situation warranted some investigation. Something just wasn't quite right. So I did a light switch RC, turning it off. Well it got darker, but not what you'd expect for all lights going off. Turned it back on. It got light again. Off...darker but still lit. So I looked up and only some of the bulbs were going out when I turned off the switch. Oh, yeah, okay, I'm dreaming!

      So I got the anxiety of realizing I'm dreaming, figured I had to wake up and shook myself (imagine a dog coming in out of the rain or having finished a bath, shaking off excess water). I then realized I needed to stabilize, so I rubbed my hands together and said repeatedly "I'm dreaming". Too late. I woke up.

      Today when I became lucid, I tried the spin-to-stabilize method, which seemed to work. It did cause, as I've read this method can, a couple false awakenings, but I performed RC's each time and realized I was still dreaming and proceeded accordingly. The RC that worked best was the nose pinch and breathe test. The finger pull RC kind of worked, though I had trouble deciding if my finger was getting longer than it would in waking life. Pushing finger through other hand? Well let's just say I'm glad I make a point to do multiple RC's (the finger push is usually my first, with the nose pinch being second), because that finger just wasn't going to go through my hand.

      Wasn't really in control, which is okay because I was just happy to maintain lucidity. Although one time I was...using facilities...I finished the roll of toilet paper. I put the empty roll on my them and said (thought?) "well, I'm dreaming, this roll should disappear if I tell it to"...so I told it to disappear and it faded away.

      So I do think I'm making progress. I don't recall any anxiety during this dream in which I maintained lucidity and regained it when lost.

    11. #11
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      Great thread! You are making fantastic progress in a short amount of time.
      .
      I understand the anxiety for sure. Its just such a strange realization to have, being conscious in ones own mind. I strongly suggest the spin method of dream stabalization. For months I used the nose pinch and verbal commands, and I could hold lucidity fairly well. Recently I switched to the spin, and WOW does it work much better for me. I was in a dream so long the other night that I began to think I was permanently stuck and I had to go to great lengths to wake up... hows THAT for stability?

      The anxiety and nervousness can only be overcome with time and premeditation. Keep telling yourself over and over that you will not panic when it happens. When you do this at length, you will feel much more comfortable when you do become lucid. It goes from "woah im in my dreams!" to "okay, I made it into my dreams... now lets stabilize."

      Good luck!
      `Raven
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      Raven, somehow your mention of the spin method reminded me of something when I spun in yesterday's LD. I think once was after a false awakening. The nose pinch confirmed it was an FA. So to stabilize, I spun. Here I was, lying on the bed, stomach down, spinning like a top. LOL

      It goes from "woah im in my dreams!" to "okay, I made it into my dreams... now lets stabilize."
      I think what happened yesterday was somewhere in between the two. Leaning more towards the "now let's stabilize".

      I'm just remembering after one FA, in my room at my parents' house, I walked out of my room. Immediately to the left, perpendicular, is the full bathroom. My dad was in there doing something, so the lights were on. I poked my head in to count the lights. My dad's head, or something, was blocking part of the row, but when I realized I had counted about five or six bulbs before making it halfway through the row, I knew there were more than seven, so I lucidified (word? LOL)

      I think what's going on here is I'm becoming more aware in my dreams that *something* needs investigation. Which probably explains why, the other night, even when I counted the proper number of lights in the bathroom, I kept investigating, kept looking for something weird, until the light switch RC gave me something weird.

      I'm a little surprised at the rate of progress, as I've kind of been slacking a bit on journaling.

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