Imagine you’re in the middle of a dream and you become concious of the fact that you’re dreaming. What would you do? Any scenario you can think of, you can now conjure up. You can think of this dream world as a training ground, or an opportunity to explore the deepest recesses of your mind. In my case, I’ve used my lucid dreaming practice to simulate public speaking situations, and interact with my unconcious mind (for example, by calling myself on a dream phone).

The practice of gaining awareness that you’re dreaming is known as lucid dreaming, and in this article we’ll walk through a 4-step process you can employ today to take control of your dreams.

1. Test Reality

The best way to gain control of your dreams is to develop a practice of testing reality through “dream checks”. For example, I have a practice where everytime I enter a new room, I’ll look at a small scar on my right hand. This way, when I’m in a dream and I walk through a door, I’ll instinctually look at my right hand. When I do this in a dream world, I’ll often find something off about my hand (i’ll be missing a finger for example), which will help me realize I’m in a dream.

2. Recognize Your Dream Signs

Another way to recognize you’re dreaming is to take note of any themes or recurring dream signs. For example, you might have a frequent dream about a particular moment in your life which can be the trigger to remember you’re dreaming.

3. Practice Dream Recall

The first thing you should do upon waking is to write down your dreams in a journal as this is when dream recall is the easiest. If you sleep in a blackout room as I do, then it might be worthwhile to invest in a light up pen you can use to write in your journal.

4. Use the MILD Technique

MILD stands for Mnemonic Induction to Lucid Dreaming was developed by Dr Stephen LaBerge to help encourage lucid dreaming. The technique is centered around the use of a mantra, for example “I will know that I am dreaming”, which you keep repeating until you fall asleep. Repeating this mantra encourages your mind to be aware as you begin dreaming.