One of my most watched YouTube videos is actually a video talking about what NOT to do in Lucid dreams. I’ve made videos talking about what TO do in lucid dreams but this one just took off, in a way I couldn’t have imagined.
The video can be seen here:
I then made another video showing the top 10 things to never do which I would say is better than the first video:
So, this post will be going into more depth on the things you should NOT do in lucid dreams. These aren’t strictly beginner mistakes, as I have another post about that. This is things you should not do IN your lucid dreams, and before/after having them.
- Before reading: I’d suggest you read my tutorial on how to lucid dream quickly, or this post about the basics of lucid dreaming. Also reality checks are important and you’ll need to be writing your dreams down to have the best chances.
What to never do in lucid dreams
These things aren’t in any special order. These are just some things you might want to watch out for. I’m not saying you should NEVER do these things in your whole life, but if I were you, I’d avoid these things.
After we’ve spoken about the things to not do in lucid dreams, I’ll mention some things you CAN or SHOULD do, and what you can do instead of these things. Trust me, it will make sense later on. So here are the things you should never do in lucid dreams:
1: Flying (too soon)
Flying in a lucid dream is actually quite difficult, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll fall. Falling from a flying dream is really annoying, scary, and it can put you off.
Don’t fly too quickly, because the chances are if you’re just starting out, you’ll fall and that will put you off! Start slow by focusing on small tasks or by looking for specific things like an object or a person. When you’ve mastered control over your dream and dreaming body, then try flying.
I wrote a fairly good guide to flying in lucid dreams, so when you’re ready, read that. It’s actually quite surprising how many people don’t know HOW to fly in a dream properly.
They assume you have to use physical effort like flapping your arms for example. That’s not the case and you’ll actually hold yourself back by doing that.
2: Thinking negative thoughts
Negative thoughts (and any thoughts really) in a lucid dream will be amplified. This means whatever you’re thinking will be made bigger and more intense.
This means that if you’re thinking something negative, or if you’re stressing about something, you’ll dream about it and it won’t be fun. It’ll be stressful, scary, vivid and annoying.
Try and get into a really positive, happy state of mind before attempting to lucid dream. You can do this by meditating, relaxing or just listening to some binaural beats or relaxation audio.
3: Spinning too fast
Spinning round on the spot is actually a common stabilisation technique, so why am I suggesting never to spin around?
Well, if you spin too fast, you’ll actually destabilise the dream and wake up. Not only that, but by RELYING on spinning round to control and stabilise the dream, you never progress mentally.
You’ll always link spinning round to stabilising the dream, and when it doesn’t work, you lose your grip of control over the dream.
Instead of that, try other stabilisation methods and techniques. For me the best way of getting really stable dreams that seem to last a long time, is just to meditate more in waking life. This gives you greater control, and you’re more easily able to remember them as well!
4: Looking at a mirror
Mirrors can be scary, and looking into a mirror in a dream can show you some UGLY stuff. Don’t look into a dream mirror unless you really want a surprise from your brain.
I actually wrote about the mirror experiment if you want to read more about it or learn what happens, but I wouldn’t suggest doing it yourself. That being said, there are some people who like to use lucid dreams to try out scary experiences and sort of have their own ‘horror game’, so try it if you want!
5: Lucid dreaming ALL THE TIME
By doing ANYTHING all the time, you lose the interest you once had in it.
The fastest way to lose your love of lucid dreaming is to do it all the time. Try and limit yourself to only lucid dreaming once a week at MOST. For most of us, this is all we’ll be able to do anyway, but if you’re able to do more, you don’t HAVE to.
I’d suggest trying to have one or two lucid dreams every couple of weeks. If you have them every single night and you become obsessed with them, you lose your interest in waking life and it starts to become an actual addiction!
6: Too vivid fantasies
Fantasies are great, but when you start overdoing it, it becomes an issue. By constantly fantasising about someone you know in a sexual way for example, you start to damage your social standing.
You’ll start acting differently in really subtle ways that will make you come across strange and weird to others. I’ve read personal stories from people who’ve damaged friendships this way and had to stop lucid dreaming.
Try and limit your fantasies of the sexual nature to people you don’t actually know, or to celebrities you’ll probably never meet. That makes it less likely that you’ll confuse your memories.
7: Tempting fate with something negative
It can be tempting, once you’ve learned how to lucid dream, to test the scary side of it. If you’re a horror fan, you might be tempted to see how much pain you can take in a lucid dream.
You might be tempted to start fights with people, animals and robots in dreams, just to see what happens . And after a while you might even be tempted to see if you can stand horrible things like torture in a dream.
Don’t do it. Your brain is a powerful thing and it will only take one REALLY bad lucid nightmare to put you off dreaming (and probably sleeping) for a long time.
8: Violence or aggression
It’s really unhealthy to consciously try and be violent in lucid dreams, and I’d suggest avoiding it entirely. Being aggressive and violent in a dream or in waking life changes the SAME neural circuits in your brain.
It’s really bad for you and it will increase risk of getting depressed, violent, or otherwise unhealthy in waking life. Remember, for your brain what you do in a dream and in waking life are the same. It can’t tell the difference.
You can use this to your ADVANTAGE however, by practicing skills in dreams because you’ll ACTUALLY improve at the skills you practice in lucid dreams! In fact, they used to use lucid dreaming as a training program in the military, but they couldn’t find a reliable way of inducing lucid dreams so they looked for other solutions.
9: Thinking about your physical body
The more you think about your ACTUAL body while dreaming, the more likely you are to either wake up, or wet yourself.
For some reason we’re more likely to wet the bed if we’re lucid dreaming and we start thinking about our waking life body lying on the bed. This is more common if you’re younger, but even for adults, it’s not worth the risk.
If you find yourself thinking about your waking body, it’s time to wake yourself up. You can do that easily by just closing your eyes and holding them closed.
10: Having sex (surprised?)
Sex in a lucid dream actually does really feel good. But that doesn’t mean you should do it. If you DO have sex in a lucid dream, try not to make it a habit.
You’ll just drive yourself crazy because you’re never able to climax in the dream, AND you’ll make your lucid dreams last shorter periods of time.
What’s worse, by having lots of sex in lucid dreams, you start to SEEK it out every time you become lucid. And because sex causes your lucid dreams to be MUCH shorter, eventually you wake yourself up just by thinking about sex in a dream!
Don’t go down that road, just leave sex for waking life! It’s better that way.
11: Mixing memories
One of the most annoying and potentially dangerous things you can do with lucid dreaming, is to confuse your memories. By dreaming about something that you regularly do in waking life, you create false memories.
These might not be an issue for most of us, but they can be. Let’s say for example, you lucid dream about having an argument with your girlfriend at that cafe you always go to together.
If nothing strange happens, and you don’t write it down, in a couple of months you’ll still have the memory of the argument but you don’t know whether it really happened or not! Because you dreamt about the cafe you always go to together, you have no idea if it actually happened.
This leads to confusion, arguments and just an awkward situation. It also makes you seem like you’re insane because you don’t know what’s real or not! The best way of avoiding this type of thing is just to ONLY lucid dream about things you wouldn’t normally experience.
Certainly don’t dream about places you often go with people you’re close with. They actually reference this in Inception when Cobb says ‘never create dreams from places you’ve been, always build new dreams’.
12: Doing NOTHING
By doing nothing in lucid dreams, you sort of waste the chance. Lots of people just become lucid and then walk around doing nothing. Not only is this a waste of time, but you lose the sense of magical adventure that lucid dreaming should bring you.
Try and always have some sort of goal when entering a lucid dream. I like to think about my lucid goals at the start of each week and write them on a whiteboard near my bed. This way I keep track of what it is I actually want to do in my lucid dreams.
You can start small as well, just think of one or two things you really want to try in a lucid dream, and then work towards those. But you have to have SOME idea of what you want to do before entering the lucid dream otherwise you’ll end up just doing nothing.
13: Not writing your dreams down
By not writing your dreams down, you miss out on a lot. Not only do you NOT get to read them back later if you want to see your dream signs, but you also actually become lucid less over the long term!
I’ve found that just by writing my dreams down, I automatically have more lucid dreams. In fact, if you do nothing else, just by writing your dreams down, you’ll have more lucid dreams within about a week.
14: Closing your eyes
If you close your eyes in a lucid dream, you’ll wake up. So actually you can use this to your advantage. If you ever want to stop lucid dreaming or wake up, just close your eyes. Keeping your eyes closed almost instantly wakes you up.
That being said, sometimes it can take a while and if you close your eyes only for a moment, and then open them again, you actually can end up strengthening the lucid dream instead of waking yourself up.
15: Trying too hard
The last thing you should never do with lucid dreaming is trying too hard. By trying too hard you end up holding yourself back and making it harder to achieve.
You should be approaching lucid dreaming with a keen sense or curiosity and wonder. By stressing and forcing yourself to lucid dream FAST, you end up making it more difficult.
In summary, there are several things you should never do in lucid dreams, but the truth is it’s up to you. There are just guidelines really, and you can always choose to override these and just do these things.
Only a couple of them are actually worth being careful of, and the rest of these things are just warnings instead of actual DANGERS. If you want to progress and lucid dream to the best of your ability, I’d suggest doing the following:
- Learn to remember more of your dreams and really spend more time writing them down: This will let you see into your brain and understand your dreams more
- Read our list of lucid dreaming ideas and inspiration: This huge list of things will give you ideas for things you might want to try in lucid dreams!
- Read our list of lucid dreaming dangers and make sure to avoid the main ones