Lucid dreaming is one of the most amazing things you can do. And why not? It gives you the ability to pretty much experience anything your mind and heart can conjure up, with vivid lucid dreams making it feel as real as it can be. But did you know that lucid dreaming is much more than simply having an out-of-this world time? In fact, lucid dreaming is a powerful tool that can unlock your mind in the best of ways, and one of those ways is increasing your problem solving capabilities.
How does it do this?
Think of your mind like a computer. Run too many programs, and it begins to slow down, as the processor tries to handle everything you’re asking the computer to do. But if you close all other programs and let just one or a few run, the computer runs smoothly and performs better.
The same goes for your mind. When the mind is asleep, it doesn’t need to process a lot of things, like sensory input, or conscious thought. This frees up processing power for other things, such as learning and being creative.
What does this mean? When you lucid dream, you are in full control of what happens in it. You can choose to bring a problematic situation in real life, such as a work task, a school project, a sport play, anything, into the dream, and work on it there.
Because your mind is free to be creative and learn, working on the problem in your dream will give you more “processing power” from your brain and can make it more creative. For example, an architect who cannot figure out how to solve a design flaw in his work can build and rebuild his work multiple times in his dream, using out-of-the-box design elements, and subject it to different scenarios on his whim, to see how to best fix the problem. A basketball player who can’t figure out why his jump shot isn’t working right, can keep on shooting the ball, over and over, without any physical fatigue, in different conditions. The list goes on and on.
Once the problem has been solved, the dream can be recalled (a good way to do this is with a dream journal) and applied to the real world. Amazing stuff!
The process itself improves problem solving capabilities
It’s not just that you can bring your problems into the dream that can help you get better at problem solving. The act itself of lucid dreaming does this as well!
Lucid dreaming trains the mind to have a new level of insight. Having the brain able to detect that it is in a dream, because the things it is experiencing doesn’t make sense, is a level of cognition that can be used in the real world. A mind that can see that there are inconsistencies or connections, thereby being able to reason out that what it is experiencing is a dream and not real, trains it to do the same when it encounters challenges and problems in the real world.
And this is not simple speculation. Studies have been conducted by many groups, like the American Psychological Association, that show the link between lucid dreaming and problem solving: insight. Oftentimes these tests were with groups of people who have not experienced lucid dreaming were tested against those who lucid dream, with tests to test insight, like wordplay, visual tests, and more, and always, those who lucid dream fared better in terms of solving the problems using creative ways.
So if you’ve been encountering difficulties looking for creative ways to solve problems, it might be time to try lucid dreaming! Get started with it by reading our numerous guides for lucid dreaming, and listening to a binaural beats track for creativity, like this one:
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