Chapter 5 discusses the phenomenon known as lucid dreaming: the ability to realize when one is dreaming. Most of us have had lucid dreams in the past, but did you know that lucid dreaming has actually been used as a treatment to overcome psychological disorders? Many people use lucid dreaming in order to help deal with problems such as depression, social anxiety, and other common mental health disorders.
Lucid dreaming is a skill that can be acquired by practicing and training the mind. One such method involves a person constantly asking himself throughout the day, "Is this possible?" For example, a person will see a pedestrian walking across the street, and he will ask himself, "Is this possible?" If he continues to do this, he will begin to do this in his dreams. Thus, when he sees a flying pink elephant and he asks himself, "Is this possible?" He will be able to draw the conclusion that it is not possible. Therefore, he must be dreaming.
Another popular method involves doing very repetitive patterns throughout the day. Lighting does not change in a dream when a light switch is flipped. Therefore a common practice for people who wish to become better lucid dreamers is to flip on and off light switches on a regular basis. When they begin to do this in their dreams, they will notice the lighting does not change, and therefore will know that they are dreaming. Lucid dreaming takes a lot of practice and most beginners often wake up as soon as they discover they are dreaming because they get overly excited. Psychologists recommend keeping a dream journal, which will help the dreamer discover patterns that they can use to become better lucid dreamers.