At ShaMynds™, we are dedicated to finding ways to help you heal through ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and many other modalities such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and environmental/genetic resources.
When it comes to sleep, it’s important to know that dreams can help you tap deeper into the oceans of inner wisdom. The inner wisdom that you acquire as part of your ketamine-supported journeys. One way to do this is through dream therapy. But before we get into that, let’s tell you a bit about a phenomenon called Lucid Dreaming.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
According to WebMD, Lucid Dreams are dreams when you are asleep, dreaming, and aware that you are dreaming. You are literally watching the events of your dream and know that what you are witnessing is not really happening. Sometimes, you are even able to direct the actions, kind of like in a movie. Such lucid dreams don’t happen too often. When they do, it’s usually during REM sleep. Scientists have found that people who have more of these types of experiences have a larger prefrontal cortex of their brains; this part of your brain is often involved in making decisions and recalling memories. People with larger prefrontal cortexes are often known to be more self-reflective.
Lucid Dreaming and Benefits on Mental and Overall Health
Lucid dreaming has been correlated with the following benefits when it comes to mental health:
- Decrease in anxiety – The fact that you feel more in control of the dream and can sometimes direct the experience often leaves you with decreased anxiety. People with recurring nightmares often benefit from lucid dreaming and dream therapy.
- Better motor skills – people who have regular lucid dreams can often perform better on small fine motor skills and gait is often better
- Improved ability to solve problems – it is believed that having a larger prefrontal cortex often is correlated with a capacity to resolve conflict better as well as solve complex problems more quickly.
- Improved creativity – people who experience more lucid dreaming often are more creative with ideas and insights
How Can You Maximize the Benefits Of Dreaming for Your Overall Mental and Physical Well-Being?
By connecting mindfully with our night-time dreams, we can open the door to our unconscious. Dreams are mirrors – reflecting our preoccupations, fantasies, fears, regrets, and desires. Dreams show us the state of our souls. When we communicate with our dreams, we begin to see our lives with greater clarity – and we start to understand how we can act to change our lives for the better. When we gain insight into the painful emotions or unpleasant images we experience in our dreams, we begin to see what we need to change in our lives.
Internationally known Austrian sleep disorder specialist Ernest Hartmann suggests in his book The New Theory on the Origin and Meaning of Dreams that dreaming is critical for good mental and emotional health (and optimal neurophysiological functioning). Dream therapy is also a way to understand the incredible inner resource and not waste this opportunity to heal ourselves from within.
What is Dream Therapy?
Dream Therapy is a transformative blend of mindful sleeping, lucid dreaming, and waking dreamwork. Dream Therapy takes lucidity a step further because we not only engage lucidly with our dreams while we sleep – we also learn the art of lucid dreaming while awake. When we bring lucidity to all aspects of sleeping and dreaming, we lay the groundwork for a happier, healthier life.
Neurobiology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience demonstrate just how important dreaming is for our mental health and well-being. In the 1980s, biophysics and physiology researcher Dr. Candace Pert pinpointed a complex biochemical communication network between mind and body. See Dr. Pert’s book called Molecules of Emotion. If you are also interested in how you can do your own dream therapy, you can pick up a copy of Dr. Clare Johnson’s book Dream Therapy: Dream your way to health and happiness.
Come chat with us at ShaMynds™ Healing Center about your discoveries during your dream awakening experiences and how these might synergize with your ketamine journeys.
Written by Dr Tasnim Khan, MD