What not to do in a lucid dream: the complete guide for 2024

Don't look into mirrors. Don't spin around. Don't use real-life memories. These are just a few of the things you don't want to do in a lucid dream.

If you want to learn more about lucid dreaming, make sure you check the following articles:

And now, let's dive into the don'ts of lucid dreaming!

What not do do in a lucid dream: the List

The following is the ultimate list of what not to do in a lucid dream, according to expert lucid dreamers.

1. Don't do nothing

Doing nothing has no negative effect on you or your lucid dream. It's just a wasted opportunity given you can do pretty much anything you want while lucid dreaming.

2. Don't just walk around, aimlessly

Another wasted opportunity is walking around aimlessly. I am not suggesting that you should do something unique or very special each time you lucid dream.

I am saying that you should use the state of consciousness of lucid dreaming by exploring the dream with purpose and curiosity.

3. Don't think about your physical body

If you think about your physical body in a lucid dream, it's likely you will wake up. This is because you will lose your focus on your surroundings in the dream and remind yourself that you are dreaming.

According to some lucid dreamers, thinking about your physical body increases the chances of you wetting the bed.

4. Don't use real-life memories

If you use real-life memories in your lucid dream, you will find yourself at risk of mixing up things that happened in the dream with reality!

For  this reason, it's not recommended that you dream of real people, places or activities.

For the same reason, it's recommended that you keep a journal so that you know for sure whether something happened in your lucid dream or reality.

5. Don't look in mirrors

If you look into a mirror in a lucid dream, you will not see your actual reflection but a distorted version of yourself.

In the mirror you will see a projection of how you feel about yourself. This can be good, if you feel good about who you are. It can also be very scary or frightening, if you are going through depression or low self-esteem.

Remember, if you get too scared in a lucid dream you will wake up.

6. Don't play with negative or scary thoughts

If you use lucid dreaming for negative or even scary thoughts or experiences, you might end up turning your dream into a nightmare.

This will leave you and your brain with a bad feeling, with the risk of putting off lucid dreaming.

7. Don't doubt yourself

Similarly to what I wrote about thinking about your physical body, if you start doubting yourself you will most likely lose focus on the lucid dream experience. This could result in you waking up from the dream.

8. Don't do exciting things too soon

One of the most common pitfalls in lucid dreaming is losing control of the dream environment.

While it's natural to feel excitement and awe when realizing you're dreaming, becoming overly excited can destabilize the dream and lead to premature awakening.

Practice maintaining a calm and focused mindset to exert control over your dream experiences.

If you get too excited in a lucid dream, you will wake up. This is a common mistake for beginners, who want to experience very exciting things.

If you don't have the lucidity and awareness of managing your excitement, your lucid dream will be very short and you will waste an opportunity.

9. Don't fly too soon

If you get too excited while flying, you will wake up. If you don't know what you are doing, you will likely fall and have a rather unpleasant lucid dream experience.

For this reason, flying is not recommended for beginner lucid dreamers.

10. Don't kill people

If you kill somebody in a lucid dream, you will keep the feeling of having killed someone with you in your real life.

The main reason why it's not recommended to kill somebody in your dream is because each character is an extension of yourself. By killing somebody, you will actually kill a part of yourself.

11. Don't get violent or aggressive

Similarly to what I wrote about not killing people in a lucid dream, it's not recommended to be violent or aggressive.

Remember that the brain is not very good at telling the difference between what you do in a lucid dream and what you do in real life.

This means that the same neural circuits are activated in your brain for something you do in either dream or real life.

12. Don't close your eyes

If you close your eyes in a lucid dream for too long, you will wake up. This could be helpful if you are having a nightmare or simply want to wake up. If you briefly close your eyes, chances are you won't wake up and might end up strengthening your lucid dream.

13. Don't spin around too fast

If you spin around too fast or too often, you will end up waking up from your dream.

Spinning around is one of the so-called stabilization techniques. However, relying too much on spinning around for stabilization can have the effect of blocking your mental progress in the lucid dream.

14. Don't ask whether it's a dream or not too often

It's ok to ask whether you are in a dream or not from time to time. Having said that, if you question your lucid dream too often you will most likely wake up.

15. Don't think of something too scary

Lucid dreaming can be a good way of challenging your fears, such as being afraid of heights.

Just remember that your dreams are the product of your subconscious, which is where your darkest fears reside.

Before deciding to go for something scary, be sure you know what you are doing as this could be a double-edged sword!

16. Don't lay down

Laying down could make you more aware of your physical body, which is another thing not to do in a lucid dream.

If you lay down for too long or too often, it's very possible that you will eventually wake up.

17. Don't leave things for later

Inside a lucid dream, everything is quickly shifting and changing. Your memory is also not as good as in reality.

If you want to do something, like taking a specific action or talking to a person, do it right away.

Postponing something for later could easily mean losing that moment forever! 

18. Don't neglect reality checks

Reality checks are a crucial aspect of lucid dreaming practice, helping you distinguish between dreams and waking life.

Neglecting to perform reality checks regularly can lead to confusion and diminished lucidity in dreams.

Make it a habit to question your reality throughout the day and perform reality checks whenever you suspect you may be dreaming.

19. Don't ignore dream characters

Dream characters play a significant role in lucid dreaming, serving as mirrors of your subconscious mind and providing valuable insights.

Ignoring or mistreating dream characters can hinder your growth and exploration in the dream world. Instead, engage with dream characters respectfully and remain open to the messages they convey.

20. Don't overindulge in lucid dreaming

While lucid dreaming can be a transformative practice, it's essential to maintain balance in your waking life.

Overindulging in lucid dreaming at the expense of real-world responsibilities or relationships can lead to neglect and disconnection.

Prioritize self-care, maintain a healthy sleep schedule, and integrate your lucid dreaming practice into a well-rounded lifestyle.

What not to do in a lucid dream: Conclusion

There are many things that you don't want to do in a lucid dream.

Some of these you should definitely avoid, like killing people or being aggressive or violent.

Others you just don't want to do it too often or for too long, like spinning around or asking whether you are in a dream or not.

Other actions are not recommended for absolute beginners, like flying or looking into mirrors.

Whatever you decide doing or not doing, make sure your lucid dream stays an enjoyable and curious experience rather than a scary or disturbing one.

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What not do do in a lucid dream: References

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