What problem would you solve if you could do it in a dream?
During sleep our minds can innovate, create, and solve problems. This is the same process only in a different state as a conscious right brain shift or a left brain suspension that our minds do while awake. This is how our mind solves problems during the day.
Research shows that this sleep time mental processing is essential to mental health and contributes to physical health. Here's the good news. The problem solving power during sleep is readily available to those who have total recall.
Why can some remember and others not at all?
What can help you to have total recall?
How can you learn to tap into dreams to problem solve?
Can this process be learned and used while awake?
Perhaps you feel as did my wife who would say she never dreams because she cannot recall them.
Contrast this with those who remember every detail, some of which are elaborate.
One surgeon I worked with actually rehearsed his major surgeries in his sleep each night prior to operating. He did this on purpose. One day he called first thing in the morning asking about an overlooked question in the pre-surgery work up. It was something he realized in his sleep.
Almost anyone can have total recall by doing one thing.
If you want to use dreaming to problem solve, there are six additional steps to take.
For Total Dream Recall Follow These Seven Steps.
1) Get a thermal insulated mug and fill with ice and enough water for a drink. Unless you have a medical contraindication, upon going to bed and once ready for sleep, take a drink of the ice water. Place a lid over the remaining ice to preserve it as best as possible. In the morning upon waking up, take a drink of the ice cold water. You will have an instant and total recall of the dreams from the night before.
You will need to wake naturally. It works best if you gently get up to drink the water. No sudden movements.
2) Keep a journal or diary and write down what you dreamed about. For some, they may fade away as fast as they come back. Make this a routine. Keep a pencil and paper at the bedside. Better yet, keep a tape recorder. Record them as soon as remembered.
3) Discuss them with others. This reinforces the consciousness or awareness of your thoughts during sleep. It also creates a neural pathway to reinforce future recall.
4) Talk to yourself. Before going to sleep, have an internal conversation about your desire for total recall. Talk about your desire to pay careful attention and that you want to recall the dream in the morning. Do this just before dozing off.
5) When you awake naturally, don’t get up or sit up. Review the dream with your eyes still closed. Then slowly reach for your pen and paper and record your memories.
6) Validate the value of having the right brain deliver up the memory. Give an acknowledgement for getting them in vivid color, full recall of the action, and details.
7) Find a partner to discuss dreaming with. The goal is to have two different people to discuss your thoughts with during the day.
These processes create a neural pathway that improves the chance of future recall. There are numerous books on the subject.
Dreaming on Purpose to Problem Solve
First Navigate the negative thoughts of your sleep into positive ones.
In my youth, I used to constantly dream of falling. I would wake up as I landed in my bed. I even felt the bounce. It wasn’t scary to my recollection. However to stop the falling I started grabbing on things such as a kite and eventually I realized it was possible to fly with just my arms. I learned at a young age to make sleep an adventure.
You can do the same. When ready for sleep, have the inner conversation that says if you fall, you will fly. You will choose to go and see places everywhere.
Deal with Monsters and Demons the same way. Resolve that you will ask why they are bothering you. Ask if you can help them. You can even choose not to believe the monsters exist. You will see them but you can decide they cannot see you. Learn that you can take control.
Second Direct and Delegate
In the pre-sleep preparation you will pose the problem to be solved. Don’t make it specific at first. It is important that you have the pencil and paper or recorder at hand. You may find yourself waking in the middle of the night with the epiphany. Don’t lose it.
As your abilities grow, you can get more specific with the problem.
Finally Focus and Funnel
In this last stage you will be able to load the Left brain with the details, analyze the situation, and define the challenge or problem to be resolved. Then have the internal conversation where you identify what you hope to accomplish during your sleep and that you will wake in the morning and your right brain will share it with you.
Once you master these skills move beyond them. It is possible to in waking moments create the same mental solution of problems.
In creating my art, I often rely on this ability to solve creative problems when painting. Called lucid or daydreaming, it is a powerful tool to use in creating. Likewise when creating sculptures, I try to create exclusively in the Right brain. When I start to use the Left brain the process gets bogged down.
You can read more on the psychology of dreaming if you look under the heading lucid or daydreaming.
Whatever dreams may be, may they be productive and happy. Know that you can have control over them and even make them useful in solving your problems.
© 2006 Jonathan Steele, RN. Jonathan Steele is a nurse, artist, freelance public speaker and web host. If you would like to increase understanding of how the mind works and delivering the message so it will be easily received go to http://www.speechmastery.com/mind.html