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How to Scare Your Nightmares

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“When I was in rehab I was cursed with using dreams. I went to one of my conselours and told her how it effect me; I felt helpless, I felt guilty and worst of all, I felt scared. She began to explain to me the working of lucid dreaming.

“Lucidity means ‘moment of clarity.’ When paired with ‘dream,’ it defines how one is aware that they are sleeping thereby realizing that they are not experiencing physical reality. This alters the dynamics of dreaming by enhancing the perception of control. Once they are conscious within this state they will be able to change outcomes, people, places, things and heighten senses.

“With practice, I have been able to dream lucidly. I can get out of nightmares by flying away or manifesting someone to help. I can even request to be on a beach in Goa or see an old friend before I fall asleep and immediately have that desire fulfilled. Grant it, sometimes I am not so lucky, I may get there or see them and things go array but the beauty of knowing that it isn’t real allows me to at least attempt a quick fix. I do warn you that the excitement of the awareness may cause you to wake up— sometimes within the dream itself. Thats when things get confusing.

“I am also guilty of requesting types of using dreams in hopes that I will remember whats its like. The first attempt at this scared me so much because it all seemed too real. Where I experienced this high was in my own home, it all was so vivid that I literally could not tell that I was dreaming. That dream frightened me so much that before I go to bed I pray that I do not feel that ever again.” – I hope you find this useful. Please give it a try, you will be amazed at what you can do! Love, Robyn

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Benefits of Lucid Dreaming to People in Recovery from Addiction

Those individuals who manage to break away from addiction face many challenges in recovery. If they fail to overcome these obstacles it will prevent them from finding real happiness; it will also increase their risk of relapse. Any technique that can help strengthen their sobriety is always going to be welcome. Lucid dreaming may be able to do this in a number of ways including:

  • It gives them a safe environment where they can face their inner demons. If people become lucid in the middle of a nightmare they can make a decision to confront their fear. Those dreamers who do this usually report that their nightmare turns into a far more pleasant experience afterwards. When they wake up they will tend to feel like some inner conflict had been resolved. Such a cathartic effect is highly beneficial to people in recovery.
  • People in the first few years of recovery can feel uncertain about the future; they may have no real idea about what to do with their life. Lucid dreaming allows them to come in contact with their unconscious desires and hidden aspirations. The individual can use this information to chart a new course in life.
  • It makes it possible for the individual to use their sleep time productively. They can practice using their new coping strategies or other recovery skills.

Lucid Dream Dangers for Addicts

Lucid dreaming can be highly beneficial but there are potential dangers such as:

  • Some people may be tempted to indulge in fantasies of using drugs or alcohol again. This is dangerous because it will weaken their resolve to stay sober. Relapse in a dream can lead to relapse in reality.
  • It will be harmful if the individual becomes too obsessed with their dreams. They may use it as a means to escape reality; much in the same way that they once used substance abuse.

There is some concern that dealing with the unconscious mind can be potentially dangerous. The worry is that the individual will come across something that they are not yet ready to face. This concern tends to be overstated as most people only report positive outcomes from such contact with the unconscious mind in the lucid dream.

How to Dream Lucidly

Some people will achieve lucidity in dreams without ever making any special effort; they may not have even realized that it was possible to achieve lucidity beforehand. If the individual is trying to induce lucidity it can be difficult; at least in the beginning. Here are some of the techniques that have been show to be beneficial for promoting lucid dreams:

  • One of the most popular techniques for inducing lucid dreams are reality checks. This method requires that people regularly check to see if they are dreaming throughout the day. There are many differences between the real world and the dreaming world, and the purpose of reality checks is to notice these differences. If the individual becomes accustomed to doing reality checks in the waking world they will automatically begin to do them when they are dreaming too.
  • Wake-Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD) is a far more involved technique. The goal of this method is for the body to fall asleep without the mind losing awareness. One way of achieving this involves setting an alarm so that the individual wakes up 6 hours after falling asleep. They then get up for about an hour. When the individual goes back to bed they will put all their focus on staying aware as they fall back asleep. This method is also known as the wake back to bedtechnique.
  • Mnemonic induced lucid dreaming (MILD) also involves interrupting sleep. The aim here is to wake up during a dream; the person sets their alarm so that it goes off during the middle of REM sleep. Once they are woken up by the alarm the individual will try to recall their dream in as much detail as possible. They will then imagine themselves becoming lucid in this dream. As they fall back to sleep the person will focus their mind on achieving lucidity.
  • There are a number of devices that are believed to help people become lucid in dreams. One gadget involves wearing a special type of cover over the eyes. This monitors for rapid eye movement, and when these occur the device directs flashing lights towards the eyelid. These lights can notify the dreamer that they are asleep. Binaural beats are also believed to help some people achieve lucidity in their dreams.

How to Change Your Playground

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“Everyone in the recovery rooms suggest that you don’t make any major life decisions/changes within the first year of recovery however, they do tell you to also change your playground. That means; people, places and things. These guidelines are made for a good reason but I found in order to do one thing, I had to discount the other. I moved to Florida for a fresh start. I changed everything. Here, I know only family members that support my recovery and other than that, this place is like a foreign land. I have found that, despite the major change, changing my playground has been the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. It keeps me on track; no distractions, no temptations. Here are some tips of how you can make the change without going miles away!” -Love, Robyn

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One of the most crucial components of a successful addiction recovery is changing your lifestyle. This most often includes distancing yourself from old drinking friends and haunts, such as a favorite bar. Addiction recovery usually entails making new friends. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s something we all do throughout our lives. Healthy friends are important to our emotional and physical well-being, and they can impact someone’s recovery by decreasing the risk of relapse.

Here are some tips from PsychCentral.com on how to find new friends while in addiction recovery:

  1. Making friends is not just for the young. Most friendships don’t span a lifetime, so many people are continually looking to replenish their group of friends. Remember that looking for friends at any age is normal.
  2. Pursue your passions to find friends who share similar interests. If you’re just starting to realize your passions during your new life in recovery, pick a hobby or try out a few. Look for local and online communities that are involved in the same activities.
  3. Put yourself in situations where you see the same people routinely. For example, the gym, a class, club, political group or volunteer organization. It’s often casual acquaintances that set the ground for new friendships. Start conversations and follow-up with people. Show you’re interested in others’ lives.
  4. Don’t shy away from online communities or websites, such as www.girlfriencircles.com orwww.meetup.com. Athletics, book clubs, films, gardening, or pets. Find people who are interested in the same things you are and there is potential for developing a new friendship. Enjoy friendships online and/or offline. Join neighborhood or apartment building listservs to try and meet those around you.
  5. Be prepared that not every person you try to befriend will turn into a friendship. This is a healthy and expected part of life.

Be patient. Friendships don’t just happen over night. Give it time and don’t give up if at first it feels awkward or intimidating. There are many rewards to growing new friendships while building your new life in addiction recovery.

Words can only Describe!

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“Sometimes we need a reminder of why were sober. Sometimes we need a reminder of why we shouldn’t use. Sometimes we need a reminder of all the things we can accomplish in sobriety. Sometimes we need a reminder of all the fun things we can do sober. But what can remind us? How about making a word cloud!?”

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Please share your wordles on Hippy Healings Facebook page to inspire others! Here is one I found about sober fun that might inspire you along with a blog from Amplifi where the author interviewed several grateful recovering addicts what they liked to do for fun!

 

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Sober Fun: How do You Enjoy a Life of Sobriety?

Some people mistakenly think that they can’t have fun without drugs or alcohol, or that living sober must be miserable and boring.  The truth is that there is no shortage of ways to enjoy life while being alcohol-free and drug-free.  We recently asked some of our amplif(i) Peer Educators what they do to have fun sober.  Here are their answers.

 

Chad:  “I have more fun now in sobriety than I ever did when I was using drugs and alcohol.  I have always enjoyed playing basketball, but since I stopped using drugs and alcohol, I have become a much better athlete.  I’m able to dunk a basketball now, which is a lot of fun.  I’m surrounded by the greatest sober friends who love me for the person I am, and we have a lot of fun together.  I also DJ sober parties, which is a total blast.”

Jason: “I work out and play competitive sports with friends.  I surround myself with the positivity of art, expression, live shows, and people who care about me.  I also go hiking and camping, and spend time giving back to the community.”

Brittany: “I have fun by making people laugh, whether it’s through jokes or silly pranks.  I love spending time with my little cousins, going to see kid movies or just sitting on the couch watching cartoons.  I enjoy baking even though I’m not very good at it.  But getting to eat as I go is the best part.  I also like watching videos on YouTube and playing video games.  I’m not very good at video games, but I like to pretend I know what I’m doing.”

Ramzi: “For fun, my friends and I like to do a lot of things. We like to play basketball, or play music. Since a lot of my friends and I love movies, we like to watch movies, or even make our own movies when we have enough time.  We also do volunteer service in the community.  But ultimately, if my friends and I get together, we’re going to have fun.”

Meredith: “My idea of fun continues to change as I try different things and have new life experiences. I usually have the most fun with other people, doing things like playing volleyball, listening to live music, going on bike rides, playing board games, going to improv shows or the movies, bonfires, swimming, and taking day trips out of town.  I am able to have fun when I am alone too, doing things such as yoga, baking, and do-it-yourself crafts. Ultimately though, fun is about your attitude. I could probably have fun doing anything if I was with the right people and had a positive mindset or attitude.”

Aiden: “When I got sober, I was drawn into the art community here in Phoenix. With gallery openings and live local music almost every night of the week, there’s never a dull moment. Being a recovering drug addict, I frequently crave excitement, and there is definitely no shortage of it in this environment.  Being an artist and musician myself, when I crave quiet I am able to work on my own creations in healthy and fulfilling solitude.  I was blind to these joys prior to getting sober. What I found in these avenues was much more than a sufficient social substitute for drugs and alcohol.”

Andrea: “I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. We love to just be silly and laugh a lot. We play board games, have movie marathons, and go out to dinner. I also like to spend time by myself. I love to just relax and watch some of my favorite TV shows, read, play piano, and bake.”

Shana: “How can you have fun sober?  Make giant art projects, write poetry without rhyming, go on a bike ride to somewhere you’ve never driven your car, find the tallest elevator downtown and ride it, look at the stars with your friends and see who can scream out the names of the constellations the loudest.  That all might sound pretty random, but that’s how I come up with fun.”

As you can see, there are many things you can do to have fun and enjoy life without drugs or alcohol.  The answers above show a wide variety of ways that people have a good time sober, and yet this is only a tiny sample of the countless choices that you have.  The only limit is your imagination.

 

How do you have fun?