Reality checks are vital when it comes to differentiating dream and waking reality. They will help you realise that you are dreaming.
Lets explore everything about reality checks including:
A reality check (reality test) is a simple action that will help you differentiate whether you are in waking world or dream world.
A reality check demands your full attention. It requires you to observe your environment.
When you are awake (in waking state), your surrounding, your abilities and yourself are going to be normal. However in dream world, things are very different.
Reality checks train your mind to detect which state you are in (Waking state or Dreaming state). To be successful, you need to perform it multiple times a day. When you do something multiple times, it becomes your habit. We have mostly the same habits in dream world as in the waking world. When performing reality checks becomes your habit, you also do them in the dreams, and instantly you become aware the you are dreaming.
You may suddenly witness something very odd; you may see a car and next moment it is a train; you may be able to push your finger through your palm; your phone may not work properly; or the time keeps changing.
Any sort of strange activity can automatically make you lucid.
You are reading this article. There is a good chance that just by reading this, your mind will start observing some unusual stuffs and you will soon have a lucid dream without any effort. The desire and information is enough when it comes to the stuffs of the mind.
The following reality checks are practical and easy. They will help you test your reality and become lucid.
Ask yourself - Relax yourself. Take a deep breath. Now ask yourself, "Am I Dreaming"? Observe around. Don't rush to answer.
Reading - Try to read a sentence somewhere. Read it again. If you can't read or it changes somehow, it is a sign that your are dreaming.
Breathing - Plug your nose and try to breathe through it. If you can still breathe, it is a sign that you are dreaming.
Hands - Look at your hands - usually, they look distorted in a dream. So by looking at your hands, you can figure out if your are dreaming or not.
Phone - Use your phone. Phones never work properly in dreams. They hang too much, time keeps changing or touch doesn't work.
Finger & Palm - Push your finger through the palm of your other hand. If your finger passes through your palm, you are definitely dreaming.
Tattoo - If you have tattoos, look at them to see if they are there and if they are different.
Wall - Push your hand on the wall and see if it goes through it. You can use something hard like pen or pencil and try to push it through the wall. If you are dreaming it will go through the wall.
Light - Try to find the source of light. Did you find it? Is it looking logically normal? Try to turn it on or off.
Pain & Itching - If your are feeling too comfortable, you are most probably dreaming. In waking state, there is almost always some kind of pain, itching or sweating.
If you love reading books, these Reality Check Bookmarks are very effective.
Following are the few essential elements for a reality check to be impactful.
Step 1: Choose a reality check
Pick and stick with it for at least a week
Step 2: Build a habit
Practice reality checking many times throughout the day - preferably every 1-2 hours. You can setup alarm to remind yourself.
Step 3: Full attention
When you perform your reality checks, you must focus your entire attention on them. Don't rush.
We perceive both waking and dreaming state as normal and recognizable. But they are very different. Always have a state of doubt. By doubting your reality daily, you will increase your awareness both in the waking and the dreaming world.
If you want to experience lucid dreaming, your should start writing your dreams. Write whatever you can remember - visuals, conversation, emotions everything. Mark out those stuffs that are weird. Anything that is different in waking and dreaming state, can be used as reality check. Next time you see the weird stuff you will know that you are dreaming.