Anxiety as an obstacle

I know daytime practices are super helpful as regular reality checks in the day can increase the probability you will do the same in a dream.

Suggestions of reality checking every time you open a door, leave the house etc are great but weirdly these sort of actions don’t seem to happen in my dreams. I think it is because a lot of dreams are playing out slight anxious or more highly energised scenarios. My dreams are often very rushed with lots of people and interaction, not really giving me time to realise I’m in a dream. When I’m in similar situations in waking life I never do reality checks as it would be inappropriate and also I just don’t think of it as I’m a bit anxious and so caught up in not feeling quite right. I set Reality check reminders and alarms but in the rush of social interactions I don’t think I’m paying much attention to them as I should. Does anyone have tips on being more present to reality checks in social settings or any situation that make you anxious?

It’s far easier to be mindful and not get swept away when you are in quiet location but in fast moving social situations I don’t feel as grounded. This may be because I’m socially anxious but I don’t know how to get over this hurdle.

Would love to know if anyone else has a similar problem.

I too am socially anxious and can easily get swept away & lose mindfulness.

The obvious answer is ‘to practice in those situations’ but the very situations are what triggers the loss of mindfulness! :cucumber: (in lieu of a pickle…)

I’d have to search, but there is a mindfulness bracelet that buzzes every 60 or 90 minutes. Since I can’t seem to ‘remember the instructions’ the moment they’re actually needed, much less check in with my body, this seemed useful.

I also know how clever and lazy my mind is. A set timer would just become a game of ignoring. So I got it in my head to make a random buzzer, not on a phone, but a piece of jewelry or something. Using Arduino or Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately for me, I got my first Arduino breadboard (guts and beginner’s kit) about the same time I lost my capacity to program.

I’m on the lookout for an Arduino or Rasberry Pi “Maker”!

With something touching my skin that vibrated to bring my awareness to it - and do it at random intervals - are how I envision this ‘thing’ working. Chances are - it’s going to go off when I’m swirling away in witty conversation, completely mindless. Or when I’m ‘bizzy’ avoiding something bubbling up inside. Etc.

I think random is the key for me. And serious intention.

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Assuming you have an iPhone

Best iOS apps for: “random alarm”

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< insert Android victim story here >


Half the time I don’t know where my phone is.
Maybe I’m just being difficult.
…hmm, probably. I’ll check for an Android equiv! Thx!!

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Another thought as my mind races in bed…

An echo from the last interview came up - read something then read it again. Or look at a ckock, then look at it again. Sanm thing both times?

I’d suggest not looking at one’s phone (I’m on a 1-woman mission to remove phone obsession/embarassment from human interaction!)

A glance at a watch could be misread as impatience.

Perhaps when in a group, find a sign or name tag, a framed piece with words on the wall, and use that to read briefly. Look away, and look back to read again. That could be smoother and less obtrusive than other methods?

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I must be dreaming, look at all those typos!
But, I will leave them and check tomorrow :grin:

In Evan Thompson’s excellent book “Waking, Dreaming, Being” he posits that reality checks in lucid dreaming help us to determine whether we are dreaming or not but that is the opposite of dream yoga where we try to see both the waking state and the dream state as “a dream”.

I have never done reality checks…I never got comfortable with them in the dream. I always felt as if I was forcing things. My success has come more from a slow realization that is along with Evan Thompson’s line of thought.

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Being a person who has a hard time sleeping and dreaming, I appreciate the “training wheels” of reality checks. RCs have helped me get “over the hump” a few times and realize I was dreaming. On the other hand, I’ve had a dream experience where I looked at my hand missing a pinky finger thinking “I can live with that,” instead of attaining lucidity. In his Dream Yoga (Tricycle) course Andrew has a nice explanation for many of the elements of Tibetan deities and cosmogony—being “real” like a child’s teddy bear (Who dares tell a child the TB is not real?), things we can use for transitioning to deeper levels of love and awareness. That said. I haven’t had to use reality checks in my last couple of lucid dreams.