Trying to Control Your Dreams Is Like Trying To Be Stagnant

Think you’ve been having too many dreams? Would you like to completely shut them down?

Are you such a control freak that you are even trying to control what dreams you have?

Do you think it would be fun to have dreams about a certain person or a certain place?

Whatever your wish, when it comes to dreams you can do it.

But I’m here to tell you not to. 

At best, trying to control your dreams isn’t worth it; at worst, it’s harmful because it limits self-development.

When you control your dreams, you’re repressing your instinctive dreaming cycle and foregoing an opportunity to grow in mastery of your own life.

The value of your natural dreams

Tapping into the ongoing conversation between your conscious mind and subconscious will be more productive and worthwhile than superimposing a preconceived narrative on it, whatever it is.

This natural “conversation” can result in new ideas and in noticing what you didn’t realize was happening all around you when you were awake. 

By becoming an active dream journaler, you’ll become aware of the greater trends that are going on in your life.

You’ll put your past in perspective. 

By journaling and working to understand your dreams, you’ll gradually be understanding yourself and the others in your life more.

When you dream, there’s always a reason why you dreamt what you did, even if it’s to rehash your day.

The key is to record whatever your dream was in your dream journal and then try to understand the symbols your subconscious chose to express itself. 

If you exert control over your dreams, you’ll miss out on their power. By controlling them, you’re putting a gag on your subconscious mind, which is, after all, a part of you.

Some people are genuinely scared of their subconscious, and that’s why they’re fascinated with the idea of controlling their dreams.

Don’t be like them. Rather than trying to control your dreams, make your mind up to be loving toward yourself. Be accepting of your imperfections and be patient with yourself. The communication between your subconscious and conscious minds can be one of the most fulfilling parts of your life.

Trying to control your dreams is like trying to stagnate, like trying to be ignorant of yourself.  

Dream incubation is okay

This is not a broadside against dream incubation, a technique where you might write a question or describe a problem you’re having at the top of one of the pages of your dream journal. By framing the problem or question on the page and thinking about the problem or question as you drift off, one often can have a dream where pieces of the question or problem come together, and one will emerge with a greater understanding. 

That’s not what we’re talking about here.

That’s like being at a party and asking the disc jockey to play a “romantic song” because you want to slow dance.

That’s not bad; that’s a suggestion. You’re not trying to take over his turntable.

He’s the music expert! You’re giving feedback. 

When you lucid dream, you’re kicking the disc jockey out of the booth and playing your own trite and hackneyed music. Everyone—you included—would be better off if you just left him to the mix he has in mind.

You might not want to hear some of the songs, but you’ll be better off listening to them if you do.

Get better at understanding the dreams you naturally have:

PACTREPS can help you uncover the dream details you’ve been missing

What’s the spiritual meaning to dreams?

This is the best way to record your dreams.


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. He aims to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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