Usually pain is dulled for me, but it can definitely exist. A bunch of TV shows use the whole “pinch yourself so you know you’re not dreaming” urban legend, but pinching will work. In fact, sometimes I’ll extend my LDs by slapping or biting myself. Feeling around with your dream body is really important to keep from waking up.
If I’m not mistaken there was a research where they proven that to the brain there is no difference whether you actually see something with physical eyes or if you think about that same thing/person you actually saw with your eyes and coming to that conclusion they think the same goes for dreams too. So to the brain whatever we dream is real therefore it is real to us. Only the perception of the realness of what we experienced varies from person to person.
Slightly copypasted, since I’ve talked about this subject a lot.
As someone who has always felt pain in dreams, it’s weird to run into someone who doubts whether it actually happens. I feel pain in some form or another in almost every dream I have. Sometimes it’s the kind of little stuff we all know and ignore in our day-to-day lives, like leaning against a wall and accidentally putting all your weight on one tiny bit of bone under the skin. Usually it’s more to do with the fact that my dreams all tend to be active and conflict-driven. There’s almost always a story, there’s almost always a goal, and there’s almost always something or someone in the way. I’ve had more swordfights, shootouts, brawls and chase scenes than summer movie season at the theater, and rarely do I come out of one without at least a few scratches.
Thankfully not all of my dreams are that action-packed, and none of them are nonstop thrill rides. Still, it’s sometimes hard being lucid in dreams where I know there are actually things that can hurt me. For a long time the fear of pain was a major roadblock, keeping me from experimenting with ‘dangerous’ things like flying. It was waking life experience that helped me get over that. Doing things despite fear of pain is a lot easier in dreams, since pain is literally the only thing there is to fear. There’s a lot more to be afraid of in waking life. And after dealing with that kind of real fear long enough my dreams started feeling a lot less scary.
It seems to be different for different people, like most things on the subject of dreaming. Some can feel pain in dreams to varying degrees, others can actually pinch themselves as a reality check.
ALSOsinceborn, nice to hear that you’ve gotten over the fear. How are your lucid dreams now? Have you tested if you feel pain in them or if can you use dream control to make it go away?
I’m one of those dreamers that doesn’t feel pain almost at all in dreams. When I feel it, it’s “muffled”. When an attack helicopter shot me with a machine gun as I was sliding down a mountain, it felt like someone was throwing small rocks at me. When an alien cook stabbed me in his kitchen, I only felt the motion of the blade going in my flesh several times and then the warm blood running down my skin. When half of my body got destroyed and my bones crushed, I felt nothing physically other than blood filling my lungs, airways and mouth. I tried talking, but my mouth was too full of blood. I was in shock and felt fear, though. I feared dying like I do in the dreams I’m drowning in. Still not pleasant experiences, but it could be a whole lot worse if I felt realistic pain in them.
It’s been years since I worked through that, but pain being there has never really changed. Luckily I’ve always been pretty good at manipulating my own body (though anything else takes loads of practice), so as long as I’m not panicking there are plenty of fun little workarounds.
I know a couple of people who describe that muffled feeling, yeah. Always seemed interesting. If that started happening to me I’d be getting lucid almost every night! ALSO I definitely know the warm blood feeling. That’s way more unsettling than any pain if you ask me, just such a potent sensation. Maybe it’s just because I managed to get used to it, but pain in dreams has lost a lot of its…mystique? I mean it’s still no fun while it’s happening, especially when I’m not lucid, but I’ve definitely kicked the fear of going back to sleep. Knowing that it was just pain sensations and not an actual injury is kind of calming. It makes me feel like “Yes, I’m okay with doing that again. I’m safe.”
Anyway thanks for sharing some of your experience. Always thought it was really cool to hear how this one thing can be so different for people.
Where do you get this “fact”? One of my most vivid normal dreams involved me getting a seriously painful brain-implant in the back of my head. That was years ago and I still remember.
I can feel pain in my lucid dreams just as badly as in real life, so now Im wary of doing some things in lucids.
I had a lucid in which I was trying to fly. I convinced myself I could fly (that’s all one needs to do I believed… yeah right!) and threw myself into the air thinking I’d fly but to my shock, I crashed down onto concrete. It felt like I actually broke ribs, I was crying, near screaming and in intense agony. (nothing there about dull pain).
I was in so pain from my ribs that I ended up having to wake myself up to get out of it as I couldnt focus on anything else to alter dream as the pain was too intense (when one is screaming in agony where pain as became like ones whole world, it’s impossible to try change dream). It was so horrendous
I wonder if the ribs/side is an especially vulnerable area in a dream. For some reason, hits to that area leaves me in paralysing pain in many dreams, while for example breaking a leg doesn’t hurt at all.
I felt pain again today! and
Regardless of that, I can feel pain everywhere, not limited to ribs. Once I broke my leg in a dream and it DID hurt a lot.
This isn’t a “fact”. it’s a belief and/or rumor. The same as “you can’t see color”, or “peeing in your dream will make you pee irl”.
As someone who has had vivid dreams their entire life, I definately feel pain at times. In most of my dreams i’m somewhat of a godlike entity, so I don’t become damaged, which results in no pain. That can happen for people, and I think sometimes might get that confused with a solid nature of dreams.
People often seem to forget that pain is not an external thing. It’s a reaction that is forged by your brain. The nature of pain is created by your brain as a reaction to something happening. If you’re tied to the dream world in a vivid manner, your brain can often feel it to be real. That’s pretty normal in a dream. That being said, if you in your dream believe you just got your finger cut off, you’ll feel the SAME pain in the dream as if you actually did. Your brain will think it’s happening, and react the same as it would irl.
In short, it really depends on your connectivity with the dream world. If it’s not vivid/real to you, you may not feel pain, and i think sometimes people may just often forget due to lack of recall or importance in their dreams. But feeling pain is absolutely possible in dreams.
I’ve broke n my ribs on 3 different occasions IRL (whilst boxing) and it doesn’t actually hurt at the time. It’s only later that you actually hurt and the pain is more of an annoyance cause it only hurts when you move. Especially in he morning when you wake up forgetting and go to sit up in bed lol.
Me too! I once was shot in a dream and I could feel the bullet in my back. Still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it…
I think there is more to it than that. Some people just do not feel pain in dreams like they do in waking life. I’ve had very vivid dreams where I get badly injured. For example a large bomb hit me and knocked me across a street in one dream. I didn’t lose my limbs or feel pain, but I did focus on my body. My body felt numb and I had trouble moving. Recently an excavator charged towards me while it was swimming in asphalt. It hit me and I flew with my bones broken. I wanted to stand up and suddenly my body was healed.
In many of my dreams I feel like some god-like being just like you mentioned. I’m not arguing that people don’t feel pain in dreams. I’m sure there are many who do. I just think that I’m not one of them. I’ll comment here if I manage to feel realistic pain in a dream. I guess I could incubate hurting myself. I could also test it in lucid dreams.
You really are not alone. I often have lucid dreams of breaking ribs. (sometimes for nights on end. and it HURTS!.) I have pulled nails out of my hands and felt everything! I have been cut, beaten, bruised, drown, stabbed, burned. I can tell you exactly what these thing feel like because of my lucid dreams. I still would never wish they would go away though.
Your answer is fascinating Luminescence, it makes me think of a lot of things…for example “brain can control everything…? brain would be more powerfull than body…”
well, that’s not the point here. I don’t feel physical pain in my dreams because I"m never in a dangerous story, but I DO feel a lot of emotional pain. In every dream, I feel something about big shame, excruciating sadness, explosing anger…One day, I saw in a dream my daughter fell from the top of the stairs. I felt so precisely the freeze of my blood and at the same time the burn of my muscles and that sensation of being feared to death…
One day I’ve been awakened by the sound of my own shouting from a dream in which I was sick with anger.
sounds weird, no ? I’m not the only one ?
lol yes, you can feel pain. i was going to an example of that one time when this guy drove his course sword through my upper back/neck area all the way down my spin and i felt it all very vividly, but you guys have some great examples!
Letaali your dreams are hilarious xD sounds great!
people, you really shouldnt take pain as such a negative thing, especially you ALSOsinceborn, it is an experience that exists to give you something, knowledge about yourself.
the reason some feel it in dreams and some not is because of who they are and their own state of mind in the dream. the dream reflects to you instantaneously your own state of mind, this is similar to those kind of dreams you have when you say to yourself while in the dream “ohh i hope a witch wouldnt turn up and appear in front of me!” and seconds later, what do you find? ohh here is a scary witch appearing in your face.
along with this, your own emotional state from waking life is slipping into your dream life constantly, so this is also something you should pay attention in your dreams, your own state of mind, instead of looking at it as something bad, understand that is a portion of yourself, an unconscious side if you will, taking your attention to a particular issue you need to resolve by shooting all that pain so you will finally listen.
ALSOsinceborn, in your case especially, if you constantly experience pain in your dreams this only mean there is a great underling issue you need to look into. please, even if its hard, the idea is not to be afraid of the pain and run away from it, this might just cause you of more excruciating pain experiences, which actually could be the very reason you keep experiencing more and more pain, instead - confront the pain! confront the situation.
i often find when you confront a fearful situation in dreams you become lucid, it is as if you get a treat for good behavior.
another way to to approach this is the following. since waking life experiences, emotions, states of being, “slip” into the dream state, by acting on things that you are afraid of in real life you actually bring about that state of dealing with fear, and in time you find yourself instinctively confronting your fears in a none lucid dream, you create a thought pattern which is still active in the dream state.
before you know it, fear is FUN, pain is COOL, and you start to look for nightmares.
so, instead of seeing this as something to fear might show up, see it as something to look forward to in a process to help yourself in … lets say… an alternative way of healing (;
btw, this also answers you i believe - Cyelle, when it comes to emotional pain.
now, as for pain in LUCID dreams, NOW this is far more easy. while unconscious you might not get you have a choice in the matter, but while lucid, true you can experience pain but all it takes to change it is your choice or state of mind. if you find yourself unable to change it it is only because you are not willing to believe you can, find out why you feel that way and all of a sudden its no problem.
also if youre lucid and find yourself having a problem with feeling pain, you might want to reexamine your lucidity level, never underestimate how high your lucidity can rise. this is just a thought, i havent tried it myself but it makes perfect sense. try upping your lucidity if in this situation, when you find yourself MUCH MORE aware you might just realize how silly you were for not understanding feeling pain is your choice, for actually thinking you have no control of the matter. when lucid dreams become beyond real, thats where the fun begins.
i think ill post an article about this
you also raise an interesting subject dB_FTS (Dragon Ball!@@!) which raise the question about the potential of lucid dreams, i think ill also post something about this so we wont go to far out of subject here.
Nice post Awe. Thanks and welcome to the forum. I also wanted to update on my “dream-pain journey”. Recently I had a dream where a DC ran to me with a wound on her hand. Having injured my hands in various ways in waking life, my mind created the feeling of pain by combining memories. I could feel the pain she felt. Felt like a bee sting mixed with a bad papercut. I wasn’t injured myself in the dream so this isn’t exactly what I wanted to test. The pain wasn’t that intense either. I’ll post here again if I happen to be stabbed in a dream and feel something.
(This is off-topic but I find feeling things remotely pretty interesting. Previously I’ve tasted food when dream characters ate. I can also sense their emotions remotely sometimes. Once I was in the mind of a psychopath and heard his thoughts. They were pretty dark and I didn’t enjoy my stay.)
ohh very interesting!
i never got to feel how others feel in a dream, you are an interesting fellow.
thank you for the compliment, this place seems to be exactly what i need.
There seems to be some misunderstanding here, Awe, I definitely don’t have a negative view on pain in dreams. It was an issue years ago, but one I worked through in part thanks to what I described in my post and in part thanks to exactly the kind of Jungian perspective you’re describing. You should check out this post I made on the subject of emotional healing in dreams. I go out of my way to find things that challenge or frighten or hurt me, because those are the things that I’ve had the most wonderful, positive, insightful experiences with. You’re right that it can be hard sometimes, but you’re also right that it’s worth the trouble.
Also, I would suggest not interpreting someone elses dreams for them, especially unsolicited and with such authority. The experience of physical pain in dreams has never seemed like a reflection of any unsolved issue in particular - and this is coming from someone who has spent a lot of time trying to work with unsolved issues through dreams. Just seems to be the way I dream, nothing wrong with that. Though if it ever turns out I’m mistaken then I’ll remember this, eh?
well great, im happy you feel that way, no reason to get any negative feelings from dreams, even a negative experience can serve in a positive way.
dreams are very subjective, only the dreamer should interpret his own dreams, if at all. what i was pointing out is the way both waking and sleep realities “slip” into each other, very similar for example that one would dream about baseball after playing baseball the whole day, this is also true for emotional state, if you are very stressed in your waking life you usually will get a dream represented in that way, it can be very hazy and fast, feeling cornered, the overall feeling OF the dream will be affected by the emotional state that you carried with you while awake.
this can be true if a father is constantly worried about his children or a kid is constantly afraid of monsters from movies or being abused and so on.
im not pointing fingers, these are just examples, not saying that every dream is a result of this, but its worth looking into, not trying to interpret anything just giving you another way to look at this another tool, a way you can use dreams (;