Dreams can have a powerful effect on our waking lives. They reflect our hopes and fears about the future and even help us revisit our pasts. Whether you want to learn how to lucid dream (i.e. actively control and be aware of your dreams while sleeping) or you simply want to learn how to have more pleasant dreams, there are a number of things you can do throughout the day and before you go to bed to have the dreams you want.
Controlling Your Dreams
Control your dreams in small ways once you realize you are dreaming. Once you've done a reality check and realize that you really are dreaming, try to stay calm and not get too excited about the fact that you're dreaming. If you do this, then it's likely that you'll wake up. Instead, stay calm and immersed in the world of your dreams, and start to control small things before you build-up toward something more elaborate.
You can start carefully trying to change the scenery or just to move through the space of your dream. You can start to touch things, and attempt to make small objects appear or disappear.
Take more control over your dreams. Once you're comfortably lucid dreaming and feel like you have a fair amount of control over your dreams, you can start to aim a bit higher when you try to control your dreams. You can make yourself fly, summon people, change the scenery completely, trying to return to a place from your childhood, or even travel through time. As you get more and more used to lucid dreaming, you'll be able to have the dreams you want more regularly.
When you wake up, remember to record the dream. Mark the point at which you realized you were lucid dreaming, and write down all of the things you were and were not able to do. If there's something you are never able to do when you're lucid dreaming, such as flying, then ask yourself what's holding you back.
Periodically remind yourself that you are dreaming. Once you're dreaming and have recognized that you're in a dream, you should tell yourself that you're dreaming every so often. If you don't do this, then you may forget that you are actually dreaming, and you won't feel as in control of everything that is happening. If you keep reminding yourself that you are dreaming, then you will feel more capable of changing and controlling your dream situation.