Posted: Aug 01, 2014 6:09 am
by Macdoc
I'd say it's your well evolved brain trying out various risk scenarios.
Lucid dreaming of a sort.

Motorcyclists are prone to it as risk evaluation is key to survival. Taken too far it becomes a neurosis or the basis for phobias.

You should get stressed by it as it triggers all the buttons.

Next time relax and try and "direct"the episode to a successful conclusion. The brain is always evaluating and comparing what it knows of possible risks and projecting - much of this is below the immediate awareness level.
You may not be consciously aware of a driving risk but your brain is and preparing you to act if the risk suddenly materializes.

I'd not be concerned unless the fear state starts to inhibit your actions.
But it might be fun and informative to take a bit more active role in the imaging.


Overcoming Nightmares

Unfortunately for many people, instead of providing an outlet for unlimited fantasy and delight, dreams can be dreaded episodes of limitless terror. As is discussed in the books Lucid Dreaming (LaBerge, 1985) and Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (EWLD) (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990), lucid dreaming may well be the basis of the most effective therapy for nightmares. If you know you are dreaming, it is a simple logical step to realizing that nothing in your current experience, however unpleasant, can cause you physical harm. There is no need to run from or fight with dream monsters. In fact, it is often pointless to try, because the horror pursuing you was conceived in your own mind, and as long as you continue to fear it, it can pursue you wherever you dream yourself to be. The only way to really "escape" is to end your fear. (For a discussion of reasons for recurrent nightmares, see Overcoming Nightmares from EWLD.) The fear you feel in a nightmare is completely real; it is the danger that is not.

Unreasonable fear can be defused by facing up to the source, or going through with the frightening activity, so that you observe that no harm comes to you. In a nightmare, this act of courage can take any form that involves facing the "threat" rather than avoiding it. For example, one young man dreamt of being pursued by a lion. When he had no place left to run, he realized he was dreaming and called to the lion to "come and get him." The challenge turned into a playful wrestling match, and the lion became a sexy woman (NightLight 1.4, 1989, p. 13). Monsters often transform into benign creatures, friends, or empty shells when courageously confronted in lucid dreams. This is an extremely empowering experience. It teaches you in a very visceral manner that you can conquer fear and thereby become stronger.

2.1.3 Rehearsal

Lucid dreaming is an extraordinarily vivid form of mental imagery, so realistic that the trick is to realize it is a mental construct. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people use lucid dreaming to rehearse for success in waking life. Examples of such applications include public speaking, difficult confrontations, artistic performance and athletic prowess. Because the activity of the brain during a dreamed activity is the same as during the real event, neuronal patterns of activation required for a skill (like a ski jump or pirouette) can be established in the dream state in preparation for performance in the waking world. See EWLD for examples. ... nightmares

I intuitively cured myself of claustrophobia as a kid by invoking the nightmare consciously and only later learned of the lucid dream concept.

Since then I actively do some directing both before sleep and after in that twilight zone that Poe loved.

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Welcome to a wonderful state of mind. ;)