What does an out of body experience feel like? As your physical body is sleeping soundly, your spirit body flies out and you observe yourself sleeping peacefully. What has just happened to you? Is this event somehow connected to life after death or the existence of the soul? What you have gone through is called an out of body experience. It happens when your consciousness leaves your body and exists or travels outside of it, while you remain aware of everything around you. Do you want to know more about out of body experiences? Then keep reading to find out.
What causes out of body experiences?
Out of body experiences are not yet fully understood, although there are some events that could become a cause for one. For instance, a spontaneous out of body experience can happen right before you fall asleep or right before you wake up, especially if noise or stress do not let you enter deep sleep. This experience can also result from physical or emotional trauma because in such situations some people can feel frightened to the point of feeling disconnected from their body and watching the event from the sidelines.
There is also a possibility to have an out of body experience in case of severe stress or physical exertion, accident, serious injury or illness, anesthesia, or childbirth. Some medical conditions like migraine, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and brain injuries could also serve as triggers. On the other hand, an out of body experience can also be a state induced by certain drugs, medication, sensory overload or deprivation, or even strong gravitational forces.
What is an out of body experience like?
Having an out of body experience is a very personal thing, which is why different people might feel different sensations and observe different things. Typically, people who reported having such an experience felt like they were flying or floating, having a strong sense of freedom, and being able to pass through objects. They also remember seeing their physical bodies below, having an altered perception, and nevertheless being aware of what was happening as if it was real.
During such an experience, you may feel your body become very heavy, being unable to move, or hear humming or buzzing noises inside your head, feel your body shaking, or suddenly feel very scared for no apparent reason. Out of body experiences are very rare, and there is a chance that you will only experience it once in your life or maybe even never. It typically occurs suddenly and does not last long.
Out of body experience vs. near death experience
An out of body experience can also happen in a medical situation where the brain function of the patient is compromised. This includes such instances as head trauma, drug use, epilepsy, or stroke, for example. When an out of body experience occurs due to these situations, it is called a near-death experience. The two are very similar, although in a near-death experience the person actually has an expectation of dying, feeling detached from the body, feeling fear or, on the contrary, being peaceful, and seeing a tunnel full of light.
Some conditions that can trigger a near-death experience are not life-threatening, which is why many people survive to report about what happened to them. So far, it is not clear what people actually see when they are experiencing these situations, but research has connected it to the stimulation of the temporal lobe in the brain. When stimulated, it causes hallucinations which might be what people experience in near-death situations.
Out of body experience vs. astral projection
While many people may think that an out of body experience is the same thing as an astral projection, this is not actually the case. Yes, astral projection involves similar symptoms, which include the sensation of floating and experiencing the physical world in a detached manner. However, astral projection happens voluntarily and has different expectations that guide the person through the experience. For instance, if you think about traveling to other countries in your spirit body, this is what your astral projection will be doing. And if you believe in life after death and expect to see spirits and angels, you will definitely see them while projecting.
Is an out of body experiences dangerous?
At this point, the research has not identified any risks associated with out of body experiences. In some cases of really vivid experiences, you might feel lightheaded afterward, but that feeling typically goes away quickly. However, if you are unprepared, you might feel confused after your experience, not being sure whether it was real or just your imagination, wondering if something is wrong with your mental health, or being concerned about having another experience like that.
If these concerns are bothering you, keep in mind that out of body experiences are safe, and many people actually claim to be able to enter them by their own will. For instance, many practitioners of meditation and other spiritual practices support the idea of traveling outside the body as a spiritual gift that should be nurtured. Also, in Hinduism, for thousands of years, meditative practices have included astral travel, so there is nothing to worry about. Instead, you could see an out of body experience as another step in on your spiritual path.
Is an out of body experiences real?
There are many people who have claimed to experience the feeling of floating outside of their bodies, having near-death experiences, or watching their own physical bodies do something as if being a bystander. Some of these cases are a result of stress or trauma, near-death situations, drug use, or spiritual practices where people can leave their physical bodies at will.
In general, an out of body experience can be either spontaneous or induced. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm that out of body experiences are real. Some people think that this is just our brains playing tricks on us by making our dreams feel like actual experiences. But it is best to remain skeptical until you experience it yourself.