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“The Third Wave is a new era of psychedelics defined by practical, measured use for specific purposes. It is an era not for ‘dropping-out’ and rebelling against society, but for integrating psychedelics into our mainstream culture; an era invigorated by the tremendous upside of responsible psychedelic use rather than paralyzed by misguided fear of their possible negative repercussions.”
So you might be asking yourself why is microdosing LSD such a hot topic at the moment? In case you’re a bit out of the loop I’ll catch you up! So this trend has been spreading like wildfire not only in the medical community but in the corporate and startup scene as well. “Microdosing Silicon Valley” has been a hot keyword search on google.
Taking LSD isn’t a new practice, but the reasoning and amount that we consume have changed. If you’re microdosing, you might even forget you’re doing drugs in the first place. The amounts are sub-perceptual, without the seeing-stuff side effects. They’re still themselves, users say, only a little better.
Millennials have rebranded, tripping on acid, to a form of biohacking and rightfully so! It is just one of many ways that we are now able to make changes to our biology in our quest for the ultimate self-optimization.
Being an avid biohacker myself, I have not only heard about this topic surrounding the health community but it has now also managed to take the start-up ecosystem by storm. It was all reportedly started in Silicon Valley with the “Performance Psychedelics” movement and has now spread and is being widely adopted.
This approach leverages non-ordinary methods to reach elevated states of consciousness which can:
- Produce creative breakthroughs
- Improve learning
- Promote cognitive flexibility
Microdosing LSD has even taken the medical community by storm. This is due to the progress that people are making in regards to their mental wellness and accelerated personal development. This is achieved by having a session with a microdosing guide who is there to direct and support you. The experience allows for patients to enter parts of their mind that they would otherwise be unable to tap into. It is the ultimate self-exploration tool.
It has been proven to;
- Promote self-discovery
- Increase mental clarity and wellbeing
- Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety
What is your Goal?
The reasons and perspective that people now have on using psychedelics have shifted from a state of “I want to escape my life” to “I want to improve it”.
The microdosing community is usually split into two groups. The first group wants to use microdosing LSD as a way to self-optimize their mental well being while the second group is looking to enhance their productivity and creativity. Whereas some of us, myself included, find that we fit into both groups.
You will find yourself in the first group if you are looking to use the microdosing experience as one to help get your mind back to a normal level state with increased mental well being. Reports show that users who used a very small microdose amount on a regular base were effective in treating their depression.
Microdosing advantages with regards to mental wellness include curing or alleviating the following problems;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Social anxiety
The second group, on the other hand, looks at using microdosing advantages in the form of enhanced creativity and productivity. This is achieved by users experiencing a “flow state”.
A flow state is comparable to being in the zone. This means you are completely immersed in a feeling or action while experiencing a sense of high energy and enjoyment at the same time.
When entering a flow state you will experience:
- Hard and complex tasks become easy to solve
We live in a time where we are constantly multitasking and never fully present in the here and now. This has catapulted the topic of mindfulness forward. More people are now seeking to learn how to slow down to enjoy the current moment and help us be more focused on tasks at hand.
Microdosing Depression and Anxiety Away?
Many antidepressants (called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs) try to make serotonin more plentiful in the brain to make you feel better. Psychedelics, on the other hand, work more directly by mimicking the serotonin itself.
Some studies have suggested that depression is linked to an of often overactive part of our brain called the “Default Mode Network” (DMN). It is possible that a highly active DMN causes us to ruminate, over-analyze ourselves, and step out of the present moment to constantly question the past and the future.
The Default Mode Network is an area of the brain used for an array of different mental activities, including mind-wandering, self-reflection, and thinking about the past or the future.
Psychedelics allow unique connections to be formed in our brain by dampening the activity of our DMN. This helps explain why these substances could be used to combat depression and anxiety, and also lead to insights and creative perspectives that otherwise remain inaccessible to us.
Microdosing Effects Show Improved Learning and Creativity
It’s been shown that LSD can allow our brains to make unique connections between areas that don’t usually communicate. This is what prompted companies in silicon valley to start using the microdosing approach in order to promote a new way of thinking which can be proactive in the working environment.
LSD causes your brain to mimic the feeling of serotonin which increases our mood. At the same time, it is also having an effect on your prefrontal cortex by activating the 5-HT2A receptors, which are responsible for increasing glutamate. Glutamine plays a role in memory and learning since it allows for the transmission of signals between nerve cells. The stimulation of both, and not just one, is what can cause you to learn better as well as think about two or more concepts at once.
Let’s Talk About It!
I believe that as a society we have become much less judgemental and more open-minded on somewhat controversial topics, such as this, making it easier for people to come out and share their stories and research. I was even surprised to even find an article published by Vogue and Forbes on the positive effects of microdosing with LSD. More importantly, we have to thank some very respected individuals who have come out publicly to promote the benefits of using psychedelics and support the movement in more ways than one. Steve Jobs and Tim Ferris are just a few of these thought leaders.
Steve jobs even credited an LSD trip in an apple orchard to how he was able to come up with the name for Apple. He also spoke in further detail about how it helped him in many other professional settings as well.
You might have also heard of Tim Ferriss who wrote The 4 hour work week, which was a new york times best-seller. He is also a tech entrepreneur, has a podcast and is also an avid biohacker. He is personally extremely invested in promoting psychedelics since he has seen how much it has helped him and so many others. He has also said that “all the billionaires he knows, with few exceptions, take this journey on a regular basis”.
From what I have gathered through my research it is a tool we can use to better understand ourselves, both professionally and for our overall well being, allowing us to live a more meaningful and purpose-driven life. This is made possible by our ability to reach elevated states consciousness, that might be otherwise unattainable, accelerating our path to personal development.
I have only touched upon the surface of this topic and I encourage that if you are considering to give microdosing a try, you educate yourself further. Microdosing long term effects have not been researched but when we look to microdosing advantages that have been recorded by researchers, the risk for many outweighs potential threats. To me, it has been more alarming to examine the long-term effects of other legal substances, such as alcohol and prescription medication, which is also being used in hopes to alleviate problems such as depression. These are just quick fix solutions though. Whereas microdosing effects have shown fix the problem at the source, making it the closest form of a cure we have found.
How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics
The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions
Tracking your own experience with microdosing effects can be helpful in deciding how often you want to do this and can help you see if your goals are being achieved by using this as a method of self-improvement.
Don’t worry if you don’t experience a change in each of these categories but keep analyzing them since effects could change from one trip to another. I have prompted you with a few questions to ask yourself but this should only be used as a tool to get your thought process going. Structure your questions around what you wanted to achieve through your microdosing experience and how you feel it impacted you most.
How are your thoughts different now or have they remained the same?
Has there been an increase or decrease in the number of thoughts you can at a time?
Do you have more mental clarity?
Did microdosing help with anxiety?
Microdosing for social anxiety?
Have you been generating more interesting new ideas?
Are you able to apply my out of the box thinking to tasks?
Can you solve challenges more easily?
Do your thoughts go in a direction that they didn’t before?
How has your sex life and emotional connections with people changed?
Have you found yourself being more empathetic and emotional?
Are you able to resolve disagreements better and move on quicker from negative feelings?
Do you care less about how you think people perceive you?
Are you expressing yourself differently?
Are you interacting with people differently?
Are you more aware or do you feel differently towards your body?
Can you feel sensations differently?
Are you able to able to focus better and complete more tasks?
Do you find yourself being more aware?
Can you solve problems more effectively?
Do you find yourself being more positive and optimistic?
Do you have an alleviate sense of fear?
Are you more open to people and new ideas?
Are you able to be more mindful in the present moment?
Do you feel more connected to yourself along with a feeling of oneness regarding your body and mind?
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