For some of us, the notion of self-improvement and the pursuit of excellence is an everyday part of our lives. Some would say that if you’re not moving forward, you’re slowly creeping backwards – that constant improvement is the key to finding happiness, fulfillment and overall success in life. This notion of perpetual improvement is a fundamental concept for many self-help philosophies, and for many people this school of thought can really make for positive changes in their daily lives. Have you ever sought the help of a motivational speaker, or invested in a self-help program? Chances are that you have because this particular industry – the “self-help craze” or “self-improvement” industries have an estimated valuation of over $10 billion dollars!
It might not have occurred to you to invest your money in someone who can help you improve your attitude, mood, or behaviors because for many Canadians the idea of relying on “the other” to change “the self” is a counter intuitive concept. Many people turn to meditation, spirituality or just eating better and staying active to ensure that they’re always at their best. No matter if you turn to group therapy or look inwards, self-improvement is a lifelong journey and it can’t be rushed or achieved without a lot of hard work. There aren’t any shortcuts to achieving your personal goals, but there are some practices and products that can empower you to be at your best. Staying fit, eating healthy, keeping yourself mentally stimulated and balancing hard work with fun are essential components to any aspiring successful (and happy) person. These kinds of practices are probably well known to you, but have you ever heard of microdosing magic mushrooms for self-improvement?
There is a growing number of people who are turning to psilocybin and the mysterious powers of psychedelics for an equally burgeoning list of conditions. Depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, headaches, addiction and PTSD are just a few of the more serious ailments for which magic mushrooms can be a very influential treatment. Microdosing shrooms or consuming psilocybin for the purposes of having psychotropic experiences can benefit your mental, physical and even your spiritual health. Finding balance between these core concepts, seeking to understand yourself in relation to others, and being able to appreciate the universe around you can take a lifetime to learn, but with the help of nature’s mystical fungi you might find enlightenment peeking around the corner.
Psilocybin has been known to help in reducing the impact of many negative behaviors such as substance abuse and lack of motivation, but shrooms garnered its fame because of its innate ability to rewire our brains and reshape our perspectives. All of the medical research required to identify psilocybin as an effective treatment for something as serious as PTSD will take a lot of resources, and most of all it will take a lot of time before the results are in. Nevertheless, magic mushrooms have undeniably helped a lot of people to overcome many personal issues and its positive effects on personality disorders, mood swings, poor attitudes and self doubts are well documented. How can shrooms make you a better person? Let’s dive into the mysteries of “the self” and determine how psychedelic mushrooms can be a force for positive change in your pursuit of personal & professional excellence.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE ON SHROOMS?
Magic mushrooms can affect people very differently, but there are definite consistencies across most psychedelic mushroom experiences. Shrooms can enhance your senses, balance your mood, break down your ego, improve your empathy and heighten your ability to problem solve. These are just some of the ways in which psilocybin can change your personality, but we’ll focus on these benefits to taking magic mushrooms throughout this article. Self-improvement can be a long-term process, but with some help from psychedelic mushrooms you can experience a lot of personal growth in a short amount of time.
A lot of the positive effects of magic mushrooms on your psyche & personality come from its ability to promote the dissolution of the ego. Ego is defined as: “the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity”. Our egos are a central component of who we are, but they can also get in the way of progress, be it achieving personal goals or how we interact with the world around us. Egotistical individuals are typically driven by perceived self-importance, and the textbook definition of this type of personality involves a surplus of confidence combined with a lack of competency. This is not to say that confidence in oneself is overtly negative, but it can create an environment in which a person’s skills, needs and wants are severely out of balance from the reality of their existence.
Working on yourself involves a lot of awareness, introspection and attention to details, so it might seem obvious how a person with a powerful ego would struggle to ascertain the need for improvements. A very common occurrence among psychedelics users is the notion of “ego dissolution” – reshaping of one’s sense of self, leading to less significance place on personal affirmations and more emphasis on empathic notions (i.e. thinking more of others and outward factors than oneself). The idea of diminishing your ego is not novel to psychedelics, but they do seem to have a built-in ability to change peoples’ perspectives on a wide spectrum. You might say that magic mushrooms ‘open your mind’ to new possibilities, or new ways of thinking that might lead you to perceive the universe differently, or realize that you are suffering from some personal problems hidden below the surface.
Regardless of the specifics of your enlightenments, shrooms are a powerful tool for anyone who is struggling with personality issues, mood disorders, behavioral quirks or relationship woes. By reshaping your sense of self and your empathy towards others (which might include, people, animals, plants and the natural world around you), you can overcome issues of selfishness or ignorance that you might have had (and not been aware of this issue in perspective). Think of these positive effects of magic mushrooms as breaking down barriers – psilocybin doesn’t necessarily imbue you with any energy or actually generate epiphanic thoughts in your brain, instead it simply opens the shutters of the mind and helps you to come to certain conclusions.
In the same vein of thought, shrooms are fantastic for overcoming certain fears or memories involving emotional trauma. Like they do with our egos, psychedelic mushrooms seem to shatter our previously held notions about negative memories, thoughts or feelings. Many psychonauts have gone on record as having a breakthrough about their phobias – such as almost instantly getting over their irrational fears about spiders, or realizing that their ‘fear of commitment’ was simply residual effects from their parents’ divorce. This isn’t to suggest that magic mushrooms make a person think that certain issues are not worth worrying about; on the contrary, psilocybin can recontextualize how you perceive your fears which will naturally lead you to process them differently.
Ego dissolution. Fear negation. Two central concepts to how magic mushrooms can make you a better you. These are undoubtedly important, but there’s still a key cog missing from the engine that is magic mushrooms: Serotonin. Many psychedelics, including psilocybin, affect our moods and thought processes by influencing the levels of serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin is a very critical neurochemical that is responsible for a long list of important functions in our minds & bodies, including (but not limited to):
- Mood regulation
- Healthy bowel function
- Nausea, gut health
- Quality of sleep
- Bone density
- Blood health
Chief among these impacts is how serotonin influences our moods. It is generally understood that many people who suffer from depression, anxiety or PTSD are afflicted by imbalances in their serotonin levels. Sometimes this means a depletion, other times it can be caused by receptors being out-of-whack. In either case, psilocybin can help a person to feel better by bringing their serotonin levels up or down, however needed. Magic mushrooms accomplish this because the chemical compound of psilocybin actually mimics that of the neurochemical serotonin.
Psilocybin can actually bind to our 5-HT2A receptors (serotonin receptors) and instigate physiological effects, such as increasing or decreasing serotonin levels to ideal levels. Psilocybin seems to have an affinity for various receptors in our brains and bodies, very similarly to how phytocannabinoids like THC or CBD can naturally interact with our Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS) and produce many positive effects. Magic mushrooms can cause psychoactivity which may push some people away from them, but there’s no denying that these beneficial fungi can spell many health advantages, including an improved personality, motivation, mood and productivity.
THINGS TO DO WHILE SHROOMING
There are many ways to benefit from psilocybin, but what are some of the best things to do while experiencing a shroom trip? Above all else, you need to make sure you’re staying safe and surrounding yourself with people you trust whenever you’re considering a psychedelics experience. Consuming magic mushrooms will have varying effects even if you’re a seasoned psychonaut, so make sure you are in a safe, comfortable place and that you can contact someone who is trustworthy and responsible in case of an emergency.
Setting the mood and putting yourself in a positive environment are also crucial to having a successful trip. Many psychonauts combine psilocybin trips with meditation, yoga, spiritual ceremonies or the natural world. Wherever you feel at the mose ease will make for suitable surroundings for a shroom trip, but also try to consider how active you might be while experiencing hallucinations, what kinds of sensory stimulus would suit your experience, and the duration of your psychedelic trips. For instance, being outside in nature is an obvious choice for many prospective psychonauts, but due to the unpredictability of nature it can sometimes turn into a negative experience if not managed properly. You also need to take steps to secure yourself from harm, or from harming others or your surroundings.
Once you’ve secured yourself and your surroundings, what kinds of supporting activities can you do to enhance your shrooms experience? Music, art, meditation, dancing, and many other activities can lend positivity to your experiences and might even help you to achieve your goals for a particular trip. You might find that it’s tough to stay focused when experiencing psychotropic episodes, but note-taking, journaling and even drawing your experiences can be a real boon to personal growth and lasting personality changes. Some experienced psychedelics users enjoy sports or safe, physical activities while tripping but until you’re very familiar with your mushrooms tolerance, you should avoid doing too much physical exertion while under the influences of psilocybin.
Personal preferences aside, whatever you derive pleasure from – painting, drawing, singing, dancing, reading – can improve your psychedelic trip and lead you to profound realizations or positive behavior reinforcement. When you surround yourself with positive elements or involve yourself in positive pursuits of physical activity or mental stimulation, you will undoubtedly have a much more productive trip. The more we pay attention to what our bodies & minds are trying to say, the better we can process this information and use our newfound understanding to accomplish real change.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What do shrooms feel like?
Taking magic mushrooms can have varying effects on a person, but the majority of psychedelic users can agree on a few major themes to psilocybin experiences. For starters, you can expect intense hallucinations – sometimes good, others bad – along with overpowering feelings of euphoria, enlightenment or epiphany. Typically, psychoactive effects from shrooms can last 6-8 hours, but the duration and the intensity of your psychedelic experiences will largely depend on your mood, fitness and mental health.
How much shrooms should I take for my first time?
Dosing magic mushrooms can be very difficult for first time users, particularly because they might want to avoid overly intense psychotropic effects. The best way to determine your ideal dosage is to start low and go slow. Experimenting with shrooms can be safely done, but you need to commit to this mantra of “low and slow” or you might push yourself too hard, too fast. Check out our helpful calculator for figuring out how to microdose magic mushrooms for more information on dosing with shrooms.
Which mushrooms get you high?
There are between 180-220 species of psychedelic mushrooms – those fungi that contain the psychoactive compounds of psilocybin or psilocin. Being able to identify species of fungi from others can take a lot of skill and expertise, so it is best to avoid picking your own mushrooms in the wild without the guidance of an experienced shroom hunter. For more information on the different kinds of shrooms, check out our blog on the most potent strains of magic mushrooms.
Are shrooms bad for you?
Magic mushrooms can cause a number of negative effects, such as overly intense hallucinations, nausea or even emotional trauma, if you’re not carefully managing your dose. How much you take, how often, and what kind of mushroom strain you consume will play major roles in determining your experience with shrooms, but many other factors like fitness, nutrition and your state of mind can also impact your psilocybin experience. As always, start low and go slow when starting out with a new strain or new dose of shrooms.