Humans have been using psychedelics for millennia. Our ancestors used them in initiation ceremonies, healing ceremonies, and for spiritual purposes. Fast forward a few centuries, and magic mushrooms were clouded with stigma due to their hallucinogenic effects.
But they’re back now, and by the looks of it, they’re here to stay. Research shows that magic mushrooms can offer tons of mental health and general well-being benefits. That being said, a magic mushroom trip can be pretty intense.
Whether you plan on using them for their spiritual and health benefits or just to blow off some steam, here are a few tips on preparing for your first experience for a safe and enjoyable trip.
What Happens in a Mushroom Trip?
A mushroom trip is much like planting a garden; the better you prepare, the better the outcome. Psilocybin, the active psychedelic ingredient in shrooms, binds to a serotonin receptor in your brain, inducing an altered state of consciousness.
When you’re in this state, your sense of time is diluted, your perception is distorted, and you experience reality in an entirely different way. Apart from hallucinating, you might also get an intense introspective experience that can make you feel as if you’re in a spiritual or mystical realm.
This open mindset can open your mind to new insights and ideas that wouldn’t have otherwise come to you in a normal mindset. Some people get a sense of awe and wonder, and some even claim it makes them wiser and more compassionate. A mushroom trip can open the door to beautiful and fun experiences that have the ability to change the way you perceive everyday life.
That being said, taking mushrooms can also lead to a “bad trip” characterized by paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety, and in some cases, temporarily losing your grip on reality.
There are, however, a few measures you can take to avoid a bad trip. Experienced users recommend the following guidelines.
- Feel Safe: Before you gobble down on your stash of magic mushrooms or homemade shroom chocolates, make sure you are in a safe space where you feel at ease. If your surroundings make you feel uncomfortable or at risk, it’s better to hold off until you get somewhere safe.
- Be at Ease: Psilocybin can significantly disrupt your normal psychological processes, causing you to face hard truths about yourself, the world, and other unresolved issues you might have. That’s why you should only take shrooms when you’re in a balanced emotional state. You should also make sure that you’ve gotten plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can affect your trip negatively.
- Choose the Right Company: We are social creatures, and the presence of others can significantly affect our state of mind. Therefore, you shouldn’t take mushrooms around people who make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. And since it’s your first time, you should probably have a “trip sitter.” Sometimes, a mushroom trip gets so out of hand that you need a hand to pull you back into the real world—that’s the trip sitter’s job. They should be someone you trust and feel safe around.
- Disconnect: If you’re taking mushrooms to explore your inner self, you need to cut off all distractions. This includes things like your mobile phone, work-related responsibilities, and social chores. This is because, once your trip starts, you won’t be able to deal with your regular responsibilities like you normally do. A call from your boss in the middle of your mushroom trip, for example, would be sure to freak you out.
- Just Let Go: You’re in a safe environment, you’ve got a trip sitter with you, and you don’t have any responsibilities at the moment. Now, it’s time to let go. Leave your earthly responsibilities behind and give in to the experience. Don’t try to control what happens during your trip. Become an active observer and remember that everything that happens at that moment is just part of an experience. Trust in the fact that everything you feel, see, and envision only exists in the realm of the trip and can’t hurt you in real life. Having this mindset will allow you to explore your consciousness without prejudice or fear.
How Long Does a Mushroom Trip Last?
A typical shroom trip can last between four to six hours from the moment you ingest the shrooms. In most cases, the first effects are perceived within 30 minutes of ingestion, but it can take up to an hour, depending on your body’s metabolism.
It is advisable that you remain calm while waiting for the effects to kick in. Becoming anxious or taking an extra dose can blow your trip out of proportion, and once a trip has begun, there’s no way of stopping it.
The effects usually start decreasing after you reach your peak, and you’ll get back to normal within six hours. Even after the effects have worn off, you might still feel a bit tired, lightheaded, or overly sensitive to stimuli.
That is why it’s recommended to take mushrooms when you have no other responsibilities. You should also ensure that you have at least eight hours of sleep after the experience in order to fully recover.
What Can I Do in Case of a Bad Trip?
You’ve probably heard talk of the dreaded “bad trip.” A bad trip is not necessarily bad. It can help you let loose negative emotions and purge you from unprocessed trauma. That being said, there are several practices you can employ to get yourself out of a bad trip.
- Breathe: Breathing can help bring down your anxiety and get you back to your rooted self.
- Seek Company: If you have someone with you, let them know what you’re going through. Communicating your feelings can help you work through them more effectively so you can move back to a happier state of mind.
- Change Something: If your bad trip is a result of external negative stimuli, try to change the conditions around you. If you’re in a dark room, try moving out into the light. Likewise, if you’re listening to music, turn it off or change the genre.
The Bottom Line
Magic mushrooms are generally considered safe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few bad experiences in the mix. However, preparing adequately before your mushroom trip and following the tips discussed above can help you make your trip more pleasant and fulfilling.