“It’s a very salutary thing to realize that the rather dull universe in which most of us spend most of our time is not the only universe there is. I think it’s healthy that people should have this (psychedelic) experience.”
― Aldous Huxley
Psychedelics, if used responsibly, can be profoundly life-changing and awe-conjuring.
As has been argued here previously, substances such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms can catalyze mystical experiences that result in “a long-term increase in openness, which equals an increase in aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination and fantasy, and broad-minded tolerance of others’ viewpoints and values.”
Furthermore, these substances can also lead to “breakthroughs,” or experiences “in which subjects see and understand their lives and minds in entirely new ways, gaining a renewed sense of the value of life and constructive insight into their peculiar psychic baggage.”
There is much anecdotal evidence and now a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that these breakthroughs can help people overcome depression, addiction, and more.
Beyond that, psychedelics tend to “unlock” people’s minds in such a way as to allow them to perceive the beauty, surreality, and majesty of the universe in previously unfathomable ways. As Aldous Huxley suggests in the opening quote, it’s almost like discovering an entirely new universe.
These powerful substances have enormous potential to enhance your life, but you must remember that psychedelic experiences can vary widely. Luckily, there are many things you can do to greatly increase your chances of having a positive experience.
In a thread on HighExistence a few weeks ago, HEthens offered tips and advice for an optimal psychedelic experience. This article is a compilation of the best wisdom offered in that thread. Follow this advice, and you’ll be well on your way to psychedelic bliss.
40 Tips & Ideas for an Amazing Psychedelic Experience
Choose a location very deliberately.
“…trip out where you feel open, free, comfortable, protected and empowered. If you don’t know that maybe you shouldn’t be tripping.” — @phred
Let your breath be your anchor.
“If your experience gets intense or scary, remember: you can always go back to focusing on your breath… For me it is the ultimate anchor to stay centered, even during the darkest phases.” — @bbolint
“Play chill music.”
“Maybe most important, MUSIC!! Play some music that you absolutely love. Music can definitely help keep your trip going good. Not to mention, it sounds absolutely amazing while tripping.” — @bbolint4
“Try closing eyes when listening to your music of choice and see how deep/lost you can get into it it really is amazing how much more you can appreciate music when ignoring all your other senses” — @bbolint0
“Have zero obligations all day and preferably the next day as well.”
“Trip only with people you love and who completely accept you.”
“You can just party, sure, but you could also use psychedelics for exploration. What part of you would you like to explore this time?” — @bbolint1
Silence, darkness, and solitude.
“Silence, darkness and solitude can also be your friends, if you are up to it. Sometimes the greatest experiences are the ones you are afraid of facing.” — @bbolint1
“I love to trip alone because for me it is a great way to overcome my shadows with noone there to help me but me…” — @bbolint
[Note: Being completely alone isn’t recommended unless you have had significant experience with psychedelics.]
Go barefoot for a while.
“At some point, stand on bare earth in your bare feet. You should also walk around a bit but if you’re not used to walking in bare feet it might surprise you, so stand for a while first. It sounds like nonsense but it’s incredible, you’ll just have to try it.” — @bbolint4
Don’t think too much.
“It’s a bit counter intuitive but don’t think too much. Psychedelics are great for personal growth but it’s easy to get into thought loops. Staying present and aware is when the magic really starts to come out” — @bbolint5
Get out in nature.
“Hiking is preferable! Have an ultimate destination in mind (Think: scenic views). Climbing a mountain is a very powerful experience. Strongly encourage you to lose yourself in nature!” — @bbolint6
“… get outside! Best times for me have been at the beach and in the forest.” — @Corey-Emery
“Experience the vibrations and language of nature. Listen. Participate. Feel the connection.” — @bbolint7
Have a safety blanket.
“… a safety blanket always makes me so comfortable. I often have a sweater or something to hold onto and put on if I get cold or sit on if I go outside in the grass.” — @bbolint0
Have water handy.
“Always, always, always have water handy. I dont know if it is a mental thing or what, but whenever a trip starts to get too crazy, water always helps me. I tend to have intense come ups, when my body/ mind is adjusting to the substance and water helps a ton.” — @bbolint4
“Go for walks.”
“Don’t be hungover.”
Bring healthy snacks.
“Make sure to have completely natural, vegetarian food available…” — @morty1999
Take deep breaths beforehand.
“Remember that you have control over your mindset.”
“Trust the process.”
“You’ll get the experience you need, not the one you want.”
Bring a journal and pens.
“I always like to keep a journal and a few pens with me while I trip.” — @Corey-Emery
“It’s also fun to have a notebook nearby – in my experiences, I have random epiphanies about the simplest things in life that I never realized before, and they end up changing virtually everything in my life for the better. I’m grateful I write them down because I’m not sure I’d remember them otherwise :)” — @morty1999
Prepare a special playlist.
“Having a comfortable playlist on my phone with headphones ready is always a safety/comfort device for myself.” — @Corey-Emery
“Everything is going to be okay.”
“Remember that you took a drug, wanted to do so, and are now along for the ride.” — @bashfulkoala
“If things start to get dark, sing a song or hug a friend.”
“This one probably isn’t for everyone, but cannabis has helped me to chill out a few times when trips have gotten a bit intense.” — @bashfulkoala
“I am not sure if I would recommend smoking weed. I have seen it go both ways. Either helping the trip out, or taking it to the next level of intensity. It just depends on the individual” — @bbolint4
[Know thyself on this one. If cannabis agrees with you and calms you typically, it might be a good idea to have some with you.]
“Enjoy the trip!”
Every bad trip has a lesson.
“I gotta say one of the most important to me is every bad trip has a lesson. If you find yourself lost, just relax.. clear your head, and you’ll probably just come to realize what you just learned because it’s always pretty eye opening and oddly comforting.” — @bbolint8
Go with the flow. Surrender to whatever is happening.
Build a campfire.
“… if you can build a campfire and sit next to it, it is amazing how warming and comforting the presence of the fire can be, holding you in a safe environment, being the ‘safe space’ during your trip.”
“Balance yourself out.”
“If there are things stressing you out in your life at the moment, it probably isn’t best to trip unless you want to deal with those stressors head on because they will come up. Take some time, meditate, clear your mind, uplift yourself, raise your vibration. Feel good before you trip.” — @bbolint4
Different psychedelics in different settings.
“Know the type of setting you will be in for the particular psych you will be doing. This is where I see differences in psychedelics. On shrooms, DMT, etc, i believe you should be somewhere peaceful, comfortable, and controlled. You don’t want to be at a festival on shrooms. You want to be by yourself or around trusted people, who are non-judgmental and familiar. However, on acid, you need to know your limits. For example, I like to do acid at festivals, dance and party. Or I could do acid around friends in a more chill setting. I tend to want to explore a bit more and interact on acid, whereas with mushrooms, that could be too overwhelming.” — @bbolint4
If things get too intense…
“If things get too intense during the trip, some tips I have are:
– to take some time and focus on your breath. That will always ground you out.
– connect with nature. Seriously, if you are outside, just lay down in the grass and breathe. I have found that this also balances you out and brings you back.
– and water.” — @bbolint4
Look at art or read a poem.
“Have you ever tried looking at art while tripping, btw? Or read a nice poem? I can’t read on high doses, but art is always great.”
Drink coffee when you’re coming down.
“I always find coffee to be the most nourishing thing ever once I start to come down.”
Spend time with your pets.
“If you have pets, be sure they’re nearby, because you’ll probably connect with them like never before.”
Embrace any discomfort.
“Don’t fight those elements of the trip which make you uncomfortable. Embrace them. If anything, actively pursue them. Make scary faces at them. Play with them. Be them.” — @bashfulkoala0
“Leave your electronics behind!”
“Try camping with a couple of trusted friends.”
“Just roll with it.”
A Note on the Safety of Psychedelics
As we repeatedly stress on HighExistence, psychedelics must be approached with reverence and caution. We believe that in a loving context, psychedelics are powerful medicines with tremendous potential, but there are a number of physical and psychological safety concerns that one should consider before journeying with psychedelics. Please, please do plenty of research, and do not take psychedelics if you have reason to believe that they will not jibe with your personality or particular mental baggage. The Essential Psychedelic Guide on Erowid is an exceptional free resource, and we recommend reading it, especially the section on ‘Psychedelic Safety,’ before ever dabbling in these substances, if you feel compelled to do so. Also, read this article on the dark side of psychedelics. Lastly, if you aren’t certain that a substance you’ve procured is the substance you believe it to be, you should definitely buy a test kit to be sure. Take care, and happy tripping.
If you appreciated this, we recommend…
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
In 1952, Aldous Huxley became involved in the now legendary experiment to clinically detail the physiological and psychological effects of the little-known drug used by Mexican and Native American elders in religious practices. The drug was peyote—now commonly know as mescalin. By any standards, the results of the experiment were remarkable. This extraordinary book details the practicalities of the experiment and gives Huxley’s vivid account of his immediate experience and the more prolonged effect upon his subsequent thinking and awareness.