Life, with its myriad experiences, is often described as a rollercoaster ride – thrilling highs, stomach-churning drops, unexpected twists, and exhilarating loops. It is our emotions that fuel this wild ride. From moments of pure joy to times of deep sorrow, our journey through life is marked by a kaleidoscope of emotions that can leave us feeling both exhilarated and exhausted. Yet, amidst the ups and downs, there lies a profound truth: learning to ride the emotional rollercoaster is essential for finding happiness and fulfillment.

Do you remember as a kid, staring angrily up at the ‘You Must Be This Tall To Ride’ sign? Sometimes, as an adult, it’s hard not to wish that you hadn’t grown those last few inches, and that you’re still standing on the steady ground, clutching a candyfloss, and watching everyone else speed by. 

Sometimes Life Throws You For A Loop…

You might be a person who doesn’t sweat the small stuff. But even so, the big ‘headline’ moments of life — such as graduating, having a child, falling in love, breaking up, promotions, losing your job — can’t help but send even the coolest cucumber for a loop. You might be the kind of person who sweats the everything stuff — big, small, microscopic — whatever... In that case you already know all about the rollercoaster-cum-ghost train-cum-waltzer you’re strapped into. With every up, we can’t help but expect a down — See! The joy of having your first child. Then! The worry of whether you will be a good parent… round and round and up and down we go! 

Embracing Life’s Emotional Rollercoaster

Emotions are the colorful threads that weave the fabric of our lives. They add depth, richness, and meaning to our experiences, guiding us through the highs and lows with a raw honesty that reflects our innermost selves. However, navigating these emotions can be a daunting task, especially when faced with the intense highs of success or the crushing lows of failure. Yet, it is precisely in these moments that we are presented with an opportunity – to embrace the full spectrum of human emotion and learn from each twist and turn along the way.

One of the first steps in mastering the emotional rollercoaster is acknowledging that it exists. Just as a rollercoaster has its peaks and valleys, so too does life. Denying or suppressing our emotions only serves to intensify them, leading to a cycle of internal turmoil and discontent. Instead, we must learn to recognize and accept our emotions for what they are – fleeting moments in time that shape our perceptions and reactions to the world around us.

A Psychedelic Seatbelt…

Now, this is easier said than done. However, there are various mechanisms that you can use to acknowledge and accept your emotional state in a healthy way. There are the more traditional courses — such as therapy, meditation, mindfulness. These are all highly effective strategies. Having said that, there is a tool that many people are learning to use, in combination with the aforementioned, more ‘trad’ methods. That tool is psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms and truffles. Although unthinkable just a decade or so ago, their reputation has been transformed — from a drug that people use to lose their minds, to a substance that people use to heal and soothe their minds. 

And the research backs it up. Study upon study has been published stating that psilocybin may be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, addiction issues, anorexia, and many, many more. A recent study found that those who microdose psilocybin tend to have better mental health overall than those who don’t. Could it be because this natural psychedelic is helping them to regulate and understand their emotions despite this crazy ol’ ride we call life? Could psilocybin be our psychedelic seatbelt?

Stepping Outside the ‘Self’

Psilocybin helps us to step outside of the ‘self’ we have constructed. To let go of the ingrained ways in which we think about ourselves. Without realizing it, there are probably many emotions or feelings we restrict, or do not acknowledge, because they do not fit in with the identity we have formulated in our minds. When we refuse to recognise the true emotions we are feeling we create blockages, making us feel far worse in the long run. Imagine a sudden drop on that rollercoaster, taking you by surprise. Stomach churning right?

Research has shown that psilocybin can temporarily quieten our Default Mode Network (DMN), the part of the brain that is responsible for forming our sense of self. When the DMN is overactive, it can cause anxiety, negative self-talk, and poor self-image. In temporarily ssshhh-ing our DMN we are able to more objectively understand how we are really feeling, instead of how we think we should feel. This gives us space to understand our emotions in new ways, and get to the heart of why we are feeling them. Suddenly, you can anticipate the track ahead. 

“I Felt Like I Had a Direct Line Into My Unconscious”

This is also borne out by anecdotal reports. On Reddit for example, (the hub for psychedelic *citizen* scientists) a therapist, no less, shared their experience of using magic mushrooms to locate and acknowledge their own suppressed emotions;

“Therapist here. I recently took 2.5g of magic mushrooms to facilitate exploration of some avoidant attachment tendencies in myself. The experience was very frightening and equally profound. It felt as if I’d stepped outside my “ego shell/casing” and could non-defensively look at myself, others, and my past. 

Also, due to being defense-less, I was also able to experience the emotions associated with each, emotions that I’d previously denied in some way. In short, I felt like I had a direct line into my unconscious in a way that facilitated insights tightly related to the question I posed to the mushrooms when taking them.” — u/PerformerFrequent658

Preparing For the Drop

Once we have acknowledged the presence of our emotions, the next step is to cultivate emotional resilience. Just as a skilled rider braces themselves for the twists and turns of a rollercoaster, so too must we prepare ourselves for the inevitable ups and downs of life. This resilience is built through self-awareness, mindfulness, and a willingness to confront our fears head-on. Psilocybin helps us to feel a greater connection with the wider world, from our fellow humans, to plants and trees, to the cosmos at large. Many people report a sense of ‘oneness’, and feelings of power and strength during, or after, having taken magic mushrooms. We are reminded that we are not alone. 

‘Meeting’ Your Emotions

We can use this galvanizing energy to meet our emotions with positivity rather than fear. This feeling of connection also empowers us to reach out for, and to accept, support from those around us — a crucial part of healing. By developing healthy coping mechanisms and seeking support from loved ones, we can weather even the stormiest of emotional seas with grace and fortitude.

But perhaps the most important lesson to be gleaned from life’s emotional rollercoaster is the power of perspective. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, it can be all too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Yet, by stepping back and gaining a broader perspective, we can often find beauty and meaning in the most unexpected places. Whether it’s finding gratitude in the face of adversity or discovering joy amidst sorrow, shifting our perspective allows us to reclaim agency over our emotions and find peace amidst the chaos.

Psilocybin has been found to enhance feelings of gratitude, as well as the ability to identify the ‘glimmers’ in our day-to-day lives. Perspective shifts, and new ways of thinking, are among the most feted results of taking the time to explore your inner-world, psychedelically. Whether you microdose or ‘macrodose’, psilocybin is a way of allocating time for your mind, body, and spirit. The more we know ourselves, the more we can live inside our own emotions, to learn to ride the waves — rather than be swallowed by them. Ups and downs are inevitable, but having the strength to withstand the G-force (and maybe even enjoy the ride!) is something you alone have power over. 

Finding Happiness Amidst the Twists and Turns

Ultimately, learning to ride life’s emotional rollercoaster is not about avoiding discomfort or seeking constant happiness. Rather, it’s about embracing the fullness of the human experience – the highs, the lows, and everything in between. By acknowledging our emotions, cultivating resilience, shifting our perspective, and using nature’s tools (like psilocybin), we can learn to navigate the twists and turns of life with greater ease and find happiness amidst the ride. So, the next time you find yourself on life’s rollercoaster, remember to hold on tight, embrace the journey, and enjoy the ride. After all, it’s the bumps in the road that make the trip worthwhile.