In the past, larger ‘tripping’ doses have been associated with these creative revolutions. However, with the increasing popularity of microdosing many people are wondering if this method can also enhance our natural creative magic. Microdosing is the practice of taking a teeny-weeny, sub perceptual dose of a psychedelic, such as psilocybin from magic mushrooms. Although the psychedelic effect is not felt, users report an increase in creativity, mood, and overall well-being.
Although a full psychedelic trip sure has its place in the creative journey, for some people the prospect of being able to enhance their creativity and get on with their day is what makes microdosing so appealing.
And, it turns out that microdosing can have just as big an effect on creativity as a larger psychedelic dose.
Survey Confirms Benefits of Microdosing
A recent study which analyzed data from the world’s largest drug survey confirmed what previous research, as well as anecdotal reports, had been suggesting for ages. According to participants who had microdosed at least once in the last 12 months (an impressive 6,753 participants in total) there were many positive outcomes from the practice. These included an increase in creativity, focus, mood, and even sociability. And, when asked what challenges there were to the process, the most common answer was a resounding “none”.
The fact that there are so many reported benefits (coupled with little or no drawbacks) to microdosing is very encouraging. This means that it is a safe, and often effective, way to open your mind, think outside the box, and enhance your creativity. The more positive you feel, the more easily you are able to get into the flow of trying new things and coming to fresh ideas. But if we are trying to bottle it, to enhance it, to harness it, we also have to ask — what actually is creativity?
What is Creativity?
It turns out creativity isn’t just about having loads of cool ideas. Scientists have defined creativity as the ability to come up with original ideas that are, crucially, useful. This model proposes that creativity is a dynamic process, mediating between generating and evaluating ideas. It seems that an active imagination is not enough. To be this definition of ‘creative’ you need to be able to problem-solve efficiently too. You may have lots of brilliant ideas — but can they be carried out in real life?
Creativity, in previous research on microdosing, has been measured as a combination of two modes of thinking. One of these is ‘divergent thinking’. Divergent thinking is about coming up with out-of-the-box ideas. The other is ‘convergent thinking’. This kind of thinking is associated with the persistence and analytical capabilities of finding the best solution to a problem. Microdosing — excitingly — seems to be able to enhance both.
By increasing flexibility of thought and persistence equally microdosing can enhance creative pursuits of many different kinds. These can range from painting and drawing, to writing, to playing music.
The Effect of Microdosing on Making Art
Painting and drawing, whether you’re doodling with pencils, or getting flashy with oils, seem to benefit from the increase of creativity. Anecdotal reports on the boost of divergent thinking caused by microdosing can range from trying some new colors or techniques, to some pretty experimental stuff — rolling around on the canvas included! This experience of creating art while microdosing can lead you towards developing your own unique style as an artist. This is actually something that many people struggle with.
With the concurrent boost of convergent thinking, this can help you to focus more on the details. To continue to focus, even on the fiddly, painstaking details, that, depending on your process, could take hours. Ever admired another artist’s perfect shading or delicate line? Microdosing could help you attain that level of concentration.
Intriguingly, microdosing while creating art doesn’t just aid with the ‘big picture ideas’ or getting those finishing touches done. It can also connect you to the joy of making itself. By rekindling your childlike joy, and hushing your inner critic, microdosing can actually help you to fall in love with the process of creating art — whether it’s all over again, or for the very first time. Maybe you are a working artist who is suffering from a creative block or wanting to refresh your style? Microdosing with psilocybin could bring that excitement and feeling of freshness back into your work.
The Effect of Microdosing on Writing
When it comes to writing — whether creative, journalistic, or nonfiction — microdosing psilocybin is reported to improve the process of coming up with original ideas. It also helps you to stick with the writing process and be meticulous in your focus.
Writers who microdose report that it can be one of the most effective tools for overcoming or avoiding writer’s block. For an established or professional writer it can help get them into the much desired ‘flow state’, as well as strengthening or restoring their confidence. Some people find that after microdosing the urge to write takes them — gifting them a new hobby.
Microdosing can help you to get deep in your writing, increasing creativity on the micro level. Ornate description, character development, or engaging dialogue are all things that microdosing may help with. These are also useful if your oeuvre falls on the more poetic side. The introspective, philosophical qualities of microdosing can certainly help pen a verse or two!
The Effect of Microdosing on Making Music
As with the aforementioned creative pursuits, microdosing can help with crafting music by reducing inhibitions around your abilities, and helping you come up with original ideas. It could be bringing that guitar lick up an octave. It could be adding a kooky kazoo solo. Some of the best ideas seem crazy until you actually have the guts to try them out! Microdosing can also help you hear finer details within a musical piece, and identify and move with the rhythms more naturally. This can help you to meld and weave a soundscape you otherwise may have never dreamed of.
On the other hand, when listening to music it can help you find depths to it you may have never heard before, perhaps inspiring you further in your own music creation. And, lest we forget, getting a few buddies and microdosing together, can result in one of the most fun, generative, and psychedelic jam sessions you will ever experience!
It’s Your Turn…
Creative genius — maybe it can’t be bottled and sold — but microdosing sure comes close. By harnessing the mind-opening, mood-boosting abilities of psilocybin you can find new angles, perspectives, ideas, and joys in your creative pursuits, whether they are your profession or a hobby.
It’s time to see what you will come up with!