If you’re new to psychedelics, tripping for the first time can seem intimidating, even scary. If you are intentional about the experience and take the time to adequately prepare for the psychedelic trip, you can help mitigate the nervousness you’re experiencing and be prepared if it gets overwhelming.
If you’ve started researching psychedelics already, you may have heard the terms set and setting. These are important things to consider when using psychedelics, especially your first time. We will discuss these and some other things you should consider when preparing for a psychedelic trip.
Set – Your Mindset
When people talk about set and setting, the set refers to your mindset.
You want to enter the experience with as much confidence and calm as you can. So, what can you do to mitigate the nervousness you’re experiencing?
Consider doing some of the following things to help mitigate nervousness:
- Do your research to understand how the psychedelics are going to impact you.
- Talk to others about their experience to further understand what you may experience.
- During the time leading up to taking your first dose, engage in activities that will help keep you calm.
- Remind yourself why you’re choosing this experience (we will discuss this more with setting intentions).
- Remember to go with the flow. You may experience some intense emotions, but it will end, and it may be something you can learn from, which is often the goal for many folks.
- Read the rest of this guide and take the time to adequately prepare.
The setting is the physical space where you plan to have your trip. The most important aspects are your physical and emotional safety. You want to ensure you are in a comfortable and safe environment and with people that you trust.
The ideal environment in terms of comfort is likely to vary between individuals, but here are some things to consider when choosing the best setting and making it comfortable.
- Easy access to water and a bathroom.
- Access to comfort items like pillows, blankets and a space to lay down.
- Consider the ambient sounds and consider queuing up music you will find soothing.
You also want to think about removing any possible distractions or interruptions.
Setting intentions for the experience can make you feel more confident going in. Of course, you can’t predict how the experience will go, but taking the time to consider what it might look like and what you’d like to get out of it can help guide the experience.
Once you’ve considered your intentions, you can determine the appropriate dose for this experience. You may decide that you’d prefer to microdose rather than take a full psychedelic dose.
If you decide you’d like to take a psychedelic dose, but you’re still feeling a bit nervous, you can take a smaller dose. A typical dose of dried mushrooms ranges from 1g to 5g. Where it’s expected to experience ego dissolution (or ego death) at a dose of 3-4g.
You should expect to feel the effects around 45 minutes to an hour. So, if after an hour and a half you’re feeling comfortable, you can always increase your dose.
Do not plan anything for the day as the entire trip will take 5-6 hours.
Consider a Sitter
If you’re consuming a higher dose of psychedelics, you may want to consider having a trip sitter. This is a sober person (not consuming with you) to support you during the experience. Ideally, a trip sitter should be someone who has previous experience with psychedelics to help walk you through challenges should they arise.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for a Psychedelic Trip
Taking the time to prepare is an integral part of the psychedelic experience as it helps set the tone. However, no matter what you do to prepare, unexpected feelings may arise. Do your best to go with the flow and let the experience guide you. And remember, no matter what happens, it will end.
Psychedelics can be therapeutic and healing but aren’t without risk. Please use responsibly.