Being your authentic self is actually what everyone longs for. When you can truly be yourself in all circumstances, you are comfortable in your skin and feel satisfied and happy. But being yourself is not always easy. The opinions of others, peer pressure and difficult circumstances can cause you to put on a mask and lose yourself. Can microdosing help you be more your authentic self? Research does seem to indicate that.
What is authenticity and what does being your authentic self mean?
Microdosing has been used by more and more people in recent years, often for mood symptoms, better concentration or overall health. But it can also affect your sense of authenticity. Being authentic means knowing yourself, and acting on that knowledge. It is the subjective experience of being truly yourself at some point and also knowing who you are deep inside.
Your thoughts, emotions and behaviors are aligned with your intrinsic values and norms as well as your beliefs and desires. Being authentic is not only important for living a fulfilling life. It also brings other positive effects, such as a sense of well-being, engagement and increased emotional intelligence.
Feelings of not being authentic are associated with reduced feelings of autonomy. So the search for your authentic self is important to living a fulfilling life, and microdosing can be a good way to support it. Ioana Pop conducted research on this with colleagues, and the results were published in the journal Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
How microdosing can help you find your authentic self
There are those activities that you know are a good fit for you, they help you find yourself. It could be a hobby, such as playing the violin or soccer, or it could be volunteering, working with the elderly or traveling the world. Doing this kind of activity makes you feel yourself. But using microdosing can likewise be part of your search for your own unique self.
This emerged from literature reviews Pop conducted with her colleagues. When you microdose, you take a very low dose of a mind-altering substance, such as magic mushrooms or truffles. It does not cause hallucinations in this way, but it does affect the subjective way you experience yourself, is Pop’s conclusion.
For many people, microdosing fits well within their other self-development activities. It is one of the ways they try to achieve their goals, such as feeling better or improving their mental skills. So microdosing is actually one of the tools that can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
In the research Pop conducted, she argues that microdosing can support a higher state of authenticity on the days the microdose is taken. There seems to be a connection between microdosing and feeling able to truly be yourself. Users report that they can understand their own truths more clearly and have a stronger self-image because of microdosing. This was described by one user as, “they let me see myself.”
How does microdosing work for more insight?
The question is: how can microdosing bring out those insights, how does it cause that strengthening of your authentic self? Pop’s literature review suggests that mindfulness may be related to this. Mindfulness helps you observe better and become aware in a non-judgmental way. If microdosing can promote mindfulness, it can certainly play a role in the insights gained and increased awareness. Polito and Stevenson’s research also sees a link between microdosing and less mind drift and improved concentration.
Thus, taking small doses of a mind-altering drug can be used as a tool for self-examination, as well as for subsequent growth. It’s not just about research, it’s about taking action. That is why many people also microdose: they are actively working to advance, to develop themselves.
The study of authenticity
The researchers wanted to know more about exactly how microdosing can help you find your authentic self. Authenticity can be seen in three dimensions:
- Accepting external influences (to what extent you follow the instructions of others)
- Authentic living (to what extent you act on your own values)
- Self alienation (the degree to which you are disconnected from yourself)
Participating in the study were 18 microdosers who were microdosing themselves prior to the study. They tracked for a month the effects of microdosing on the authentic self using a questionnaire.
The researchers hypothesized that microdosing can help users feel more authentic by supporting their efforts to live more in line with their values and priorities. The study found that among users on days when they took a microdose, their sense of authenticity was double compared to the day after. It was also clear that microdosers do more activities (because they procrastinate less and they actively pursue their goals) and also get more satisfaction from this, compared to days when no dose was taken. In addition, these activities clearly give users a more powerful sense of authenticity.
Being more yourself with microdosing
Feeling yourself is actually not something you think about very often and yet it is inseparable from who you are and what you care about. If your true self gets snowed under too often, it can have negative effects on your mental and physical health. This research shows that microdosing may be a good way to find your unique, beautiful self again, so you can live according to your own values again and focus on what you find important.
Are you curious about microdosing and what it can do for you? Then try it out, because microdosing is a safe and natural way to support your quest.