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Microdosing and creativity

Creativity is a quality that is often admired: creative people paint, sing or write and regularly get sparkling and special ideas. Creativity is also something that is not easily enforced. This is why microdosing can be a godsend: a natural remedy that can stimulate creativity. More and more studies show that taking microdoses of psychedelics can help you think out-of-the-box.

The magic of creativity

Creativity is an admired but elusive trait. It is not for nothing that people in ancient times thought that your creative talent depended on a muse (inspiration coming from a Goddess) or was given by God. You had little say in it. This is also apparent from the fact that artists can all suffer from a blockade (the well-known writer’s block, which really isn’t only a problem for writers) so that nothing comes out of their fingers. If the creativity doesn’t flow, then you just have to wait until it does again.

But there may be something to be done about it, namely microdosing. Users who take microdoses of psychedelic substances (such as magic mushrooms or truffles) say that this stimulates their creativity. Microdosing seems to stimulate certain receptors, making your thinking more flexible and increasing your problem-solving abilities.

How microdosing stimulates creativity

Microdosing has great potential to stimulate our cognitive processes and there are researchers who want to know more about this. One of those researchers is Luisa Prochazkova at Leiden University. Normal doses of psychedelics, such as LSD, stimulate cognitive flexibility and divergent thinking. But you also experience the disturbing effect of hallucinations. Microdosing gives you the possibility to experience the benefits of psychedelics, without the mind-altering effects and without the risk of a possible “bad trip”.

Prochazkova’s research aimed to find out on which of the three areas of cognition microdosing had an effect: convergent thinking (coming up with a solution), divergent thinking (non-linear, coming up with multiple solutions to a problem) and fluid intelligence. Especially divergent thinking is important for being creative. Microdosing was found to have a positive impact on divergent thinking. The participants indicated that they noticed an improvement in out-of-the-box thinking. Microdosing can also help as a medical application.

Prochazkova states that she finds it striking that both divergent and convergent thinking are influenced by microdosing. These two ways of thinking are not normally related and are influenced by other factors. So it is surprising that microdosing has a positive impact on both. It may even be the case, the researcher says, that a normal dose of psychedelics will boost your creativity, but at the expense of rational thinking. In contrast, microdosing could stimulate the brain to find an optimal balance between flexibility and logical thinking.

Research among microdosers

Journalistic website did a survey
among people who regularly microdose. They wanted to know what they liked and didn’t like about microdosing. 909 Participants participated in the study. The most frequently mentioned benefits were:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved concentration
  • More creativity

Many people (26%) reported improved mood, but creativity was also frequently mentioned. Other positive mental health effects included increased self-confidence, motivation and productivity. Although these are all different areas, you could also say that they are related. Most people are not creative when they feel depressed. Self-confidence is also important if you want to express yourself creatively, and good concentration helps with that too.

So if microdosing has a positive impact on all these areas, it’s good for your creativity anyway. Research data on creativity and microdosing are unfortunately still fairly scarce. And so some of the studies have not been done clinically either. Despite that, the data seems to indicate, that microdosing can give your creativity a big boost. The personality who sometimes struggles to get into the creative flow might want to give it a shot.

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