When we wrote The Healthy Office Revolution back in 2017. the fashion for microdosing at work was just coming into vogue in Silicon Valley. Almost two years on, we’re still reading articles about microdosing, most of which are all about its positive side.
Microdosing is taking small hits of LSD frequently - enough to feel a little bit euphoric, more attentive and productive but not so much that you hallucinate.
But, as we wrote in THOR, it makes sense to be wary of microdosing.
The not so bright side
First off, there’s something a bit depressing about taking LSD for such mundane reasons. After all, we’re talking about a drug with the power to transform the nature of perception to the point that users have profound insights into themselves and the nature of their reality that last a lifetime.
Using a fraction of that awesome power to come up with a new emoji just seems a bit crap.
We also need to remember that research into microdosing is in its infancy. The Third Wave, a pro-psychedelics website, said ‘It’s entirely possible that microdosing could have hidden harms. And if we unreservedly promote microdosing as a totally safe, tried-and-tested activity, it might only be a matter of time until someone gets hurt …’
Although slight, dangers could include psychological addiction, raised anxiety levels and might possibly include affecting a microdoser’s physical health.
There’s also the risk of realising that your work is utterly pointless. In her Medium story, Microdosing Isn’t a Shortcut to Professional Success, former microdoser Erica Avey writes that microdosing ‘reconnects regions of the brain and reroutes maladaptive thought patterns, so profound life changes — not just heightened productivity — may take shape.‘
In Erica’s case, this meant quitting a job she actually liked.
Use the physiology the unverse or whatever gave you
Erika makes the excellent point that ‘We don’t need to change our biology to be better at work, we need to change the way we work to be better for our biology.’
But, if we can’t change our work and we want to keep our job, we can enjoy similar effects to microdosing through mindfulness and meditation practices.
OK, 10 minutes’ meditation won’t have such a dramatic effect as dropping a microdose of acid but it can energise you, change your mood and help you see things differently. If you build up a meditation or mindfulness practice over time it becomes easier and easier to slip into a mindful state.
Or, if meditation and mindfulness aren’t for you, buy yourself a mind machine. David, co-author of THOR, uses his mind machine to regularise his brainwaves once a week and feels the effects for a good couple of days. His mood improves and, best of all, he feels inspired creatively. The mind machine David swears by is also used by medical practitioners and therapists and has been tested thoroughly.
The thing is, changing your physiology in any way can never be entirely risk-free. But if you’re using your body’s natural biology to change your mind or tech that’s been thoroughly tested and is recommended by medical professionals, you’re a long way away from gambling with your sanity.