How to Turn the Challenge of a Bad Trip Into a Virtuous Experience for Personal Development

So, you think you just had a bad trip? This is a strong possibility that users of psychedelic substances are faced with. The purpose behind these psilocybin-rich substances won’t matter without proper care during ingestion. Improper care could lead to a damaging psychotic episode, which might put you off using such substances in the future. But what exactly is a bad trip, and how can you recover from it and spin the narrative so you grow? Here’s what you should know.

Understanding “A Bad Trip”

Some research has gone into the possibility of turning a bad trip around for the better. But before deconstructing how a challenging experience facilitates an awakening, we must understand what a bad trip is. Why do people use magic mushrooms in the first place? A common trend with people who partake in recreational substances is that they mainly focus on how these substances make them feel.

The same can be said for magic mushrooms. The effect of psychedelic substances like mushrooms can range from giddiness to unease and anxiety. Users focus on the positive end of the spectrum and consider them good trips. In pursuit of a good trip, mushroom users stay consistent with their usage.

However, there is a significant possibility of a bad trip. There are several layers to a bad trip, but you can identify one based on how it makes you feel. You might feel a little paranoid, like someone or something is after you, or anxious, like waiting for something to happen.

A bad trip also affects the way you behave. You might become hyper-fixated on something mundane or otherwise jumpy. One core attribute of a bad trip is the hallucinations. Shapes become distorted in your vision, and you begin to see things that aren’t there, silhouettes that incite terror.

Recovering From a Bad Trip

Now that we have established what a bad trip might entail, it should make sense why a horrible experience like that can be enough to deter newer psychoactive substance users. Why risk it when you might get the bad mixed in with the good? If you also consider the possibility of eating a poisonous mushroom, you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near magic mushrooms.

You might want to try and avoid mushrooms all together, but nothing beats a curious mind. You might find yourself in a situation where you end up trying some, even a little amount. It helps to be safe rather than sorry, and safety begins with first understanding the proper way to ingest mushrooms. Failing that, you should also know how to safely come down from a bad trip.

Say circumstances do not line up as intended. You need to be covered and kept safe at all costs. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can take a few steps to ensure your bad trip doesn’t just mark itself as a wholly negative experience. First, you need to take care of yourself. Here are some after-trip procedures you can follow.

Addressing Physical Needs

A trip is a primarily mental experience. You see images and feel sensations, and your mind works overtime to interpret the sensory stimulus. However, at the apex of a trip, it is easy to forget that your mind resides in your body. Hours could go by without drinking water, relieving yourself, finding something to eat, or dealing with other responsibilities.

So, you must prioritize your physical well-being when coming down from a bad trip. It helps to plan and ensure your fridge is well-stocked with food and water. Start with something less aggressive, like a bag of chips, and work your way up after confirming that you can hold down food.

Also, be sure to drink a lot of water. Dehydration is no joke and could turn a bad trip into a fatal experience if left unchecked. Introducing water into your system will speed things along in getting the psychoactive substances out of your body.

Try to walk around and get the blood circulating through your body. These might seem like trivial tasks, but they significantly contribute to you safely coming down from a bad trip.

Avoid Overcompensating

People tend to overreact when going through a bad trip. Your mind races to find a solution, and you might end up digging a deeper hole for yourself if you aren’t cautious. One method of overcompensating you should avoid at all costs is trying to counteract the effects of a psychedelic substance with a different drug.

Chances are, you aren’t a medical practitioner and don’t understand how substances interact within the human body. You might end up endangering your health if you begin to ingest other substances while on a bad trip. An excellent way to avoid this is to safely tuck your medication away before you ingest your magic mushrooms.

Prepare a Safety Net

You won’t be in your right mind when going through a bad or any trip. It helps to have a safety net in these situations. Try inviting a close friend over and be transparent with your intentions. Conversations with someone who isn’t tripping can anchor you to reality. 

Worst comes to worse, you’ll have someone present who can carefully talk you down from a lousy trip and ensure you get everything you need. Don’t just invite anyone over, though. You trust someone else, so ensure it is the right person.

If they don’t know what to do, then coach them. Tell them what works with you when you’re high, and have faith that they will handle the rest.

A Change of Scenery

The images you see during a trip are tied to location. Your experience could be a lot worse in a dark and cramped room. So, communicate with the people around you that you’d like to go for a walk and have someone accompany you.

Avoid high places, and make sure you go somewhere safe but open. It helps to have some fresh air to try breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Just changing your location can hugely positively affect your emotions and help bring you down from your bad trip.

Talk About It After

Have you ever thought your trip could be a fun story? Well, don’t keep it to yourself. Talking through what happened while you were under the influence could help you come to terms with it. You rationalize much of what happened while you talk, and it becomes less scary.

A study was done to this effect and showed that users could turn the narrative around after casual conversations about their trip. You can do the same by viewing a lousy trip as a chapter in your story. I happened to you, but hiding from this reality will only have a negative effect.

Once you start talking about what happened, you’ll be shocked by how less scary it feels. In some cases, you might even be able to laugh about what happened and ultimately find the strength to move on.


The natural response to a bad trip would be to place the experience at arm’s length, but doing this could make it feel foreign and heighten the negative emotions unearthed while under the influence. Instead, you can find the strength within yourself to talk about it and perhaps heal and grow.

By Caitlyn

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