15 years ago, very few people had mobile phones, kids certainly didn’t, cigarettes were smoked in clubs and jager bombs were the done thing, cutting edge boozing even. Things have changed, and fast.
You can now survive without leaving the house, as long as you have a smartphone, everything is delivered, and if you live in London you can get a bikini wax in your front room, whilst a handyman builds your Ikea flatpack in the kitchen. Soon we’ll be getting drone deliveries and you might even get replaced at work with a robot, in fact you might start sleeping with one.
Ironically, people are actually using their mobile phones to meditate and seemingly “switch off” from their hectic lifestyles. Even Silicon Valley tech gurus don’t let their kids use social media or iPads. What happens next is anyone’s guess, but we think alcohol is ripe for disruption.
Be it for health reasons, developments in science and government legislation changes around psychoactive substances, we think alcohol may become a thing of the past, or at least less of a weekly requirement. Millennials don’t drink and teens are taking longer to take on both responsibilities and pleasures of adulthood and their social life is lived on their phones.
If the rapid change in smoking laws and the crazy amount of vape bars around town are anything to go by, people might just start doing other things to get their kicks.
We take a look at some of the hottest trends in this space, and look at how people are trying to hack highs, relax or simply alter their states without using alcohol.
Essentially you make lifestyle adjustments that knowingly affect your biology in order to create a desired effect. This includes attention hacking, sleep manipulation and adjusting environmental triggers (like dark and light).
Biohacking is the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you, so you have more control over your own biology
DIYbio is another branch of biohacking where a subculture of people have taken it upon themselves to conduct experiments on unproven theories, and study science. A more extreme form of biohacking that uses technology to enhance peoples natural “hardware”, and incorporates body modification.
More accessible ways to biohack yourself include grounding (walking barefoot on nature), meditation, fasting, and eliminating sugar to increase energy and reduce mood swings.
Younger generations are done with intoxicating themselves to escape reality, they just don’t have the time for a hangover. You need to be your best self to build a start up or go protesting effectively. Plus philosophies of self love and respect for your body/ spiritual home are of more interest than taking drugs and being a sloppy drunk.
It’s so main stream that club powerhouse Ministry of Sound now has a fitness timetable, which is all the proof you need that this morning/sober rave trend is here to stay. It is a new kind of getting high.
Morning Gloryville, Daybreaker are some of the bigger morning raves you may have heard of, but nowadays you can find them down your local gym. The king of meditation Will Williams hosts Shavasana Discos a dream for any rolling stones rocker, and on World Meditation Day he held an event at Fabric. We’ll see you at the front right speaker.
copyright. Morning Gloryville
Had in hand with sober raving goes unplugged parties. Phones and social media are probably the most common addictions; companies like Facebook hire “attention engineers” , the same people hired in Las Vegas casinos to ensure we become addicted to the experience.
It has become harder and harder to switch off our machines and our minds, causing many side effects like short attention spams, social bonding issues, anxiety and heightened insecurities. In fact google “unplugged” and you’ll quickly see its a hot top for weddings, and ETSY has all sorts of unplug merch for your nuptials. Kind of niche.
There has been a rise in restaurants, pubs and clubs that no longer have wifi or even where it’s just frowned upon to have your phone out. Perhaps an unwelcome relief for some, but needed by all. Leave your phone at home tonight, dare ya.
Non alcoholic Spirits
Not drinking is hot property, and the new wave of non alcoholic spirits are being invested in and closely watched by all the big drinks companies. Seedlip kicked off the trend but there are more and more coming to market. The importance of great cocktail experiences is still important but the demand for alcohol, for some, is seemingly less so. You can find our favourites here.
Traditionally used in South America in spiritual ceremonies, cacao ceremonies have boomed in popularity in the Western world and in spiritual hubs such as Bali. With natural active constituents like theobromine and salsolinol, cacao works on dopamine receptors and serotonin receptors which leads to a very pleasurable experience. Read more about this plant and its ethnobotanical uses you can here.
cacao as a party drug is so popular in Western Europe, that it’s a common substitute for alcohol and illegal drugs like ecstasy and ketamine.
A lot of mental and physical problems can stem from the way we breathe; we have adapted to a stressful world by breathing into our chests rather than deeply into our bellies. This activates the sympathetic nervous system which is the nervous system we use when we are stressed and triggers our fight or flight response. Trouble is our problems are a lot more chronic nowadays (e.g bills, Brexit, global warming), so many of us are pumped full of stress hormones which lead to imbalance and consequently health issues. What we want to do is activate our parasympathetic nervous system which is known as the “rest and digest” system.
Its no surprise there are ancient breathing techniques to facilitate this. Pranayama is the conscious awareness of breath: the life force that both energizes and relaxes the body. The term is derived from the Sanskrit, prana, meaning “life force,” and ayama, meaning “extension.” There are different types of pranayama for example ujjayi which is known as “ocean breath”, which is known to deeply relax people.
Holotropic breathwork is a way to reach an altered state of consciousness, pioneered by scientific psychedelic researcher Stanislav Grof. You can go to practitioners, or find how to do it here. This kind of breathwork has been known to push people into an altered state of consciousness, and an advanced state of meditation likened to a psychedelic experience.
People are using an array of fungi to help them reach optimum state. All sorts from reishi to cordyceps to our favourite lions mane have been shown to act as adaptogens that give your body exactly what it asks for. They have been shown to have nootropic (brain enhancing) effects as well as boosting energy levels and many other things which you can read about here.
It seems mushrooms have a lot more to offer than a psychedelic trip or a nice addition to your stir fry. In fact lions mane has been shown to increase levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) a neurohormone that stimulates nerve growth and could help you increase levels of concentration. More and more research is being conducted on these fungi, which makes you wonder whats next to come out of the weird and wonderful world of natural medicines.