10 Ways to Manipulate Your Brain (Without Drugs)

When most people think of ways you can get high or alter your perception of the world, they immediately think of mind altering drugs. While drugs are certainly effective at doing such things, the human brain hardly needs foreign substances to cross the blood brain barrier in order to see, hear and in general perceive things in a way that is much different from the normal base state of human consciousness. The human mind is incredibly suggestible and can be manipulated in many ways without using drugs at all.

10. The Strange Link Between Infrasound And Ghostly Apparitions

Many people will tell you that at one point or another, they have had some experience where they thought they heard a sound when nothing should be there, or saw an apparition, that led them to believe that a place was haunted. Nearly always, these stories involve the same basic details and structure. People often claim having a sudden chill, and will report feeling their danger sense kick in, shortly before and during the alleged sightings of ghosts. Oftentimes, these stories crop up in the same places multiple times, adding to the pile of “evidence” for those who believe in ghostly hauntings.

However, scientists have recently been looking into the phenomenon and have discovered that there may be nothing at all supernatural about ghostly hauntings – in fact there may be a perfectly logical explanation. The culprit is something called infrasound, a sound that is just barely below audible human perception, but is still picked up by our brains on some unconscious level. This sound has even been used by horror movie creators to successful affect, although it doesn’t work equally on everyone. Naturally occurring pockets of infrasound have been found at many allegedly haunted sightings, suggesting that the combination of a sound that makes some of us naturally hallucinate and induces our fight or flight response, along with simple human suggestibility, are likely responsible for claims of ghostly apparitions.

9. Runner’s High Is Very Real And It Can Be Both Addictive And Dangerous

Some may have already heard of the concept of runner’s high, but some may think it is simply an exaggeration – the kind of statement made by someone bragging about how they are “high on life.” However, runner’s high is absolutely a real phenomenon and many runners are absolutely addicted to it. Many who regularly run marathons will report a strange feeling they get after they have been running some time and are getting quite tired. They will seem to have… well, not exactly a surge of strength, but almost an ability to keep going far beyond what would be their normal physical endurance, simply because their mind partly disconnects from the pain and stress their body is being put through.

Those experiencing runner’s high report an almost out of body experience, where they perceive to be looking down on their body from above as it continues to run, and they also report a strong feeling of euphoria. While some may think this is a perfectly safe way to “get high,” the truth is that like any addictive feeling it can be dangerous. After feeling it once, many runner’s will want to have the experience again, but you cannot get runner’s high without essentially pushing yourself past your point of physical endurance and then continuing to run for some time after that.

8. Constant Exposure To Blue Or Red Lights Can Have Huge Influence On People’s Moods

The claims of color’s effect on the human mind are completely all over the place. Some sources will say that any color, from green to purple, has a different and varied effect on the human psyche. Going this far with color’s effect on humans is a little beyond anything current research has been able to learn. For one thing, different cultures even within the same countries can perceive color differently, which makes it difficult for anyone to make truly universal observations.

However, while there is doubt that most colors have any serious effect on humans, studies on red and blue have consistently found results that indicate that in most cases, colors on the red spectrum are more likely to excite passions, and colors on the blue spectrum are more likely to calm those same passions and make people feel more relaxed. Even within those who believe colors do have an effect, there is some controversy however. Some believe that the brightness of the hues and saturation are far more important than the actual colors when it comes to how it affects people, and that the current studies do not properly account for such possibilities.

7. Sensory Deprivation Can Make People Hallucinate All Kinds Of Things

Most people tend to think of hallucinations as the realm of those who are drugged out of their skulls, or those with a very serious mental illness like schizophrenia. However, hallucinations in mentally healthy people, as we have already discussed some in the previous entries, are incredibly easy to induce. In a study at the University of Cambridge, researchers put test subjects in a room devoid of light and sound for only fifteen minutes.

In just that short amount of time, being completely isolated from all light and sound caused them to essentially start tripping out as if they were on drugs. Some of the volunteers reported seeing visual hallucinations, some reported depressed mood and paranoia, and a couple even claimed to have “felt an evil presence in the room”. Surprisingly, every single test subject claimed after the fact that what they had experienced in the room was “important”. The researchers believe that what essentially happened was that the test subject’s brains were so used to sensory feedback, that when there wasn’t any around, it made sensory feedback up so things would feel right.

6. Using Binaural Beats To Change Your State Of Consciousness

Binaural beats are one of the strangest modern phenomenon involving altered consciousness. Many may have heard of something called I-dosing that was reported in the news a while back, with the usual hysteria that it was the latest drug craze ruining our precious, fragile teens. The I-dosing alarmists claimed a teen could simply play a set of sound waves on his headphones and get super, duper high. The alleged science behind it is that a binaural beat is when two different sounds come through different ears, and the brain connects them together, thus syncing both hemispheres of the brain and leading to increased perception, concentration and all of that other good stuff.

While it is a fairly new phenomenon, and a sort of audio illusion that we may have yet more to learn about, so far scientists have come up dry when trying to find any evidence of the wild claims made about binaural beats. What can’t be argued is that many people use some form of binaural beats for relaxation or other similar things, and report having success with it. While this could be attributed to mostly placebo effect, that still doesn’t change the fact that some skeptical people have also reported having unexpected results.

However, the claims that any “i-dosing” sound is going to put you in the mindset of a specific drug type high, like many online purveyors are trying to claim, is nothing but completely nonsense. Even if such a thing were possible, it is far, far beyond the current science of today. If we could induce specific drugged states in people with only using headphones, drugs for pain relief for example, would already be a thing of the past.

5. Halved Ping Pong Balls And White Noise Can Make You Trip Out

One of the strangest ways of hallucinating without drugs is by creating your own ganzfeld mask, allowing you to experience a field of vision that was once theorized by the German scientist Wolfgang Metzger. Metzger was a psychologist who theorized that if someone continually looked at the same featureless void for long enough – such as staring into a snowstorm – they would start hallucinating. Ganzfeld means total field in German, and was coined as the term for someone whose total field of vision was obscured by a featureless landscape that led to visual hallucinations.

In recent years, people have been using this research in order to trip out and hallucinate themselves. In order to feel this for themselves, people cover their eyes with a mask that blocks them from seeing anything specific, but still allows for light to get through. Halved ping pong balls are popular, but it is also possible to simply build your own mask using paper if you don’t have ping pong balls around. The key is that you can still see light, but you can’t make out anything specific. Those who are attempting this will also want to use headphones playing white noise in order to block out extra sensory information that could get in the way.

4. Most People Are Capable Of Hallucinating Shortly Before Falling Asleep And Waking Up

As we have mentioned earlier, despite the commonly held belief, hallucinations are actually quite common even in perfectly healthy individuals. However, many of these factors that trigger hallucinations occur very infrequently. On the other hand, hypnogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are incredibly common and occur even in small amounts to almost everyone – people may not even be aware they had them.

Hypnogogic and Hypnopompic hallucinations are hallucinations that occur right as you are waking up and falling asleep. While you are still in that twilight state between the worlds of dreamland and reality, your brain will sometimes have trouble distinguishing what was still the dream and what was not. Some of the most frightening stories people have of bedtime hallucinations are likely due to these psychological phenomenon. For those who wish to attempt to induce such hallucinations themselves, the key seems to be to be forced to awake when you are in deeper stages of sleep, confusing your brain into thinking you are still dreaming. Of course, it should be added that constantly interrupting your sleep on purpose is really not good for your long term health.

3. It Is Frighteningly Easy To Implant Entirely False Memories In People’s Brains

Many people like to think of their memories as something sacrosanct to them. After all, only you know what you remember and only you perceive it exactly as you do. However, while you may think of your memories as a static recollection of the world that you use as a basis to make sense of everything around you, the truth is that memory is way more volatile than that. To begin with, many of our memories are not going to be entirely accurate to begin with, as what we recollect is based on our perceptions and worldview at the time – we are not a video camera simply taking pictures.

To make matters worse though, even in the cases where someone had a pretty good idea of what truly happened, it is frighteningly easy to convince someone that the details of what happened were completely different, or to make them believe they did something they never did (like seeing a genie movie starring Sinbad that never actually existed). A criminal psychologist named Julia Shaw, who was interviewed by Vice, explained that in a laboratory environment, she studies the ease with which false memories can be implanted, and the implications it has on the criminal justice system. She explained that by starting with an accusation of a crime, offering a few tidbits of insider knowledge and continuing the repeat the story, starting mostly with the facts and continually to retell it with more made up details, that it becomes harder and harder for the person to separate what is real and what is not.

The manipulated person can realize to an extent they are being manipulated, and still have trouble perceiving the real truth anymore. Unfortunately, the implications for this are quite damning of the criminal justice system, which locks up many people on very shakily obtained confessions from often barely mentally competent individuals.

2. Your Brain Can Play All Kinds Of Tricks On You When It Comes To Temperatures

Your brain can be very strange when it comes to perceiving temperatures. If the temperatures outside stay steady, we can generally adjust to most temperatures to the point where we do not perceive anything particularly hot or cold. Our body can also react very violently to switching quickly from hot to cold, even if neither temperature we are switching from would normally be considered particularly extreme. The fact is that our brain is a very complex system that deals with sensory information like hot and cold in ways we are still trying to fully understand.

One of the more interesting things scientists are trying to understand is a long known phenomenon known as the “grill illusion.” In this illusion, if you put your hand on a grid-like pattern of hot and cold temperature – with neither temperature being more than moderate degree – you will feel a painful burning sensation. Scientists are still unsure what the main cause of this, but believe it has something to do with you’re the sensory centers of your brain getting confused.

Another surprising way your brain fools you in terms of temperatures comes into play in terms of drinks. Many people in the Western world drink cold drinks to cool down on a hot day, but many people in the permanently hotter parts of the globe insist that hot drinks are the way to go. Science actually backs up those who would drink their hot tea in the summer. Drinking the hot drink makes your body think you are hotter, so it will go to the effort internally to cool it down. The caveat here is that you will need to wear loose fitting clothes that can wick away moisture from sweat, or the technique will not be particularly effective at cooling you down.

1. In A Room Without Sound People Heard The Internals Of Their Body Working

While we talked earlier about an experiment involving general sensory deprivation, some researchers have also wondered what it would be like in a room dedicated simply to taking away all outside noises possible. To this end, multiple anechoic chambers have been built now for the purpose of studying the absence of all sound. These chambers are usually rooms within rooms with incredibly sophisticated design to ensure there is no sound whatsoever.

Many people have now tested out anechoic chambers, and most people do not stay in them for long before they become uncomfortable with the experience. Many people report hearing the working internals of their own body, and being really bothered by it. Some people heard their digestive system working, or blood pumping to their head, and many reported hearing a strange hissing sound in their ears that is completely normal, but usually unnoticeable in a natural sound filled environment. Those who stay longer have reported even more bizarre auditory hallucinations. A radio host who entered the chamber and stayed for an hour reported hearing a swarm of bees, and also hearing a Fleetwood Mac song so clearly that he was certain at the time that it was not coming from his own head.

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