Altered state of consciousness

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The phrase "altered state of consciousness" was coined in the 1970s and describes induced changes in one's mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is "altered states of awareness".

An altered state of consciousness can come about accidentally through fever, sleep deprivation, starvation, oxygen deprivation, nitrogen narcosis (deep diving), or a traumatic accident. Intentionally it can sometimes be reached by the use of a sensory deprivation tank or mind-control techniques, hypnosis, meditation, prayer, or disciplines (e.g. yoga, Sufism or Surat Shabda Yoga). It is sometimes attained through the ingestion of recreational drugs, plant poisons, or psychoactive substances such as LSD, 2C-I, peyote, marijuana, mescaline, psilocin, datura (Jimson weed), and alcohol.

Naturally occurring altered states of consciousness include channeling, dreams, premonitions, euphoria, ecstasy, out of body experiences, and "being in the zone".

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