Cannabis May Help You Banish Negativity and Embrace Happiness
Recent research has shown that meditation has the ability to calm and focus the mind as well as reduce stress and lessen pain and anxiety. But did you know that it can also benefit the body, help you feel more emotionally balanced, improve your self-confidence and positively transform your life?
But if you find it difficult to calm your mind sufficiently to get into the meditation zone, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from negative thinking or overthinking, or have difficulty banishing thoughts and worries in order to reap the benefits of meditation.
We possess numerous cannabinoid receptors in areas of our brain related to behaviour, mood and thought and when cannabis interacts with these receptors, they create calming, euphoric effects. So cannabis may be able to help us calm our thoughts, relax our mind and get to a place of stillness—enough to help us stay in the present and benefit from meditation.
What is Meditation?
Meditation isn’t what you may think. For starters, it doesn’t have to involve anything esoteric or be removed from day-to-day life. According to Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher of meditation practices: “It’s really just skills training in concentration, mindfulness and compassion. It allows us to steady, refine and open our powers of attention.” The benefits are proven: Meditation can help curb pain, lessen the effects of stress, anxiety and
depression; and improve memory and learning. Studies have also shown that people who meditate are generally calmer and happier than people who don’t. And they sleep better too.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing but not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. When we’re mindful, we’re relaxed yet also focused and undistracted. Our senses are working at their best, so we’re not only aware of what’s up, down and all-around, but we’re also aware of what’s going on in our own body.
While this ability or skill is innate—we all have it as part of our tool kit for survival—it can be cultivated through proven techniques: particularly seated, walking, standing and moving meditation; short pauses we insert into everyday life. In its basic form, mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and paying attention to our breath. When we notice our mind stray, we come back to our attention on our breath and our body. When we’re mindful, we
reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to other’s well-being.
Moments of mindfulness give us times in our lives when we can suspend judgement and unleash our natural curiosity, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.
Mindfulness helps to stop the cycle of stress anxiety and depression that many people experience. These internal battles take a toll and some people engage in negative behaviours that threaten their well-being. Mindfulness involves focusing on your thoughts but not judging them or reacting to them.
A significant outcome of stress reduction is deceased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. When cortisol remains at elevated levels for too long, it can cause anxiety and depression, and often contributes to weight gain and memory loss.
Mindfulness encourages people to develop self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-compassion. It also helps to focus attention on the present and develop a nonjudgmental approach to life. It allows us to acknowledge and accept ourselves as well as how we really feel. This may help people to become more resilient.
One of the most common mindfulness instructions is to pay attention to our experience nonjudgmentally. Over time, practicing mindfulness may help us to slow down the rapid-fire judging mechanism that often takes place in our minds—the one that categorizes a little too quickly and acts too frequently based on bias.
If you find yourself unable to suspend judgement and let go of negative thoughts, consider trying some cannabis before you sit down to meditate. Cannabis can help you rid your mind of nagging concerns. It will help you to
cultivate mindfulness by just paying attention only to what’s going on around you. One of the best ways to diminish unhealthy patterns of thought is to replace them with peaceful stillness. But how do we get to that place of stillness? It can be rather difficult to relax the mind, especially in today’s hyper-stimulating world
Inside our brains, there are many cannabinoid receptors in sections of our grey matter that are related to thought, behavior and mood. When cannabinoids in cannabis interact with these receptors, they produce euphoric, relaxing effects, so cannabis could be a wonderful aid in helping you get to a place where you feel sufficiently calm enough to meditate—or that mindful meditation is within your physical and emotional reach.
Cannabis May Help You Get in the Mood
Following the breath is the cornerstone of meditation: “feeling” your breath as it goes in and out is an essential aspect. Breathing deeply helps to control your thoughts, reactions and emotions. To help you achieve this “control,”
perhaps try a House of Budz cannabis strain that is sativa dominant, such as Sour Pineapple. Sour Pineapple merges the genetics of two beloved, sativa-dominant strains, Sour Diesel and Pineapple Kush, so as a sativa-dominant hybrid (sativa/indica ratio of roughly 70:30) it is known to be an effective treatment for anxiety and stress. It also helps to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain, depression and fatigue. The sativa genes contribute a cerebral high, with clear-headed thinking and a strong boost of energy, with THC levels between 13% to 18%, making it moderately potent. After consuming Sour Pineapple, you should feel euphoric, happy and totally uplifted and ready to begin meditating. For more about Sour Pineapple: https://houseofbudz.ca/product-category/dried-flower/sativa/
If you still experience difficulty relaxing your mind, try a slightly stronger hybrid strain to give you the extra uplift you need. A perfect pairing for meditative comfort might be Blue Dream from House of Budz—a sativa dominant hybrid strain (60% sativa/40% indica). Blue Dream boasts a moderately high THC level, ranging from 17-24%, with a myriad of both indica and sativa effects. A Blue Dream high should be mellow, uplifting and cerebral, and leave you completely motivated and focused with waves of creative energy. Blue Dream is said to be an ideal strain for people who suffer from conditions such as chronic stress, chronic pain, moderate depression. Blue Dream has a delicious aroma of blueberry pie and a taste of sugary sweet blueberries. For more about Blue Dream: https://houseofbudz.ca/product/blue-dream-aaaa/
Now You’re Ready to Start
Mindfulness meditation practice couldn’t be simpler: Wear comfortable clothing—something that isn’t going to tug or constrict you. If you’re sitting in a chair, put your feet on the floor. If you’re sitting on the floor, make sure it’s in a position you can comfortably sustain. Let your hands rest easily in your lap or on your legs. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest. Eyes open or eyes closed: your call. Maintain a good posture, pay attention to the breath, and when your attention wanders, return. By following these simple steps you can get to know yourself up close and personal.
New York meditation instructor Nancy O’Hara advices students, “Just breathe. Expect nothing.” After just one or two breaths, your mind is going to race in ten different directions—the memo you have to write, the groceries you have to pick up at the supermarket. But don’t get frustrated. According to Salzberg, this is the key to meditation: Acknowledge your lapse in concentration then “let go of what has distracted you and simple begin again.”
Breathe in, then breathe out, taking as long to inhale as to exhale. Notice the sensations of your breath. Allow your mind to let go of distractions. to provide a mindset to focus on the all-important breath. Try to isolate your awareness to this single thing: your breathing. Repeating a particular word or phrase can help with focus too. You can say a favourite phrase, or just “I breathe in; I breathe out.” As you settle into the rhythm, you become more aware of being in the moment, and your body begins to move to a state of calm.