Meditation is a ritual we’ve all heard of, but can be easily dismissed as pretentious or faddish. It’s important though to keep an open mind – if meditation can help you give up weed, then surely it’s worth trying regardless of any preconceived ideas we may have towards it.
Meditation vs Marijuana
It helps to put weed and meditation into context. Many cannabis users meditate when high and claim this increases the meditation’s effectiveness, also arguing that the two states complement each other. Perhaps they do, but it’s similar to an athlete using steroids – there’s no discipline here, just a forced chemical shift which minimizes the workload. Meditation is about retraining your mind to focus on the present, and using that discipline to apply balance to other areas of your life. The high from marijuana on the other hand, is an artificial shift to a wavy focus on the present, directionless and difficult to reflect upon, like looking into a kaleidoscope and being overwhelmed by the colors. You don’t control the high so much, it’s controlling you.
How Does Meditation Help?
Meditation and marijuana stimulate similar responses in the body. The key difference is that marijuana is a form of escapism, whereas meditation is about taking control. Meditation has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and tackle issues such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and addiction. Self-control and addiction are two areas where meditation has been particularly helpful because meditation stimulates brain activity. Another view is that your brain is a muscle and meditation is the exercise. All our rational and emotional composition is housed in the brain, meaning our mental capacity is increased when the brain is exercised through meditation.
How to meditate
If you can, begin to practice meditation before you stop or as you reduce your intake of weed. This will help you maintain control as you work through withdrawal. Meditation will give you greater mental strength, and you can use this clarity to capitalize on the task of quitting weed.
Meditation consists of setting time aside each day – aim for twice a day if you can, around about 20 minutes each – and focusing on your breathing as you rid your psyche of all your accumulated distractions and negative energies, until you reach a state of near-empty peace and tranquility. Sounds a bit airy-fairy, right? Let me put it into context; you’re focusing solely on the moment. The peace and tranquility you reach in your mind exists at that moment. It’s like the moment allows a door to open in your mind for negative emotions to pass out, and for positivity to flow in. That doesn’t mean a simple exchange of good and bad emotions, but rather our subconscious communicating with us via images and colors. Ponder as you meditate; what does this color make me feel, what do I associate with it? What can I derive from the images I’m seeing? Sometimes the meaning is clear, sometimes it’s not – don’t overthink it. Just let it flow, your subconscious is doing most of the work, and that’s where most of our mental junk lies.
How will meditation make me feel?
Meditation in the beginning will feel weird, especially if you’ve associated it as an activity of fickle and pretentious people. But stick with it – not only will you get better at it, but you will start to see some more clarity in the images and colors, and start feeling more positive and capable. Easy to do every day, but also easy not to do. The “easy-not-to-do” trap is the biggest obstacle we face in simple, daily habits. Consistency is king. As you continue to build up mental stamina through meditation, you’ll develop an inner-strength towards your actions and decisions, and can use this to break the hold weed has over you. You may well find meditation actually substitutes the sensation of peace and ‘one-ness’ you gained from marijuana. This inner unity can safely replace the toxic bonds of weed, granting you with the best of both worlds.
Continue to meditate as you work through withdrawal and make it a daily routine for life. If you find meditation helps you in the withdrawal process, then you won’t want to stop. However, remember: easy to do, easy not to do. As you gain more confidence with your meditation, you can look into more advanced meditation techniques for improving your overall health and thinking, taking bigger steps towards your goals, and impacting those around you.