By the time you’ve developed a dependence on marijuana, it’s almost impossible to stop. What started out as occasional recreational use has transformed into an unshakable habit. You’re in a rut of physical dependency and emotional confusion. The reasons any of us lean towards marijuana dependency are individually unique. But the path to correcting this is not. The first action in understanding how you got to be in the place you’re in is going to take some thinking and deep soul searching.


Be Aware of Yourself

Awareness is something we take for granted. We often think we’re aware, but really, we’re just reacting or responding to whatever’s in front of us. We’re on autopilot, which is why it’s difficult to know why we’re drawn to marijuana. It makes us feel better, sure. Then why do we feel so bad when we’re not using it? How did marijuana become something we need instead of something we could choose? Why is it that when we should be doing something else, we smoke pot instead? Practicing self-awareness when using marijuana is the first step in moving forward.


Awareness and Mindfulness

Over the past decade, the term “mindfulness” has gained traction in the popular culture mindset. It’s typically linked with meditation, which is also helpful for quitting weed. But before jumping headlong into the meditative arts, get familiar with mindfulness first. Mindfulness is about examining the moment you’re in, being aware of it. You question what’s happening around you, what you are feeling, and why you are feeling it. Awareness, on the other hand, brings you back to the moment so you don’t float off in the thoughts and observations of mindfulness. For example, you’re at a work meeting and you start practicing mindfulness. Your boss is addressing the team. How does she sound? Is she nervous? Is she angry? Why might she be experiencing this? How do your colleagues look? One team member looks upset. Is it because of something at work or something personal? How does this environment make you feel? Then your boss asks you a question and you’re caught off guard because you were too busy practicing mindfulness. This is where awareness reminds you to stay in the moment, focus on what you need to be aware of now whilst gently observing and questioning your current experience of the situation.


Mindfulness and Marijuana

Practicing mindfulness can be bit confusing when you’re high because you tend to be in a state of pseudo-mindfulness already. But your mind is wandering; this is not focussed mindfulness. Using mindfulness to quit weed requires you to start applying mindfulness just before you light up. The aim is not to talk yourself out of what you’re about to do, but good for you if you do! For most people, once you’ve decided to light up, there’s no turning back. The aim then is simply to observe your thoughts and feelings, but most importantly, to not judge or beat yourself up. Using mindfulness to quit weed is all about observation without emotion. It’s a practice centred around understanding what you’re experiencing rather than reacting to it. In a way, you’re stepping outside yourself to observe and reflect.


What to Focus On

Whatever your reason for your imminent marijuana session, you’re either not thinking about it, or you don’t really know what it is. Start applying mindfulness at this point. What am I feeling? Why do I want to smoke now? Was there a trigger? Were there several triggers? Don’t overthink your questions because some will have answers, and some won’t. It doesn’t matter if you can’t answer any of these questions; come back to them another time. The more you apply a mindfulness question, the easier it becomes for the answer to surface.


Mindfulness When High

Once you’re high, practicing mindfulness is weird. Most of us don’t want to think too hard when we’re high, we certainly don’t want to question the very thing we just willingly chose to do. But this is how you peel back the layers of your weed dependency; you have to actually do some work. Start the mindfulness process again. What am I feeling? What am I experiencing now which is different to before lighting up? How do I feel questioning myself about being high? Why am I feeling uncomfortable questioning myself? Ponder over these questions for a few minutes. Again, the answers might not be there, but it is repetition of the process which brings you closer to your subconscious and begins building a foundation for the mental toughness needed to quit weed.


Keeping it Up

Repetition is the key to any good habit or goal. Practicing mindfulness can be a chore, especially when all you want to do is get high and chill out. But you need to commit to using mindfulness and self-awareness to quit marijuana. Apply mindfulness before and during your weed session. You don’t have to do it too long when you’re high, just a few minutes. By committing to this each time, it gets easier, and you’ll find your self-awareness will increase throughout your day. By mastering mindfulness, the unseen negative mental programming which draws you towards a vice like cannabis becomes clearer, and those questions you ask yourself begin to offer answers and solutions.

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