As our lives become more chaotic, it can sometimes be hard to find a moment to take care of our mental health. Whilst most of us make sure we exercise our bodies regularly, how many of us can actually say that we make the same effort to look after our minds?
Practicing meditation can be an essential, natural and effective way of looking after mental and spiritual well-being. The practice can help people to reflect and learn to become relaxed and focused in daily life.
I know how intimidating it can be to start practicing something like meditation when you’re a complete beginner and don’t know what you’re doing. So here, I’ve got you covered with some helpful tips on how to practice meditation, and how to make it easier by incorporating CBD.
Principles of Meditation
There are three key principles that will help you understand meditation, and that should be kept in mind whilst practicing:
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Mindfulness has found its way into the spotlight lately and for good reason. Finding its roots in meditation, the goal of mindfulness is to focus on the present, instead of thinking about the past or future. This requires being hyper-aware of everything that is happening around you in the moment and allowing yourself to focus on one thing at a time. The practice of relaxing the mind is the vital key to learning how to stay calm in situations outside of meditation.
The idea of mindfulness is to relax the mind enough to be able to begin reflecting and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Rather than the common thought that reflection begins with a constant train of thought, in meditation, reflection is focused on breathing and the mindful discovery of the impermanent nature of the experiences we have.
Whilst meditation is relaxing, it also requires a great deal of focus. Focus must be placed on staying mindful of the present moment, freeing your mind of thoughts and on what you are feeling, tying in with the two principles above. This can often be the hardest aspect of meditation.
The ultimate goal of meditation is to implement these three principles into your daily life, so you can have a more relaxed outlook, even when you are not meditating.
The Benefits of Using CBD with Meditation
One of the biggest challenges most people face when trying to practice meditation is the fact that they can’t ‘turn their brains off’ or stop thinking. Frustrated by the inability to clear their minds, they are unable to experience the calming effect of meditation and give up.
CBD, therefore, can be especially helpful for those learning to meditate. As one of the major parts of practicing meditation is being able to clear your mind and accept all thoughts that occur, it is especially important to be in a relaxed state before you start.
One of the main ways CBD can help is through its potential to moderate our mood. Utilising the endocannabinoid system, research suggests CBD is able to activate mood-enhancing hormones such as serotonin. This can lead to a feeling of calm and relaxation, as well as potentially helping to relieve anxiety. As these feelings mimic the state of relaxation needed to practice meditation, it can also be a perfect way for newbies to get into the swing of things. The calming feeling should stop thoughts from running away from you, and so it will be easier to clear the mind and process what you are feeling.
In fact, research has suggested that CBD can actually help to facilitate emotional processing. As part of the purpose of meditation is to process daily stress in a rational way, so that you end the practice feeling calm, CBD is the essential partner to enhance your meditative experience.
How to Use CBD with Meditation
When using CBD to help with meditation, you will want to take it enough time before you start your practice for it to take effect. Different methods of ingestion take different amounts of time to take effect, so find the one that best suits you. Capsules take slightly longer, so if you’re looking to start quickly, taking drops under the tongue or even CBD Chewing Gum might be better.
If you are in pain or injured somewhere, it may be hard to focus on relaxing and taking your mind to a calm state, especially as you may be sitting or lying in one position for a while. This makes it a good idea to rub some CBD cream on any area where you might have an ache or pain. Through its anti-inflammatory and relaxant properties, topical CBD creams should help to relieve discomfort.
Through the use of CBD you will find it not only helps practice the principles of meditation with its calming effects, but also helps you to create a headspace where meditation is improved and more appreciated. As the use of CBD and the practice of meditation are both about enhancing soundness of mind and your wellbeing, the two go together hand-in-hand.
How to MeditateOnce you have done this and feel ready to get into a meditative state, there are four basic steps to follow, which I find especially helpful:
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Remember, you will be like this for at least 15 minutes, so don’t try and force yourself into a position that isn’t comfortable for you.
- Start focussing on your breathing and feel every breath moving through your body.
- Engage in controlled deep breathing. Try and expand as you breathe out and deflate as you breathe in. Different techniques work for different people, but breathing in to the count of four, holding for two, breathing out for four and then holding for two generally works well.
- Once you find you have achieved relaxed breathing automatically, you can stop focusing on controlling your breath. Instead, turn your thought towards the simple sensation of breathing and any other sensations happening in your body. Try and remain in this state for as long as you feel comfortable. Don’t worry if you slip out of it; just try and focus on your breath again.
Even if you’re busy, taking a short 20 minutes out of your day to look after your mind and soul can really beneficial for you. It can help change your outlook and make you feel more positive and productive in everything you do.