Oprah does it. Lady Gaga does it. Lebron James does it. In March 2020, Lizzo even did it on Instagram Live! You probably even have a couple of friends or family members that swear by it. What do all of these amazing people have in common? They all rely on meditation to keep them grounded.
Oprah, unsurprisingly, explained it best, “Meditation is about getting still enough to know the difference between the voice and you. It's a heightened state of being that lets whatever you're doing be your best life, from moment to astonishing moment.”
We’ve explored mindfulness in the past, but let’s talk about how to get started on your meditation journey if you’ve never done it before. To take it a step deeper, we’ll explain how to meditate for beginners with the added benefit of CBD. Mindful meditation brings awareness to oneself and the present.
Meditation inspires acceptance and teaches us to turn our awareness to our emotions non-judgmentally. This may inspire thoughts of hippies sitting cross-legged in the desert, but meditation isn’t only for the New Age set. By practicing meditation, we can learn vital tips to calm down our minds and elevate our higher selves no matter where we are or what kind of lifestyle we prefer -- even during the most stressful times.
What Is Meditation and Why Should We Do It?
Meditation can quell stress and anxiety brought on by stress hormones. Stress hormones, like cortisol, can go unmanaged for long periods of time. Left unchecked, our stress hormones can wreak havoc on our health, increasing difficulty managing emotions, and making it challenging to remember how to calm anxiety. Long-term pressure on our stress hormones can lead to physical symptoms like stomach pain, headaches and even issues with the heart.
By learning how to meditate, we can learn how to calm anxiety, and relatedly, teach ourselves how to calm down from even the most extreme stress like when one has a panic attack. Adding CBD to our meditation practice can help enhance our experiences and soothe ourselves faster. Let’s take some deep breaths and embark on our journey to learn how to meditate with CBD.
Meditation Meets CBD
Meditation is powerful on its own, but adding an extra boost can enhance your practice. Yogis have recognized the importance of incorporating medicinal herbs into the practice for centuries. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, complementary alternative medicine approaches such as meditation practice may help people to heal more effectively due to stronger emotional and mental health.
Studies have found that people heal better if they have good emotional and mental health. Now, we’re seeing that adding CBD can be a game changer for people to support their meditation sessions. CBD can balance mood and retrain our bodies on how to calm anxiety temporarily. When you utilize CBD during meditation, you’re essentially reassociating calmness with the present. By adding CBD to calm anxiety, you are prepared to quiet judgement within.
How to Meditate with CBD
One of our favorite things about meditation is that even a few minutes of practice each day can make lasting impacts on your life. If you’re new to mindfulness meditation, follow these simple steps on how to meditate mindfully.
1. Take your CBD
CBD takes time to kick in, so be sure to dose your CBD ahead of meditation. Timing can vary due to factors like body composition and method of consumption. If you’re prepared an hour in advance, try a CBD edible like our hemp chocolate supplement. If you’re short on time, use sublingual oil like our Cold Pressed Lemon Full Spectrum Hemp Extract or inhalable methods like our smokable CBD pre-rolls. Due to higher rates of bioavailability, sublingual oil and hemp pre-rolls work quickly. Expect these CBD consumption methods to begin working within 15-20 minutes.
2. Relax and get comfy
When it comes to planning a setting for your mindfulness session, pick somewhere comfortable and if possible quiet. Mindfulness works best without interruption, so it’s good to be in a physical setting that allows you to be centered. Many mindfulness practitioners recommend making meditation a daily habit, and if this is something you would be interested in, we recommend practicing mindfulness in a similar place in order to form a routine. Also, in terms of setting, practice at similar times of day. If CBD tends to relax you, perhaps make time for your mindfulness practice near bedtime. No matter when you practice, find a spot that’s comfortable to you.
Once you’ve found a cozy place, it’s time to position yourself comfortably. We recommend that you take a seat for this one. Sitting cross-legged with a straight back or on a chair can be helpful to adjust your body to where it feels comfortable and steady. You may also find luck with kneeling or lying down. As with CBD, meditation is something you can take with you anywhere, and you can change your position to best suit the environment. Lying down isn’t the best method in an office setting, but it’s a great spot to practice sitting meditation. Now, settle into position, close your eyes, roll your shoulders out a bit and take a couple of deep breaths.
3. Focus on becoming aware of the present
Present awareness is the pinnacle of practicing mindfulness meditation. When you learn how to meditate, you’re educating yourself about engaging in the present moment, acknowledging your current state of being and recognizing fleeting thoughts and feelings. CBD helps ease the mind into the process of tuning in, especially for those working on learning how to calm anxiety.
Essentially, mindfulness meditation allows you to establish a healthy relationship with the present to make peace with yourself and reduce stress and anxiety. Present awareness may not always be the most comfortable experience. Throughout the duration, you might experience unpleasant thoughts, but this is all part of the process. Notice the thought, and then let it go. Facing problems can help us learn how to calm anxiety at its roots.
4. Center your attention on your body
Now, turn your attention to your body. Notice your hands, your neck, your legs, your toes. Pay attention to your heartbeat. Maybe your CBD has helped to quell your nerves a little. Maybe you are feeling physically uncomfortable.
Take this time to evaluate and adjust yourself. This is a common practice in mindfulness meditation known as a body scan. The body scan allows us to notice how we are physically feeling in the present moment. It unlocks sensations we may not have even realized we were experiencing. This in turn allows us to acknowledge where tension in our bodies may lie. Though simple, body scan meditation has been shown to significantly improve conditions such as insomnia, fatigue and even symptoms of depression.
5. Begin meaningful breathing exercises
While focusing on the body, also focus on your breath. Simple breathing exercises can go a long way. Notice yourself breathing in and out. Take time to notice the airflow within your body and as you exhale, pay attention to the release. Simple breathing exercises can go a long way. The ever popular 4-7-8 breathing exercise asks you to inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. If you’re new to 4-7-8 technique, try it for four deep breaths.
For those of you who are practiced in breathwork meditation, try eight deep breaths. If your mind begins to wander, coming back to your breathing can be a useful method to stay in the practice. It might sound easy, but it can take some time to get used to and that’s okay! In tandem with your CBD, breathing exercises act as an additional tool to calm anxiety.
6. Close your eyes and set your motivation
There is no wrong way to meditate, and with such diverse options of practice from breathing exercises to standing meditation, it might be helpful for beginners to set an intention or your motivation. If your mind becomes stuck, returning to your motivation can help your brain learn how to calm down and focus on the practice. Are you looking to help your brain unplug from a problem? What about providing space to address a stressful situation? Even if you’re using meditation just to get a feel of where your body feels in the present moment, take some time to set motivation to make the most of your practice.
7. Observe the breath and your thoughts
Remember, minds do tend to wander during meditation, but that’s why they call it a practice. Don't get down on yourself, rather return back to your intention or motivation to calm those stress hormones and meditate more easily. Recall the moment that you took your CBD and let those feelings of calm and promise wash over you. Alternatively, try to return to your breath and bring yourself back to the present with the simple assistance of involuntary exercise. In any case, observing your breath, your intentions or passing thoughts can help you feel like you’ve gained from the experience what you can. Although learning to meditate is a subjective experience, we recommend you take about five or ten minutes when you’re first getting started.
8. Prepare to wrap up
Whether your meditation journey was 60 seconds or 60 minutes you’ll want to take a few moments to return back to your body. Wiggle your fingers and toes, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees to awaken your body for your return. Listen for any subtle whispers from the pose in your physical body before you fully return. Take a few deep breaths and take a moment to share gratitude for yourself, for consuming your CBD, and for making time for yourself to meditate.
9. Close your practice and continue your day with intention
Now that you’ve practiced, it’s time to come back to the environment surrounding you. Start this practice gently. Pay attention to your body, and notice yourself returning to the space. Welcome back. As with CBD doses, mindfulness sessions can be adjusted over time. The practice takes time to learn and feel comfortable with. It can be tinkered with over time to fit best with what works for you and your schedule.
Though your day’s practice is over, it’s best to continue the remainder of the day with intention. For newcomers, this could be as simple as paying attention to passing judgmental thoughts or noticing when you’re feeling heightened anxiety. Take the lessons learned in your practice and carry them with you. Likewise, continue use of CBD even outside of meditation practice in order to center yourself and bring yourself back to those calm moments of meditation.
Why We Love Meditating With CBD
As with CBD doses, meditation sessions can be adjusted to fit your schedule and feel more comfortable. You can do it just about anywhere, and we love that. For those who are busy, you can practice meditation even while doing laundry, taking public transportation, or washing dishes. CBD can help you deepen your practice, and even reach a state of calm quicker when you have limited time. Whether you’re on the go or staying in, Toast CBD can help to settle your mind and help you stay in the present. Take a peek at our expertly crafted calming CBD products, and start your journey towards a more positive mindset today with meditation. Remember, if Oprah can make time to do it, so can you!
Happy meditating -- and don’t forget the CBD!
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