Stress is a major cause of concern for adults around the world. Aside from the constant, nagging, and overwhelming feelings that day to day stressors can trigger, it can also lead to various health disorders.
As is the case with many conditions that affect our minds, like depression and anxiety, extreme or prolonged stress can expand past mental realm and can eventually have real, physical consequences. According to a Gallup poll from 2017, 79 percent of Americans said they felt stressed – 44 percent feel it frequently and 35 percent feel it sometimes.
Seventy-nine percent! Can you believe that? That’s a seriously troubling statistic. Especially if you consider the fact that those numbers are climbing. Every year, more people feel stressed, angry, and worried.
And, as mentioned above, it’s not having an impact solely on their mental health, stress is known to release a hormone called cortisol, which leads to a myriad of health issues such as digestive problems, heart conditions, headaches, disrupted sleep, and more. Cortisol can even be passed from nursing mother to infant through breast milk, so finding a way to alleviate Americans’ stress is of utmost importance.
That said, in recent years it seems people have been shifting towards the more natural remedies. Two of the most popular are CBD and meditation, both separately and combined. Let’s take a look how these two completely natural remedies can help you feel more centered, mindful, and happy.
What is Meditation?
Let’s start with the basics. Meditation has existed for millennia with oldest documented evidence of the practice coming from India sometime around 5,000 to 3,500 BCE. During the Silk Road transmission beginning in the 1st or 2nd century CE, Buddhists brought mediation to China and other Asian countries, and it eventually spread across the globe.
Meditation isn’t about becoming a new, different person. Nor is it about completely turning off or ignoring your thoughts and feelings. Meditation is about awareness. It’s about learning to observe whatever is going on in your own mind without any judgement. It’s about learning to train your thoughts so you can truly feel what you want to happen in your life, and thus manifest it with the energy you put out into the world. It’s believed by many that the power of the mind can heal nearly anything wrong with the human body.
A word you may hear often if you delve into the world of meditation is ‘Mindfulness’, which is the ability to be fully present and engaged with whatever is going on right now. The past and future don’t matter, you need to focus only on the current moment in time. While this may sound relatively simple, that isn’t always the case.
Just like any other skill, learning to meditate can bear its own unique set of challenges. It can be very hard to drown out what Buddhists refer to as ‘mind chatter’ – or the constant bustling of the mind. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on your breath. Focus on the inhale, feel the oxygen move throughout your body, then exhale. When you notice your mind beginning to wander, refocus on your breathing.
Combining CBD and Meditation
There has been a lot of talk about using psychedelics while meditating – from the ceremonial drinking of ayahuasca in South America, to simply smoking a bit of cannabis before beginning the practice. Now, whether it’s good or bad depends entirely on who you’re speaking to.
The non-intoxicating CBD, however, is rarely discussed. It’s natural and aids in relaxation, and because it has no mind-altering effects, it doesn’t lead to the paranoia that is sometimes associated with THC. This is why CBD is becoming increasingly popular, not just for meditation and relaxation, but for a huge range of physical and mental conditions including pain, anxiety, and insomnia.
As trendy as CBD is, it should come as no surprise that meditation classes around the country are beginning to incorporate it into their curriculums. Take the meditation class at Burlington Green State Gardener in Vermont. Nine students pre-dosed with various CBD-infused products including honey, tincture, oil, and salves, then participated in an hour-long meditative session.
The students reported only positive experiences including improved concentration, relaxation, and relief from pain and other physical ailments that distracted them and made it difficult to focus. Many described it as “calm and blissful”.
So, what can we take away from this? If you want to meditate but have trouble getting to that place of calm and focus, then using CBD beforehand might be something worth trying. While some people are staunchly against the use of any kind of substance to open the mind during meditation, at the end of the day, you have only yourself to worry about. If CBD feels right and helps you get in to the perfect state of mind, then using it alongside meditation might just take you to entirely new heights.