CBD and Mindfulness: Being More Present in Daily Life
If you think about it for a moment, you’ll probably realize that you spend most of your day in a constant state of distraction. And while sometimes multi-tasking is 100 percent necessary, there are times you could benefit from being more mindful.
Can CBD and mindfulness exercises help? Quite possibly.
But what is mindfulness all about, and how does CBD fit into a more mindful lifestyle? What are some ways to practice mindfulness, and is it right for everyone?
Let’s look at these important questions and explore some examples of how mindfulness and CBD can work together, and see if they’re right for you.
CBD and Mindfulness: the Basics
The topic of mindfulness has gained a lot of traction among wellness enthusiasts in recent years, but it’s still somewhat mysterious to many. Similarly, CBD has only become commonly available in the past couple of years, and there is plenty of confusion about what it is and what it does.
For now, we’ll stick to the basics of what mindfulness and CBD are and touch on how they can work together to improve your daily life.
What is Mindfulness?
Psychology Today defines mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.”
In other words, it’s about being more aware of how you’re feeling or what you’re experiencing at any given moment while avoiding thoughts about the past or future. Doing so can help you become more aware of your emotions and identify signs of daily stress – ultimately leading to a higher quality of life.
Do you ever take a few minutes to assess your feelings, or do you power through anything that’s bothering you? Do you ever take time to focus your attention on one task, or do you tend to juggle multiple things all day?
Mindfulness is a tall order in a life of near-endless distractions. But you might be surprised by how much you can discover with only a few moments of mindfulness each day. For instance, you might realize you’re ignoring tension in your shoulders. You might zero in on a tendency to hold your breath when you’re stressed or busy. You may also discover that you perform better and enjoy yourself more when you focus on one thing at a time – be it a task at work, a household chore, or your favorite hobby.
According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, there are numerous benefits to mindfulness, including reduced stress, improved focus, decreased emotional reactivity, and enhanced cognitive flexibility. Harvard Health (via helpguide.org) also points to physical benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and better sleep.
What is CBD?
The basics of CBD, short for cannabidiol, are pretty simple. It’s a substance abundant in hemp – a type of cannabis that does not cause intoxication. The CBD products for sale in stores and online typically feature varying types of hemp extracts.
CBD interacts with the specialized cell receptors of your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to regulate and promote balance across an array of bodily systems.
If you’d like to learn more detailed information about CBD and how it interacts with your body, our “What is CBD?” page is a valuable resource.
How Do Mindfulness and CBD Work Together?
CBD benefits humans, in part, by supporting a sense of calm and relaxation. If your mindfulness practice reveals signs of common stress, a daily CBD routine could make a difference.
Mindfulness and CBD products can also work together in certain exercises, which we discuss below.
Making CBD and Mindfulness Part of Your Life
Using CBD and mindfulness are lifestyle choices. You’ll get the most out of them when you integrate them into your daily life. And neither are one-size-fits-all solutions to stress management. But they are quite versatile, and you can adapt them to suit a wide range of needs.
Here are a few ways you can practice mindfulness alongside a CBD routine.
CBD Gummies as the Focal Point of a Mindfulness Exercise
Coaches often use this type of exercise to introduce people to mindfulness. It’s similar to meditation but asks you to focus on a specific action rather than clearing your mind. We’ve briefly described a similar CBD and mindfulness exercise in an article about beating holiday stress, but we’ll go into more detail here.
Find a comfortable, quiet spot. You can sit, lie down, or stand. All that matters is that you’re situated in a way that feels neutral to you. Use a few moments to try and release tension in your body and breathe deeply and slowly.
Take a CBD gummy in the flavor of your choice out of the packaging and place it in your mouth. Our CBD sour gummies are an especially good choice for this exercise. You’ll see why in a second.
Now concentrate on the sensations you feel on your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Actively think about the flavor. Does the sour taste really punch at the sides of your tongue and make your mouth water? How about the texture? Notice how the sugar coating feels rough against your tongue. But as it melts away in your mouth, the surface of the gummy becomes smooth and slick.
If your thoughts start to wander, that’s okay. Just bring your mind back to all the interesting sensations you’re experiencing in your mouth.
Now chew the gummy. Does it feel springy against your teeth, or do you crush it instantly?
Once you’ve chewed thoroughly, swallow, and pay attention to the muscles in your esophagus that push the gummy down into your stomach.
Congratulations! You just experienced mindfulness while adding the benefits of CBD to your stress-relief routine.
You can extend this exercise easily. Once you’ve swallowed the gummy, take time to be present with all of the other things you’re experiencing. What’s your posture like in this position, and how does it make your body feel? Are your hands and fingers relaxed, clinched, or extended? Are you hungry? Simply feeling and acknowledging all these feelings can help you better understand your needs at any given moment.
Mindful Eating Routines with CBD
The previous exercise offers what mindful eating is all about, but the following ideas take things a step further by incorporating mindfulness into your meal or snack time.
Overeating is a problem many of us face. But eating more mindfully can help prevent that. It starts with being more aware of why you’re eating. Are you actually hungry, bored, or comforting yourself? You can also avoid overeating (and actually enjoy your food more) if you slow down and actively pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food. And it’s especially important to be aware of when you’re satisfied with the amount of food you’ve eaten, rather than stuffing yourself.
But how does CBD come into the picture?
Many experts recommend taking CBD servings with food, particularly those rich in healthy oils and fats. That’s because CBD isn’t naturally water-soluble but fat-soluble instead. When you take CBD with the right foods, your body may metabolize and absorb it more efficiently.
It’s also worth noting that you can add CBD to your food. Check out these recipes for some ideas.
Daily Mindfulness and CBD Rituals
Between work, family, errands, and everything else you have going on, it’s hard to carve out time to yourself. And while you can perform all of those tasks in mindful ways, it’s always smart to take time during the day to care for yourself.
Since many people take stress to bed with them, let’s look at an example of a mindful evening routine that combines CBD and meditation with light journaling.
About 30 to 60 minutes before you’d like to lie down and go to sleep, begin preparing your mind and body. Turn off all screens (and notifications), adjust the thermostat, lower lights, and complete your usual hygiene routine. You can perform all of these tasks in a mindful way, of course. But the real exercise is about to begin.
Now is the time to introduce a CBD tincture (or CBD PM sleep aid), marking the official start of your more mindful evening wind-down. Since tinctures work best when you hold the oil under your tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing, it’s a great way to start slowing things down. As in the mindfulness exercise example with CBD gummies above, take the time to concentrate on how the oil feels and tastes while you hold it under your tongue, then swallow the remaining amount.
From there, grab a notebook, jot down any part of your day that’s lingering in your mind, and write out your to-do list for the next day. It’s ideal to avoid mobile devices for this part of the exercise. Besides, the intention isn’t to use this as a journal or datebook. Instead, it’s about getting some of these things out of your head before bed.
Now sit on a comfy chair, rug, or yoga mat and do a bit of mindful meditation. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, allowing your mind to wander around to different parts of your body. Can you feel your heart beating? Are you experiencing any pain? Is there an itch on your nose? After you’ve recognized a feeling or sensation, come back to your breathing.
When you’re finished, you can write down some of these feelings if you like, but you don’t have to. The exercise is more about simply being for a bit and recognizing feelings you may otherwise ignore.
Now you can crawl into bed with a more relaxed mind and body. At this point, CBD will begin to interact with your body and support a sense of calm as you drift off to dreamland.
Does Mindful Meditation and CBD Work for Everyone?
There’s no universal solution to a more mindful life. And CBD isn’t a good fit for some individuals. Here are a few things that you should consider before and during your mindfulness and CBD routine.
Talk to Your Doctor
You should always keep your primary care physician in the loop. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by stress or frequently feel anxious, your doctor should help guide your approach. Your doctor should also know about any CBD oil products you take, as these can sometimes interfere with the way your body metabolizes prescription drugs.
Stop if You Feel Uncomfortable
Some people report feeling overwhelmed or anxious during mindfulness exercises. If you feel uncomfortable, don’t force the issue. If you need assistance, there are counselors who specialize in helping people become more mindful in day-to-day life.
Find the Right CBD Serving Size
Several factors that influence optimal CBD serving sizes, including diet, body mass, exercise frequency, and more. Most experts suggest a low-and-slow method. Start with a small serving size and stick with it for at least 30 days. You can then assess how you feel and gradually increase the serving size as desired.
Learn More About CBD and Mindfulness
You can find more information about how you can lead a more mindful life at Mindful.org.