In order to help me deal with the stress of marijuana addiction and withdrawal, I created a series of 4 posts demonstrating different relaxation techniques. These techniques can be used when craving, or as part of a daily ritual to assists me during withdrawal from marijuana.
One of the major reasons for relapse is stress. Stress causes physical, mental, and emotional problems. By following these relaxation techniques, you can diminish the stress in your life, and make the beginning of recovery far easier.
Many people, myself included, do not breathe properly, and hold tension in their body while breathing. Nerves and anxiety are often the cause of this. We want to be breathing full, deep breaths from our lower abdomen. An icon of the buddha with a fat belly, is a symbol of his breathing techniques among other things.
If you feel nervous, anxious, or catch yourself breathing high in the chest, you can follow this simple 4 step technique to “vacuum your lungs” and reset your diaphragm back to a deep breathing pattern.
Resetting your Diaphragm
1. Exhale completely, blow out every single bit of air from your lungs as best you can.
2. Bend over. I like to fold my arms in front of my stomach when I bend to get that extra little bit of air out. Bending over expels the last bits of air from your lungs. When you’re totally out of air make sure you hold you breath, so you don’t accidentally let any air in.
3. Stand up while holding your breath. This increases lung volume, so air will want to flow into your lungs, but don’t breathe. Wait about 10 seconds until your body really needs a breath.
4. Then, when you can’t take much more, Breathe! Your body will have moved over from your normal, everyday breathing to unregulated, autonomic “response breathing.” You should feel your breathing has switched to deep and rhythmic breathing.
That’s all there is to it. Once you let your body take that unregulated breath in step 4, your nervous system reboots your lungs, and your previous tense and anxious breath becomes a thing of the past.
I recommend performing this technique, then breathing deeply for a couple of minutes to ingrain the positive feeling of breathing deeply and fully.
#2 Moving Meditation using Falun Dafa Tai Chi.
This is a chi-kung technique from the falun-dafa school in China. I have practiced this technique and found that the more I practiced and ‘knew’ the exercise, the more relaxing and rejuvenating it became.
This video clip is about 8 minutes long and guides you through the moving meditation called “Buddha Showing 1000 Hands”.
Try to perform this exercise daily when you quit. I recommend doing three complete sets of the exercise once per day. You will get the most benefit out of this technique by going slowly, and really learning the steps and body movement. Even though you aren’t moving much, there is good chance you will sweat a lot….You are sweating out your stress and toxins, so enjoy it!
For more information on these and other Falun Dafu exercises, visit the Falun Dafa website
#3 Muscle Tension and Relaxation for marijuana withdrawal insomnia
Todays relaxation technique is one to use when you can’t fall asleep. This is a great exercise for marijuana withdrawal when you have insomnia. I struggled with insomnia during the first couple weeks that I stopped smoking weed.
The exercise is called “Muscle Tension and Relaxation”. It is very easy to do – you simply tense up, then relax certain muscle groups in your body.
If you practice this regularly, you will get to know your body better and have a good understanding what tension and relaxation feel like in your body. Relaxing your body also helps to relax your mind. You can combine this exercise with deep breathing to get rid of any more stress.
I like to start at the feet, then work their way up to the face. The exercise is the same for each body part
- Get comfortable.
- Take a moment to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
- Once relaxed, shift your attention to your right foot. Feel your awareness in your foot then slowly tense the muscles. Squeeze as tightly as you can while counting to 10.
- Relax your right foot. Feel the tension flowing away from your foot as it becomes limp, loose and relaxed.
- Take a deep breath and continue to relax your foot.
- Follow the same sequence for your left foot.
Starting from the feet, move slowly up each muscle group in your body. Here is an example pattern:
- Right / Left Foot
- Right calf / Left calf
- Right thigh /Left thigh
- Hips and buttocks
- Stomach / Abdominals
- Lower Back
- Upper Back and Trapezoids
- Right / Left Arm and Hand
- Neck and shoulders
I hope you enjoy this exercise and it helps you get to sleep when you are going through marijuana withdrawal. Insomnia is very common when you quit, so remember you are not alone and you can be proactive when dealing with insomnia, anxiety, or other weed withdrawal issues
#4 The ancient art of Yoga – Sun Salutation yoga sequence
Yoga is an ancient path to spiritual growth, and originates out of India where hinduism is practiced. The practice and goal of yoga dates back to the Upanishads, written between 1000-5000 BC.
I have only performed one type of Yoga sequence before, and I think it is perfect for beginners. The Sun Salutation is a sequence of 12 movements that can be performed quickly whenever you need a boost. It feels more physically demanding than #2 and gets the blood flowing quickly.
How Do you Destress?
If you have a technique to help you reduce stress, please comment below. I’ll add it to the main article.