We all use/consume cannabis for different reasons: to calm our mind, to stimulate our mind, to relax our body, manage pain, make connections, and, of course, just for fun.
But after a while, once you’ve gotten high enough times, cannabis can sort of…lose its magic. Suddenly you’re smoking out of habit instead of for a purpose or specific pain.
One easy way to rekindle your relationship with cannabis (or even CBD) is to pair your next, uh, “enhancement” with a purposeful exercise for your body and mind. Here are some quick and easy exercises—some mental and some physical—that can help deepen that mind-body connection during your next toke session.
Note: The point here is to pay attention to your body and spirit. Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right or good to you, don’t do it. These are just some exercises that have helped me. I hope one or more of them can help you too.
First of all, let’s define a “deep breath”
Place your hands on your lower belly. Breathe in through your nose. As you do, try to push out your hands using just your breath. (Might take you a few tries.)
Breathe out through your mouth.
When you’re truly breathing deeply, your belly will push out with every inhale, and in with every exhale. Like filling and emptying a balloon. Your shoulders shouldn’t move.
- 1. Just breathe.
It sounds simple enough, but unless you actively practice your deep breathing, you’re probably not breathing deeply enough.
So, practice. Wherever you are, close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose, pushing the air as far down your body as you can. Breathe out through your mouth, pushing out every single last bit of air from the bottom of your core.
Do this as much as possible. Especially if—like me—you burn herb all day every day. Deep, intentional breathing can help you reduce stress and help improve lung function.
- 2. 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique
Outside of breathing, this is one of the easiest things you can do to calm your mind. This could be helpful for that too heavy edibles high surfacing. It’s a simple countdown you can do anywhere, at any time. It’s especially helpful for reducing anxiety and grounding yourself in the here and now.
So give it a try the next time you’re feeling really anxious or overwhelmed. And like I said above, definitely do this the next time you get a little *too* high!
How to do it:
- Take deep breaths.
- Quickly answer these questions:
- What are 5 things you can see? Right now.
- 4 things you can touch?
- 3 things you can hear?
- 2 things you smell?
- 1 thing you taste.
Check out this video for a similar guided exercise.
- 3. Meditation
Meditation’s having a major moment right now, and there are a ton of apps and guided exercises to try. But did you know there are meditation tracks specifically for cannabis lovers like you and me??
Cannabis Meditation by Gentle Chill Universe is one of my go-tos. I’ll put on headphones, take a toke, then gently float away to a land called No Stress.
You can try it too:
- Search for meditation music from your chosen music provider
- Anything with binaural beats will work
- Then, get comfortable. Close your eyes. And breathe deeply.
- Relax your body, relax your mind. Focus on your breath.
- Let thoughts flow through you like clouds in the sky.
- Be gentle with yourself. And kind.
- Your ultimate goal: To breathe. And clear your mind.
- 4. Affirmations + BinAural Beats
Take your meditation one step further with your own affirmation track. An affirmation is any positive statement that challenges a negative or self-sabotaging thought.
So, “I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m the worst,” becomes “I’m still learning. I’ll get better at this with time.” It might sound a little cheesy, but changing negative thoughts into positive ones has been shown to rewire your brain—for the better!
How to do it:
- Do some research on how to write an affirmation statement
- Find a track of binaural beats you really enjoy
- Record yourself saying your affirmations out loud while playing the music
- Play this back whenever those negative thoughts take hold
Love to wake and bake? Try listening to your affirmations next time you do. It can give you a clearer purpose for your day, and just the confidence burst you need. Like an encouraging love note to your mind, body, and soul.
- 5. Mental walk through an old, familiar place
We all have ties to certain locations we love: the park, grandma’s house, that one magical vacation rental you’ll never, ever forget, and, like snuggling into your favorite blanket, sometimes going back to those places in your mind can help calm you down and take you to a happier, more relaxed state.
How to do it:
- Think of a place you love. A place you know well. Somewhere that makes you feel good and whole and filled with joy.
- Close your eyes. And really put yourself there in your mind.
- Look for details. What do you see? feel? hear?
- Notice textures. sounds. smells. Where’s the light coming from?
- Start in one place, then move to another corner. Then another.
- Try to remember with as much detail as possible. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can lose yourself when you focus all your attention on a memory of one particular place and time.
- 6. Tapping
This technique comes from ancient Chinese medicine and is deeply tied to acupuncture. It’s been shown to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and it helps open up certain neural pathways throughout your body.
This exercise can be done on its own, or you can add it to any yoga or meditation exercise.
How to do it:
- Like always, take big, deep breaths
- Form one hand like a bird beak
- Use this hand to gently tap along specific pathways on your face, sinuses, collarbone, and chest
- Check out the Tapping Solution for more info and free tapping meditations
- Or, try this tapping exercise to focus on respiratory and heart health
- This one is especially helpful for those of us (like me!) who love to toke but are almost definitely allergic to smoke.
- 7. Full Body Check-in – head to toe
Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re holding tension until you force yourself to relax. And we focus on the obvious things like our shoulders, neck, and back. But did you know your jaw can hold just as much tension and stress?
By focusing on each small body part one at a time, you’ll catch spots of tension you never knew existed. Paired with the right calming strain, this easy exercise will have you feeling like a dreamy melted puddle.
How to do it:
- Close your eyes & take 4 deep breaths
- Put all your attention at the very top of your head
- Relax just that part until you feel it melt like ice
- Now focus on your forehead. Relax every single muscle.
- Now your eyes. Your cheeks. Your mouth. Your jaw.
- Let it all go completely slack.
- Move down your body part by part – take your time.
- Once you’ve relaxed one body part, keep it relaxed.
- Keep melting until you get to your toes.
- 8. Stretch
It’s really easy to say “Oh, I should stretch”… but how many times do you actually do it? Or maybe you pull out the old P.E. class stretches from time to time, but after a few arm twists and one embarrassing leg-up balance test, you’re left wondering what to do next.
Well, try this:
- Think again of stretching head to toe (or toe to head!)
- Focus on your breath to really tune in to your body
- Focus on one body part at a time—and be very specific
- Stretch whatever feels good! If you’re really listening to your body, you’ll start moving each part in the way that it craves
- Check out one of the million stretching videos on YouTube and follow along the next time you get elevated!
- 9. Progression of Movement Improv
Did you know every human develops movement in largely the same way? First, we start with breath (as a newborn, that’s the first thing you do). After that comes touch. Then you start discovering how different parts of your body move.
So a fun and easy way to ground yourself back in your body is to play with this progression of movement. Dancers use this technique as an improv exercise, and you can do it too! Just make sure you have enough room to move without hurting yourself, and–as always–listen to and respect your own body.
How to do it:
- Lay on your back comfortably. Close your eyes. And breathe.
- You can breathe comfortably, or
- Play with your breath – fast, slow, deep, shallow, etc.
- Try this for 30 sec. or more
- Step two: Touch
- Start touching things around you: Your body, clothes, other surfaces, objects
- Try different forms of touch: a rub, a slap. A tickle, scratch, or tap.
- Again, do this for at least 30 sec.
- Body half: Top – bottom
- First, move your body just from the waist up. Move however you want. Just keep your bottom half still.
- Then, switch. Move everything below your waist and freeze up top
- Be creative! There’s no right or wrong. Just keep yourself safe.
- Body side: Right – left
- Same concept, only this time split your body vertically
- Move your right side however you want, keep the left side of your body still
- Then keep your right side still and move just your left side
- Play with levels and tempos. You can stay on the floor or start standing up
- Cross body
- Now you’re going to cross that vertical line as much as you can
- Reach your right arm across to your left toe, or maybe your left leg crosses over your right. Be creative!
- Just make sure every time you move, you cross the middle of your body. This wakes up the brain.
- Vestibular – Last one!
- Be very careful with this one. Don’t do it if you don’t have the space or if you suffer from some sort of vertigo.
- But basically: make yourself dizzy. You can do this by dancing, spinning, twirling, etc. Just get a little dizzy.
- Then, when you’re ready, STOP! Find one specific spot in the distance (maybe on a wall) and stare at it until the dizziness stops.
- Then do it again, the other way.
- This can help build your balance by training your inner ear. If you do it regularly, you’ll notice your focus comes back faster & faster
- Staring at a distant spot also helps when your eyes need a break from screens
- 10. Just dance.
So, TikTok’s cool and all… but remember what it’s like to dance with nobody watching?? That’s it. That’s the exercise. Pair it with your favorite body high and get down with your bad self.
How to do it:
- Put on music that makes you want to move
- Put your phone away. Close your curtains (or hell – leave ‘em open!)
- And just dance. Move how your body wants to move.
- Stop judging yourself. There is absolutely no right or wrong and no shame. This dance is a release, you Stoner Superstar!
- 11. Go for a nature walk
Getting outside and into nature is good for the soul no matter what, but cannabis can turn a simple park walk into an entirely new experience. Just be careful about consumption laws!
You don’t have to get lost in the mountains either. Just find a park nearby, or do a search for local hiking trails and trailheads. Even a walk around your neighborhood will do! Pay attention to any plants, animals, and trees you see.
How to do it:
Mindfulness is the name of the game. So:
- Put your phone away. Try silence over music (unless you’re really feeling it)
- Take deep, cleansing breaths
- Check-in with your senses: What do you see? Smell? Hear? Touch?
- Take meaningful mental snapshots of interesting things you see
- Go where the wind takes you. Give gratitude to this earth.
- 12. Cannabis Yoga
Cannabis and yoga have had a beautiful love affair for thousands of years. And it makes sense: they both have a vested interest in your mind-body connection.
So try combining the two if you never have before. But, as with everything, listen to your body. You might try searching for cannabis-friendly yoga classes near you. Or try private lessons with a teacher who encourages the use of herb.
- 13. Online cannabis-friendly Workout Videos
Depending on where you live, there might be a local movement or workout class specifically for cannabis connoisseurs just like you. But no matter where you are, you can access a ton of workout videos right from your computer or phone.
StonedandToned.com may be a good one to check out.
This is just the tip of the 420-friendly iceberg
You don’t have to do everything on this list, obviously, but hopefully something in here struck a chord with you. You can do these exercises any time you want and in whatever way works best for you. You can also do all these things stone-cold sober. They’re still wildly helpful.
But when combined with your favorite cannabis, hemp, or CBD product, these exercises can help unlock parts of your body and mind you didn’t even know were stressed.
What are some of your favorite exercises to do while elevated? Tell us in the comments below!
I really believe the Universe (and therefore this planet) provides us with all we need to survive. Cannabis is a gift, here for us to use as medicine. Medicine that heals our minds, bodies, and spirits.
I used to think cannabis was something you used just for fun. A D-r-u-g that wasn’t much different from alcohol. Until a toxic work environment (on top of untreated trauma) caused my Depression to rear its ugly head. My anxiety skyrocketed to the point where it was hard to function.
So I started smoking a little bit of my “fun weed” after stressful days. It helped me cope. It helped me sleep. It helped me socialize. I’m trying to build a world where Cannabis is not just destigmatized but celebrated. And where everyone previously harmed or incarcerated for it can get the rightful justice and honor they deserve.
Written by: Lindsey Chestnut
Edited by: Veronica Castillo
Herb of Life Cultivation, LLC
Peacock/ Wunderkind CBD
Just Bee Kynd
I Slang Sea Moss
The Bitchy Hippie
Thank you all for supporting the mission of this blog by taking care of the Writers! With your support, we are able to educate, inform, connect, and break stigmas. Cannabis builds community, and we are grateful to you all for being a part of ours!