by Sarah Mann, MD

There are several techniques to attain mindfulness, but research reveals that one of the most useful techniques is the usage of coloring books! Gone are the days when coloring was meant only for children to while away their time. Today, adults get the chance to reminiscence about their childhood and practice mindfulness by using coloring books. 

But, why is mindfulness important? Well, there are many of us who struggle to pin down our thoughts. The inner voice, although meant to be calm and positive, behaves like a chatterbox and roams from one thought to another before you even have the chance to analyze it.  Whether you like it or not, it occurs at the worst possible times and seemingly simple tasks suddenly appear nightmarish only due to reckless thoughts. 

Mindfulness helps you get a grip over the monkey mind. In other words, it helps you come to terms with the present rather than the past or the future. Often, you’re so worried about the future that you forget to live in the present. Cannabis has been used for centuries to attain a similar state of awareness. 

Now that research reveals the benefits of coloring to attain mindfulness, coupling that with cannabis can certainly help train your mind to keep a lid on its erratic thoughts. In fact, there are specific coloring books filled with mandalas and other creative drawings for people using cannabis. 

Cannabis and coloring

Coloring is a wonderful way to still the mind. It can be done without involving cannabis, of course, but since the herb helps to achieve a state of mediation quickly, using marijuana with coloring or yoga makes a lot more sense. 

According to research, coloring is used to alleviate anxiety, stress, and also helps to improve your mood. A particular study analyzed the effects of coloring mandalas and recorded the physiological changes showed a decrease in the heart rate. 

Another study investigated the effectiveness of other art activities to reduce anxiety where 84 students were asked to color mandalas, plaid forms and even blank sheets of papers. Results showed that the students coloring the plaid forms and mandalas achieved a significant reduction in anxiety compared to the ones coloring blank papers. 

But, if coloring is so beneficial why use cannabis, you ask? Well, according to literature, cannabis can help reduce stress and mind fluctuations that form the crux of the problem. When your mind wavers from one thought to another without giving you a chance to assimilate it, it becomes almost impossible to immerse yourself in the present. You not only ignore people around you, but you’re so lost in your thoughts that sitting still sounds like a luxury. Cannabis can help quiet the anxiety, the wandering thoughts, and the impulse to go somewhere else. It can help provide the ideal environment to foster and facilitate your mindful coloring. Not to mention it can enhance creativity and perception, leading to increased pleasure derived from the aesthetics of your masterpiece.

Choosing strains to attain mindfulness

Cannabis strains are available in both indica and sativa species. While sativa strains stimulate creativity, indicas tend to be sedative in nature. Sativa strains may seem ideal for mediation, but since the goal is to attain mindfulness with a still mind, indicas fit the bill here. 

Remember that mindfulness is nothing but a calm mind. It’s all about staying in the moment with no regrets of the past or planning for the future. For instance, when you wake up and make coffee, think only about preparing the coffee rather than planning your day ahead. While many people advocate planning ahead, it’s important to take a break and let your mind take some rest. 

For some people, cannabis helps to uplift their mood and emotions and provides a general state of wellbeing, but for others, it’s all about enlightenment. How marijuana helps exactly with meditation or mindfulness is yet unknown, but studies reveal that it helps to decrease erratic activity in the brain to a great extent. 

A research was conducted on people that meditated for long periods of time. Not only did researchers find changes in their brain related to empathy, but it also showed positive effects on their overall health and skills. This phenomenon, known as DMN or Decreased Mind Activity helped the mind stay calm. In other words, the brain rested for short periods of time without any disturbances. 

Cannabis has known to relieve pain and make users calm in many instances, but some people begin to get more anxious when they partake. Perhaps it’s the dosage or the fact that they simply cannot tolerate marijuana at any cost. Regardless, you’ll know how you respond once you experiment with several strains. 

Incorporating marijuana with meditation to achieve mindfulness is not a new technique, but it’s best to start with CBD products if you’re averse to the herb’s psychoactive effects. Some people enjoy high-THC strains because even THC has a host of medicinal benefits. Remember that it’s all in the mind and mindfulness becomes easy when your mind is at rest.