Read on below to learn tips on overcoming paranoia. Like many stoners out there, I sometimes find it difficult to enjoy the cognitive and emotional benefits of weed because on certain occasions I can’t help but be overwhelmed by paranoia. It usually happens when I smoke up while going through something painful and personal, and it can also happen on random days where everything is going fine… until I take a few hits and then the minor issues in my life suddenly become magnified.
Despite all the benefits of this wonderful plant, it affects people in different ways. While it helps to treat anxiety in others, paranoia is also one of its most well-known side effects.
Keeping your shit together can be challenging when the paranoia does hit you. How can you possibly enjoy your hit when you begin to flip out and overanalyze situations in your life? I’m not sure how it goes for other people but when paranoia affects me I think about so many different things, sometimes all at once: friendships, relationships, money, family, and work. During these moments what stresses me out is that I always feel like things aren’t going the way they should.
All the internal questioning takes the fun out of getting high, because in the end I end up feeling exhausted from all the thinking.
Start A Conversation
One of the things I found that helped me conquer paranoia during social smoking sessions is that instead of quietly drowning in my thoughts while my buddies are having funny conversations is to make a conscious effort to participate in the discussion. This helps me focus my mental energy on other topics that don’t stress me out. Talking to people while I’m stoned allows me a distraction from my paranoid state of mind while forcing my brain to work on feedback and discussion. Put simply, it gives me something to do and also lets me benefit from other people's’ positive high.
I find that music is the best antidote to paranoia especially if I’m getting high by myself. Instead of allowing myself to go where my thoughts go, music is a pleasurable outlet that quiets my mind and lets me ease into a state of relaxation. Music and pot go together like ketchup and fries. I’m pretty sure that anyone who’s ever listened to music on weed (who hasn’t?) can attest to sounds just generally being better while high because you can appreciate it on a deeper level. The seemingly mundane experience of music and pot is actually so much fun. And when you’re having fun getting lost in your favorite artist’s tunes and lyrics, paranoia just goes away on its own.
Another really effective way of reducing paranoia is by putting on a funny show. Whether you like stand-up comedy or have a favorite sitcom, you’ll be able to loosen up and laugh the paranoia away.
For those of us who love cooking, preparing a meal in the kitchen is a fun way to distract yourself and prevent paranoia. Being in the kitchen can be therapeutic and you’ll be able to redirect your thoughts to the dish you’re making. An added bonus is that you’ll have something (hopefully) delicious to eat in case you get the munchies!
Listen To The Inner Dialogue
When I’m going through a rough time emotionally, I’ve learned to accept the internal questioning that comes with getting stoned. Believe it or not, instead of trying to ignore the paranoid thoughts, in some instances I have allowed these thoughts to flow freely because they allowed me to see situations with a fresh perspective. Because of marijuana’s ability to break down emotional barriers, I think the ego is less at work when we’re stoned and for this reason I feel more empathy. This might sound strange but when I’m high and thinking about life, I tend to send random text messages to people in my life that I feel I haven’t spent much time with or may have done wrong to, and are in need of love and attention. After the smoke session, I follow up the conversation and make an effort to connect with them in person.
Choose Your Setting
I consider myself pretty sensitive to the ambiance and overall energy of a place. It’s different for everyone, but personally if I’m sad or upset the last place I want to be is home alone. If I light a bowl alone at home, I end up seeking external ways to distract myself like I actually have to go out to a bar to change the vibe in my head and clear my mind. If I’m already anxious about something, I need substances, drugs, or experiences that help me forget them. This is the same reason why I enjoy lighting a bowl when I’m at the beach or in nature, because the beauty of the place alone offers a lot of pleasurable distractions.
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