Pranayama and Cannabis for destroying Apocalyptic Anxiety
As a cannabis consumer, writer, musician, and overall artist – I don’t have a problem with being stuck in a place. In fact – one could say that seclusion and isolation are key ingredients when it comes to creating meaningful art.
After all – in order to reach the depths of human emotion it is necessary to expose yourself, remove the masks and become completely vulnerable in front of others. For this – being isolated and secluded is very good.
Most people who aren’t used to this type of creation-dynamics require “distraction” to remain normal. People listen to music, watch movies, play games, go to the gym, read a book, go to a bar, do activities – all to help with an existential angst that always lingers in the corner of our minds.
This is partly why the whole world has been on an accelerated path for so long – trying to escape the inevitable loneliness we all feel when we slow down enough.
Then – came a global “fear-fest” known as “our latest pandemic” which forced everyone to slow down significantly. Some places went in total lock down for more than a month – which has forced people into the uncomfortable position of spending time with themselves.
The first few days
The first few days are often the easiest and go by rather quickly. I remember the atmosphere was of confusion, excitement and worry. People were weirded out by the fact that their kids are at home and they aren’t allowed to go to work.
At first – they filled up their time talking to their familiars, hanging out with friends and discussing in great detail “what is happening” with anyone willing to listen.
A few days later – the conversations ran dry, the jokes became stale and people realized ‘this might go on for longer than expected’.
Some people are already going mad with anxiety and they haven’t even cleared a week. This is what prompted me to write this article – to provide a helping hand for folks who are currently going through a rough time.
Cannabis for Apocalyptic Anxiety
Considering that you can’t really go anywhere – have you tried doing some edibles? I mean – you’ve got the time now so why not go off the deep end a bit.
I’ve recently been experimenting with cookies [that my wife made] and I must tell you – that it’s a great way to tone down the anxiety quite a lot. If you’re usually anxious – the mere fact of incorporating edibles will reduce it by half.
You might be a little “heavy” at first – but by day 2-3 you’ll have a firm grip on what is a good dose and what is too much.
Learning how to breathe
I was recently called by an acquaintance that suffered a panic attack after hearing about all the madness happening out in the world. I told her to “breathe deep, and breathe long” and I recommend that everybody does the same.
Most people go through life breathing shallow – meaning, they are always in a pseudo-state of fight or flight. The mere act of breathing through the diaphragm slowly and mindfully will drastically reduce your anxiety as well.
For those who have respiratory problems – I recommend only doing “mindfulness breathing” exercises and to not follow the more advanced techniques that will be discussed later on.
This first “act of breathing” will be simply to inhale through the nose – into the diaphragm for seven slow seconds – to hold for a second or two, and to breathe out for seven seconds of equal length. In other words, your inhalations and exhalations need to be of equal length. Also – the inhalation and exhalation through the nose require you to imagine that you’re “yawning”. This opens the throat, however, keep breathing through the nose. If you’re congested, breathing open mouth is fine too.
Do this for 2-5 minutes every time you feel anxious. Afterwards, simply sit still and feel how you feel all over your body.
Fire Breath – Let’s go places!
For those who need a bit more than just “relieving stress/anxiety” – fire breathing is probably what you’re looking for. Pranayama is practices breath control in yoga. There’s a lot of literature and videos online for anyone interested in learning. I highly recommend incorporating some breath work into your daily routines – if solely for the purpose of managing your anxiety and stress levels.
While I am by far no expert in these things – I have experimented with Kundalini Yoga and other breathing exercises and highly recommend it for those who wish to experience psychedelic experiences – but are too afraid to take psychedelics.
Nonetheless – if you do not have any respiratory difficulties – follow the following technique and practice it for a few minutes at a time, and increase accordingly.
One way to start Breath of Fire, which was the way I learned it some 30 years ago, is to start with long deep breathing, then as soon as the lungs are completely expanded, as described earlier, to immediately force the air out, and as soon as most of the air is out to immediately expand the air back in, each time arching the spine forwards and pressing the palms inward against the knees in a light manner to feel the diaphragm filling the lungs from the back to the front completely, then contracting again. – [Source]
Doing this kind of breathing by itself can take you to insane places within yourself as your circuits of consciousness collapse and you begin to vibrate at higher “consciousness”.
But what happens when you mix it with a solid dose of edibles?
When Cannabis Meets Pranayama
If you get to a point where you’re crawling out of your skin of boredom – during these next few weeks, I encourage you to take a trip.
Make yourself a nice batch of edibles – get yourself nicely toasted and put on some trippy music. Dim the lights, perhaps light a few scented candles. Then – start breathing! Get some forceful breaths into those lungs – follow a tutorial on Youtube or do it by yourself – irrespective, you’ll have an amazing time and more importantly – you’ll forget all about your apocalyptic anxiety in the process.
If you’ve got nothing better to do…why not give this a go!