One of the worst feelings is that slightly past the right level of high. Nothing is quite so stressful as the tipping point where being stoned stops being fun and starts being scary. As cannabis can be very slow-acting, especially when in edible form, it is not uncommon to overstep the ideal bounds of cannabis effects. This is not only aimed at new smokers, as even the most seasoned of us can go overboard every once in a while. These are some easy tips and tricks that can be employed when things get away from us.
One of the best things we can do when we get too far past it is sipping on water. This not only deals with some of the more unpleasant side effects of smoking such as dry mouth and nausea. It also gives the mind something specific and familiar to focus on and can function as a kind of grounding exercise. In the same way, it can be a good idea to nibble on something, nothing too extravagant but again it can be soothing to focus on a familiar pleasant sensation.
While we are talking about grounding techniques let’s look at a few others. These are techniques usually used for panic attacks but they work equally well when the brain is struggling with an external influence. My personal favourite is the slow cup of tea. Of course, this can be coffee or any beverage that takes a few steps. Essentially the idea is to make a cup of tea but consider every since step as it is enacted. By focusing closely on each segment of the task it can refocus the mind and help us to come down to earth. Another classic is simply plunging the hands into ice water. This has a sort of being slapped in the face effect and drags the brain kicking and screaming back into reality. Finally, we can try a sensory exercise that reminds us of the space we are in. Naming 3 things we can hear, 3 things we can see and 3 we can smell. This exercise forces the brain to focus on the surroundings rather than whatever nonsense it is spouting on the inside.
In a way, this is related to grounding and is a great method for resetting a stressed-out brain. Smelling naturally calming scents like lavender or mint is always excellent for chilling out. A slightly strange but tried and tested on is the smell of cracked black pepper. A lot of people swear that the smell of black pepper or even chewing on it is a fantastic way to bring yourself back from the brink of major anxiety.
Take A Shower
Usually to relax I would recommend a bath, but this may not be the safest option unless there is someone nearby to act as a lifeguard. If there is no bath buddy available a shower is the next best thing. The warm water, rhythm and sound of the drops, and if possible the structure of washing hair, body etc can be an excellent distraction and leave the body and mind feeling sparkly clean and soft.
Go For A Walk
Disclaimer, this does not work for everyone. Many of us naturally nervous or anxious may want to do nothing less when too high then go outside. This is fair as the outdoors can be a stress-inducing space that feeds into paranoia and fear. However, for some a walk in the sun, maybe in a low foot-traffic area, can be a fantastic way to pull the brain out of an anxiety spiral. This suggestion almost purely refers to day time, going for a stoned solo walk at night is almost always a bad idea. Again if there is a friend nearby who wants to go along then that is always safer. The very best spaces for comedown walks are parks, the countryside, anywhere with plenty of greenery, trees and even mountains to focus on. The fewer people the better, at least in my humble opinion.
This one goes hand in hand with grounding techniques. It is also the kind of technique that doesn’t work for everyone. There is a meditation technique that can work wonders for an overloaded brain called the blue sky technique. This essentially involves closing the eyes and imagining the mind as a blue sky and thoughts as clouds. Instead of letting every single thought, no matter how wild, skid over the sky rather than stopping and settling. This technique is supposed to teach the mind how to allow thoughts to happen without getting caught up in them. A similar visual that I use to meditate is sitting at the side of a highway and watching the cars go past. My thoughts never really felt like clouds, so blue sky wasn’t the best for me.
This is the easiest for most people as it doesn’t require very much effort. The idea is just to distract the brain in any way possible until the high is over. This can be watching films, playing video games, watching TV, reading, or just mindlessly consuming media. This is especially effective if there is something that we particularly enjoy. Even a couple of things at once can be a good idea. Putting on a mindless TV show or cartoon while scrolling through the internet. Maybe having a snack and playing a fun, stress-free video game. Essentially it works best if we do what we like doing most, changing the brain attitude from panic and fear to pleasure and focus. The other option is being productive, try cleaning the kitchen, hoovering the bedroom, just putting clothes away or sorting the recycling. This may not be as easy but it does mean that when the high wears off we end up in a clean comfortable space. Keep the brain busy and don’t let it spiral. Remember it’s only temporary, and it will go away soon. Till then self-care is the order of the day.
*Image via Unsplash
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