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Meditation for Addiction


Meditation is a powerful tool in the fight against addiction. It can alleviate addiction withdrawal symptoms, as well as provide a road of self-exploration that can often reveal the root cause of the addiction. For more information, please read on for how meditation may support you in the fight against addiction.

What is Meditation?

Meditation calms the thinking mind and increases awareness by creating a sustained focus and insight through observation. It promotes a natural state of reflection in which the mind is then able to contemplate (looks around) what it is meditating on, separating the self from external factors and allowing a person to disengage from thoughts which are often negative and self-destructive.

Meditation Techniques to Help With Addiction

Whilst there are hundreds of meditation techniques available to practice, all fit into either for the following categories:

  • Concentration meditation, where the mind is focused on a specific object. When the mind wanders into old thought patterns, the individual’s focus is brought back to the selected object.
  • Mindfulness meditation, where the mind is focused also on an object or a process such as the breath, a mantra or visualisation.
  • Transdental meditation, in which the individual experiences a shift in consciousness or physiology.

How Does Meditation Benefit Addiction?

Meditation and positive affirmations can be an important part of treating addiction.  Working on self esteem through counselling and using reflection along with positive affirmations can improve confidence and reprogram a person’s thought patterns.  Meditation can be used to help find the root cause of an addiction.  It can also help with the anger that many people with addictions feel and provide a new way of learning to cope with stress.

Powerful withdrawal symptoms experienced when fighting an addiction may be reduced and overcome with the practice of meditation. The excessive stream of thinking experienced by those experiencing withdrawal symptoms may be quietened, allowing for the addict to disengage, get off the addictive substance and stop the addictive behavior once and for all. Physiologically, meditation does so by shifting brain activity from the stress-prone, right-frontal cortex of the brain to the more calming left frontal cortex, bringing to them an awareness, acceptance and mindfulness of their addiction and their potential identification with it.

Unprocessed negative emotions, memories and hurts are often ignored and ‘stuffed down’ by addicts with their substance and behavior of choice. Meditation allow for a reflection on all repressed, negative feelings and events, providing the space for them to come to surface, enabling a healing process to take place.

Sleeping can also be an issue for those with addictions, whether the individual is still addicted or if they are already withdrawing from the addiction. Meditation assist with sleeping problems by clearing the mind before bedtime, and by facilitating a healing process to take place which continues on in the addicts sleep.

Other benefits of meditation in the treatment of addiction include:

  • Decreased feelings of anxiety
  • Decreased feelings of sadness
  • Decreased moodiness and irritability
  • Heightened concentration levels
  • Enhanced memory
  • Increased feelings of happiness
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Increased feelings of well being and vitality
  • Increased self-awareness

Physiologically, meditation may benefit an addict by:

  • Reducing the heart rate blood pressure, stress and physical anxiety experienced with withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reducing excessive amounts of Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in the bloodstream that may be produced when withdrawing from an addictive substance.
  • Increasing skin resistance and therefore support the immune system that can often be compromised when fighting an addiction.
  • Increasing airflow to the lungs, alleviating breathing difficulties often experienced by those experiencing addiction-related depression, stress or anxiety


Recent scientific studies have shown that certain forms of addiction are best fought with regular meditation practices for extended periods of time. For best results, it is recommended to meditate daily for 10-20 minutes. When it comes to reaping the rewards of meditation, consistency is key. Look for a quiet place and a time in which you do not have to hurry when practicing meditation, allowing you to take your time and for meditation to calm your mind and body.

Find out about other effective natural treatments for addiction. 


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