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Benefits of Meditation for Addiction Recovery

The Benefits of Meditation in Recovery

Meditation is an ancient practice that focuses on awareness. It possesses many mental, physical, and spiritual benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Because addiction can often negatively impact all these areas, meditation is one practice that can help recovering addicts on their journeys to lasting sobriety. Our Southern California rehab is sharing more on the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery and why we incorporate it into some of our clients’ addiction treatment plans.

A Brief History of Meditation

The practice of meditating tends to get thrown around in conversation, but there is so much to know about the topic. To best understand the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery, we must first clarify what meditation is and means.

The word ‘meditation’ stems from the Latin term meditatum, which means ‘to ponder.’ Through the practice of meditation, it is believed that we can seek to find a better connection with our body in the everyday moments we often take for granted or allow to pass by. The purpose of meditating is to create a stronger awareness of how our emotions influence our behavior.

There are two places from which meditation originates: India and China. India has some of the oldest written records of meditating from around 1500 BCE. In these texts, the practice of Dhyāna or Jhāna is referenced as the training of the mind, which is also referred to as meditation. China also has records of meditation going as far back as the 3rd and 6th century BC and linked to the Daoist Laozi, an ancient Chinese philosopher.

What started off as ritualistic practice that was more religious than medical has now become one of the main modalities of clinical care for substance use disorders. Along with yoga, guided meditation for recovery has become a growing holistic practice utilized by addiction treatment facilities all over the country to better support spiritual and physical healing. Our Banyan Palm Springs rehab is only one of several in our family that has incorporated this practice to further aid our clients.

Benefits of Meditation for Recovery From Addiction

Meditation affects numerous processes in the mind and body that can be beneficial for the average person but can also give a recovering addict access to even more tools to use in recovery. This addiction treatment therapy, in tandem with traditional treatments, has shown many promising results.

Some benefits of meditation for addiction recovery include:

  • Reducing stress: Mindfulness meditation can help decrease stress which can have both mental and physical health implications.1
  • Improve anxiety and depression: In several studies, meditation has been shown to help with anxiety and depression compared to those who do not meditate.2
  • Pain relief: While the results are mixed, there is some evidence to suggest that mindfulness meditation can reduce chronic pain and is more effective than other standard treatments.3
  • Help with insomnia: Meditation-based therapy has been shown to aid in insomnia relief, but the program should be designed for those with insomnia specifically.2
  • Cravings, clarity, and focus: Meditation improves focus and attention by altering connections in the brain that can have lasting benefits.4 For recovering addicts, these changes include reducing addiction cravings.5
  • Confidence and self-esteem: Meditation that focuses attention on simple sensations helps people with social anxiety disorder to develop a better view of themselves and boost their confidence.6 This improvement can be especially beneficial for people in recovery who are trying to rebuild their lives from their past mistakes.
  • Physical health benefits: Along with the many mental health advantages of meditation in recovery, meditation can have many physical health benefits for high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, depression, smoking addiction, and anxiety.1

Meditation is a practice. Most of our patients are first exposed to meditation in our residential rehab program and are advised to continue this practice after treatment is over. However, if you have already undergone treatment and are researching meditation in recovery, we encourage you to first start with professionally led classes or courses.

Guided meditation for addiction recovery can teach you the basics of this practice and help you find the type of meditation that works best for you. The more you engage in this practice, the easier it will get, and the more you will find its benefits enhancing your life. However, meditation is not a “one-size-fits” all practice. If you do not feel like it is benefiting your recovery, you can always investigate other holistic or ancillary practices for addiction.

Get Drug Addiction Help in California Today

At Banyan, some of our employees believe in the power of meditation and its benefits. Banyan’s National Director of Alumni Services, Dave Goloski, says, “As someone in recovery for several years, meditation has become a part of my daily routine and has helped keep me on track in my sobriety journey. In the beginning, I would only meditate for three minutes, but I started seeing unbelievable results immediately. After about two years, I can comfortably meditate for about 20 minutes. My goal is to continue increasing this time to see even more benefits of meditation in recovery. Even when I do not have the luxury to meditate for an extended period, I found that I could still get the health benefits of meditation in recovery, such as mental clarity and focus, and more importantly, the ability to pause and assess a situation before acting. This is a huge asset in stressful situations that can otherwise trigger relapse.”

At our California detox center, we believe in a comprehensive approach to treatment that focuses on healing the mind, body, and soul so that patients can find lasting recovery. Whether you are looking for healing for yourself or for someone you care about, we want to help.

Call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information to find out more about our Palm Springs drug rehab programs.



  1. NIH – Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects on Anxiety and Stress Reactivity
  2. NIH – Meditation and Mindfulness: What You Need To Know
  3. Medical News Today – Brain study shows why mindfulness eases pain
  4. CNBC – Study: Meditating can help you focus and keep your brain young
  5. NCBI – Mindfulness-based treatment of addiction: current state of the field and envisioning the next wave of research
  6. Stanford – How meditation can help anxiety

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Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.