In this guide, I will share a powerful meditation to quit drinking. And yes, even if you have been an alcoholic for years, you will find this beneficial.
Years ago, I used meditation to quit all my addictions at once.
I used to drink, smoke, and watch adult videos. And I am certainly not proud of those things. Why do I tell you? Because if I can quit all those things with some simple exercises then you can quit drinking. And meditation is one way you can do it.
Let me tell you a secret.
My biggest regret in my entire life is that I was unable to help my dad stop boozing. He died when I was in my twenties.
When I think back, I feel sadness and regret that I couldn’t help him. But I also know that I can now help others to stop drinking in my meditation lessons. And I’ve also been able to help people to stop smoking too.
That brings me to today.
Today I am going to show you how to quit drinking with meditation. So let’s get right to it.
4 Best Types Of Meditation To Stop Drinking Alcohol
To start with, let me show you the best meditations for alcoholics. Try each of these methods. It will take a little while. But we both know that it will be worth it.
1: My Best Meditation for Alcoholics
- Sit comfortably with good posture. I recommend sitting in a chair. Place your feet at shoulder-width apart. Make sure your knees are comfortable and not locked. Rest your bottom comfortably on the seat so that your weight is distributed evenly. Lengthen your spine a little. Tuck your chin down slightly to elongate your neck a bit. Now look forward at an angle of 45 degrees, so you’re looking slightly downwards.
- Place your hand in Gyan mudra (a mudra is a hand gesture). To do this, place your hands on your thighs, palms facing upwards. Let your third, fourth, and fifth fingers rest outwards. Place the tips of your thumbs and the tips of your index fingers together. This position will help you to focus.
- Close your eyes and focus on breathing.
- Observe your breath as it moves in through your nostrils, through your mouth, and down into your diaphragm. Continue to focus on your breathing.
- As you focus on your breathing, certain thoughts and feelings will come to mind. For instance, as an alcoholic, you might think, “I can’t believe I’m so addicted to alcohol”. When these thoughts occur, observe them. Do not fight them. Do not hold on to them. Simply observe them. You may also experience feelings, such as a craving for a beer or a glass of wine. Again, simply observe these thoughts and feelings and return to focusing on your breath.
- Now I want you to begin to recite a mantra. The mantra is “I forgive myself for having an addiction. I am here now. I give myself love, strength, and the power to heal.”
- While you are reciting this mantra, continue to focus on your breath. You will continue to experience thoughts and feelings, and that is completely fine. Just let your thoughts and feelings come and go as they will, while you continue to recite the mantra.
- Continue for 20 minutes.
- At the end, say to yourself, “May I live a happy, healthy life”.
This simple exercise will make you more mindful and will cultivate self-forgiveness and self-compassion. Many of my students have used this meditation to stop drinking alcohol.
2: Body Scan
Cravings for alcohol usually begin as a physical sensation in the body. For instance, you might start to feel irritable or itchy when you don’t drink. This is the craving manifesting physically in your body.
The problem is that most people are not conscious of these triggers until too late. By the time you’re conscious of that itch telling you to drink, it’s already gotten hold of you.
You need to become aware of your triggers early so that you can control them before they make you drink.
The best way to do this is by using the body scan exercise created by Jon Kabat Zinn. It’s a method that makes you more conscious of sensations in your body. It’s called Body Scan.
When you practice this exercise, you will take control of all those little signals that tell you to drink.
Here is how to do Body Scan Meditation.
Research suggests that mindfulness is one of the best meditations to quit drinking.
Mindfulness is simply the practice of being conscious of the present moment.
When we have an addiction, we are often lost in our thoughts. We think of ways to get a hit of our addiction, or ways to recover from our addiction, or just plain thinking about our addiction. We don’t focus on the present moment.
When you practice mindfulness, you increase conscious awareness. In turn, you gain more self-control. And sometimes, that slight increase in self-control is enough for you to say no to alcohol.
4: Loving Kindness
What I’m about to say makes me feel sick to my stomach and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Often, addictions like alcohol and cigarettes have an emotional undertone . Many people become addicts after trauma or after painful periods in life.
Tough times can leave us feeling empty, angry, depressed, or just plain negative. And these emotions can make us reach for a glass of beer or wine.
So why does this make me feel sick in my stomach? Because ever since I was a ten-year old I knew that my father’s drinking was caused by an emotional problem. But no one listened to me. Not the therapists nor my dad. They were certain it was a chemical thing. And they were wrong.
So please take this next question seriously.
Is there an emotional undercurrent to your drinking? Is it caused or motivated by anger or resentment, or other negative feelings?
If so, I highly recommend that you practice Loving Kindness.
You will find it easier to quit drinking when you feel loved and supported. And that is what Loving Kindness will give you. Refer to our main menu for a guide to Loving Kindness Meditation.
More types of meditation to quit drinking
As well as using the exercises above, I recommend trying the following types of meditation to stop drinking:
Vipassana: Buddhist method in which you observe your thoughts and feelings. Increases self-control to reduce the effects of cravings. If you’d like to learn more about this, I recommend the works of S N Goenka.
Guided meditations for alcoholics: For beginners, the easiest way to use meditation to quit drinking is with guided meditation. These are available on Youtube. However, research from Harvard Medical Schqool shows that this method is not as effective as a proper meditation lesson.
Yoga and tai chi: I love both yoga and tai chi. They make me feel so relaxed and calm. Plus they enhance the mind body connection. And all of that is excellent for overcoming alcoholism. I personally recommend tai chi teacher Paul Lam.
Breathing methods: Excellent way of cultivating inner peace and relaxation if you stress-drink. If you’d like to know more, I recommend reading some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books or you can book an online meditation lesson with me.
Mantras: Recite a relaxing and motivational mantra such as “I embrace my new, healthy, drink-free life.” This will produce positive thoughts that motivate you. It is a method recommended by Deepak Chopra.
Try an app: If you need help making mindfulness a habit, you can try an app. For instance, there is Headspace, designed by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, and other apps like Unwinding Anxiety, made by Judson Brewer, director of research at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Do note that apps are not as effective as proper meditation according to research from Harvard Medical School. The best way to learn is with a proper meditation teacher like myself.
Also, consider other aspects of alcohol cessation.
Eric L. Garland and Matthew O. Howard recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. But they do also state that Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI) is one of the most promising new treatments. [from the journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice]
Benefits of meditation for alcoholics
Many people ask me “Can meditation help with alcoholism”. And by now you know that the answer is yes.
Meditation helps with what Alcoholics Anonymous calls the “Three Prongs” of alcoholism.
Firstly, there’s the mental aspect, in which addicts are robbed of their will. Secondly, there’s a physical aspect that causes cravings. Finally, there is a spiritual aspect that causes discontentment and disconnectedness.
Thankfully, meditation can help with those “three prongs”. It helps with the mental aspect because it improves cognitive abilities. It helps with the physical aspect because it balances brain chemicals. And it helps with the spiritual aspect because it changes your perspective on life.
Science makes this much clear.
Alcoholics who meditate for just eleven minutes a day every day end up drinking less beer. 
Researchers at University College London took a group of 68 adult alcoholics and taught them one single 11-minute lesson in mindfulness.
The people in the mindfulness group were taught to mindfully observe their thoughts and feelings (and especially their cravings) for eleven minutes per day.
The control group was taught relaxation techniques that were designed to reduce cravings.
During the following week, the group that had been taught mindfulness drank on average 9.3 units of alcohol less than they had done the week before. And this after just one single eleven-minute lesson in mindfulness.
The study’s authors state that mindfulness is an effective treatment for alcoholics. They recommend using mindfulness meditation to quit drinking.
Also, research shows that meditation increases control of the posterior cingulate cortex. This is the part of the brain that is activated by cravings and stress. This means you will have more control over your cravings for alcohol.
As you can see, it’s pretty obvious why meditation is good for alcoholics.
Now let me say one last time. You can quit drinking. You have the power. And I am here to help you.
My personal insight
In my experience, most methods of quitting drinking take power away from you.
Medications for alcoholism can work sometimes, but they also make you dependent on a tablet. Alcohol rehab centres can help for a while, but many people relapse after they leave .
Meditation is different. One of the best things about using meditation for alcoholics is that it is empowering.
I wholeheartedly believe in empowering people. And I think that the best way to do that is by teaching you the powers that you have within yourself. Not a tablet. Not a therapist. You. You are the cure to your problem. I believe that with every fibre of my being.
So why meditate?
Simple. It gives you the power to take control of alcoholism by using your mind.
And I know, you might think, “I don’t have that power.” And you are wrong. You have the power to change.
When you learn to meditate, you learn to control your mind and your emotions. You learn to take control of your cravings. And, more than anything, you discover that you have the power to naturally quit alcohol.
Meditation is a very empowering practice. More than any other technique for quitting drinking, meditation puts you in control.
Not only this but there are more than 100 proven benefits of meditation. So not only can you quit drinking with meditation, you will get a ton of other benefits from it too.
Other exercises and therapies for alcoholics:
- Residential care
- Addiction helplines
- Medications for alcohol dependence
- Alcohol rehab centres
- Alcoholics Anonymous
However, in my experience, there is nothing more effective than meditation for alcoholics.
When it comes to quitting drinking, meditation can help in significant ways.
When you meditate, you become more consciously aware of cravings and of the triggers that make you drink. You also boost your willpower and sharpen your mind. Plus, even though you are using meditation for alcoholism, you will also get lots of additional health bonuses.
One important thing to remember is that the journey doesn’t end after going without drinking for a month or so, it continues.
That’s why it’s important to use mindfulness-based relapse prevention to prevent yourself from relapsing. Just like mindful eating and mindful smoking cessation, it is important to make mindfulness a part of your life after you have started your recovery. This will help prevent alcohol relapse.
Are you ready to quit drinking? Are you ready to embrace a new, healthy life? Book an online meditation lesson with me today.
1: International Journal Of Neuropsychopharmacology
2: Mindfulness Meditation for Alcohol Relapse Prevention: A Feasibility Pilot Study , Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD Department of Family Medicine (AZ, DR, MZ, MM, MF), University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106278/
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison
Meditation cannot cure racing thoughts, but the breathing and mental health techniques that come with meditation are clinically proven to slow things down. The breathing associated with mediation can convince your brain that everything’s alright and bring a peace you might not have felt in years. Remember that everything can happen, either one way or the other, but it is us who control how we react to it. Things do not come to us from outside, our lives are what we create. Therefore, we need to remain attentive and not sweep things under the rug. Pay close attention to your actions, to your daily habits, to the routines, notice even small changes, take note of what and why things happen, be proactive, choose wisely the people you surround yourself with, mind the language you use, take good care of your mental and physical well-being. These things might sound very general but when you look closely they matter each step of the journey.