Meditation seems to be one of the top techniques recommended nowadays for self-development (e.g. McGonigal, K. 2011). For people who want to overcome behavioural addictions (i.e. any "addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-drug-related behavior – sometimes called a natural reward", such as food, sex, masturbation, pornography, gambling, internet, video games, nail biting, compulsive skin picking, compulsive hair pulling, etc.):

  • Which meditation techniques (e.g. mindfulness, Vipassana, Yoga, Zazen, TM, Kundalini, etc.) are the most recommendable, according to state-of-the-art Psychology and Neuroscience?
  • Additionally, given the fact that an average layman cannot afford going full-time monk, what would be a recommendable frequency of the practice (in terms of minutes/hours per day) to see palpable results in a reasonable time?


  • Is a single meditation technique enough to overcome behavioral addictions? Or would it better to practice multiple meditation techniques at the same time? Or maybe different meditation techniques for different situations? For instance, are there any special meditation techniques to handle strong, compulsive urges in the presence of addiction cues/triggers?


  • Is meditation as a whole enough, or would one need to complement it with other non-meditative practices or measures? For example, positive affirmations, hypnosis, or maybe going to a therapist, exercising, sleeping 8+ hours, etc. I'm just throwing some ideas around.


McGonigal, K. (2011). The willpower instinct: How self-control works, why it matters, and what you can do to get more of it. Penguin Books.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Where did you get the idea that "Meditation seems to be one of top techniques recommended nowadays for self-development."? Can you please provide references to back that claim? Mind you even if you did, to ask for the best on something is to ask for an opinion which is off topic in all SE sites. $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Mar 17 '18 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ I've watched a lot of informal videos and read a lot of informal websites about self-development, and meditation is one of the top recurrent suggestions, together with exercise, healthy diet, etc. But if you ask me about more rigorous sources, right know "The willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal comes to mind, for example. With respect to the use of the word "best", I don't think it is necessarily equivalent to asking for opinions, it could perfectly be answered objectively by providing an objective ranking metric, e.g., the technique's effectiveness for treating behavioral addictions. $\endgroup$ – xwb Mar 17 '18 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ Related: 1. psychology.stackexchange.com/a/17427/4397 2. psychology.stackexchange.com/q/17423/4397 $\endgroup$ – Seanny123 Mar 18 '18 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Seanny123, based on those links the takeaway would be to identify the bad habit's triggers, select an incompatible healthy response, and to frequently practice "guided mental imagery" to reinforce your preference toward the incompatible healthy response? In other words, are you suggesting that "guided mental imagery" is the best meditation technique? What about other techniques, such as mindfulness, Vipassana, Yoga, Positive Affirmations, Hypnosis etc.? $\endgroup$ – xwb Mar 18 '18 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @xwb unfortunately, despite asking the linked questions, I can't helped you any further. I saw the relation, but can't go any further than that. ): $\endgroup$ – Seanny123 Mar 18 '18 at 17:58

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