Journaling is a well-researched method for stress relief and overall mental health. Journaling can be used in a variety of formats and for a variety of reasons, but journaling and addiction recovery go hand-in-hand. Stress relief through journaling is different for everyone. It is a very personal process, but it’s one filled with reward.
What Is Journaling?
Writing can be a therapeutic process, regardless of content. Writing in a journal or diary on a daily basis can be useful to the writer for many reasons. Some reasons people journal include:
- Tracking physical exercise, eating and overall health
- Listing the day’s events and corresponding thoughts
- Reflecting on your emotional state(s) for that specific day
- Marking progress on specific goals
- Prioritizing responsibilities and planning for the future
- Rectifying worries and concerns about the past
- Mental “dumps:” writing any thoughts that come to mind
No matter how you choose to journal, the process of thinking about your inner being — writing it down and reading it back — is therapeutic and helpful for personal growth.
How Journaling Helps Addiction Recovery
Journaling is beneficial for the addicted and recovering addicts because it addresses many aspects of mental health that are impacted by addiction. First, journaling promotes mindfulness, a necessary component to fighting addiction. Mindfulness promotes positive decision-making and reduces impulsivity, and that can help individuals suffering from addiction stay on track.
The second reason addiction recovery journaling is helpful is that it can boost self-esteem. Using journaling to track progress on goals or to boost creativity are known ways to increase confidence. Studies support that even setting goals provides a self-esteem boost. Developing self-esteem is a crucial step in recovering from addiction and setting up a successful, sober future.
An additional benefit of journaling in addiction recovery comes from the process itself. Taking time to be alone and write is a sustainable method of relaxation and self-therapy for most individuals. So many people think of addiction recovery as a short-term rehabilitation process, but starting long-term healthy habits is the true goal for drug rehabilitation. Journaling typically only takes a few minutes and can be done virtually anywhere, making it an achievable, lifelong goal to support addiction recovery.
How to Begin Addiction Recovery Journaling
Now that we understand why journaling is beneficial to addiction recovery, it’s time to consider starting the process. Like most new habits, journaling during addiction recovery can be a difficult process to start. The first entry is often the most challenging.
To begin seeing the positive effects of journaling, choose a goal for yourself. Do you want your journal to know all of your secrets? Do you want your journal to record daily habits and progress? Do you envision your journal as a strictly creative space? Is your journal more practical or personal?
Once you consider how you’d like your journal to function in your life, you can begin the process. Remember, journaling is a personal journey. At any point, you may decide to change what you write about each day, but the most important thing is to write. Set aside at least fifteen minutes a day to write, but what you write can be up to you. Have fun and enjoy the process.
If you’re struggling with addiction, help is available. Contact 12 Keys today and start your journey to sobriety.