Journaling is the process of writing or drawing your feelings and emotions down in a journal or diary. It can be a helpful tool for those who are recovering from addiction by advancing the healing process by working through difficult emotions. Studies have shown that journaling has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and grief. Victory Bay Recovery Center in South Jersey understands the value of journaling during recovery and can walk you or a loved one through the process.
Types of Journaling
There are many types of journaling that work differently for everyone. Some of them include:
- Diary: A diary is used to write each important thing that happens in your life day-to-day and how you feel about them.
- Spiritual journal: A spiritual journal is where people write observations about their spiritual development.
- Health Journal: This type of journal is used to outline an individual’s efforts to live a healthy lifestyle such as tracking food, exercise, and water intake.
- Gratitude Journal: a gratitude journal is useful for individuals who have a lot of negative thoughts. This type of journaling helps focus on the positive aspects of one’s life.
- Stream of Consciousness Journal: With this type of journaling, a person may sit down and write whatever comes to mind.
Journaling during recovery is an excellent way to explore your thoughts and feelings in a private setting. Often, it is a means for you to set goals for yourself, evaluate your progress, verbalize your anxieties, and brainstorm ways to improve or develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Benefits of Journaling
There are many benefits a person in recovery can look forward to when journaling. Keeping a journal allows people to learn more about themselves, observe behavioral patterns, and reduce stress levels. For many individuals, being able to articulate what they feel allows them to manage their emotional and physical responses. By making intangible thoughts physical in the written word, individuals can edit and make clearer to themselves what they need to do to succeed in recovery. Also, it provides an outlet for frustrations, worries, and even a means to celebrate successes.
Writing down goals during recovery increases the likelihood that they will be achieved. Journaling can be a way to track your progress towards goals and go back in time to read old entries to see all that was accomplished. Having a record of your progress during treatment or recovery gives you one more resource to turn to when you are having a difficult time. It also provides a means for helping others.
When individuals write in their journal, they are free of judgment from others, which allows them to be more open and honest about themselves. Doing so allows individuals to get to the heart of their issues.
How to Keep a Recovery Journal
There are no rules for journaling. Those who wish to journal should use it to express themselves in a way that feels right for them. Journaling is considered a self-reflective activity that can be paired with other self-reflective activities like meditation, nature walks, and listening to music. Here are some suggestions for writing in your journal:
- Set aside 10-30 mins a day to write about feelings and experiences you had during the day
- Pick a place that is free from distractions
- Keep a pen and paper to write down any notes throughout the day
- Set aside time to review journal activities
To learn more about how journaling and other self-reflective activities can aide in your recovery process, reach out to Victory Bay Recovery Center in South Jersey. When paired with addiction treatment through the best IOP program in New Jersey, journaling can be a useful tool to help you heal. Contact us today at 855.259.1624.