Whether writing is something you love or hate, keeping a recovery journal is something that is encouraged by many addiction treatment centers, and for good reason. There is no right or wrong way to journal, so it is not something that you can be bad at. Your journal is your own private place to keep your thoughts. You can share it with whom you want, or you don’t have to share it with anyone at all. The choice is yours.
Spending a few minutes each day devoted to journaling can have a wide range of benefits in your recovery:
- Stress relief: Whatever is bothering you, write it down. Getting your thoughts down on paper can feel like a weight lifted from your shoulders and can help slow your mind. No one is judging you or criticizing you and you can say whatever you want.
- Self-expression: Some people create pictures with paint, while others create them with words. Whether you’re doing stream of consciousness writing, reflecting on events of the day, listing things you’re grateful for, or writing in any other style, it’s up to you. Do what you feel most comfortable with and what helps you express yourself most effectively.
- Problem solving: Writing down your thoughts can help you to look at problems from a new perspective. When you go back and re-read what you have written, you may develop more clarity and know what you need to do. It also helps you to organize your thinking and make sense of what you’re feeling.
- Focus on the present: Journaling each day forces you to be in the present. You’re writing about what happened today. You’re taking life one day at a time and not getting stuck in the past or too focused on the future.
- Reflect on progress: As your journal begins to evolve and get longer, you can see how far you have come. Looking back on previous entries reminds you of what you have overcome and how you have grown.
- Gratitude: Some people choose to create a gratitude journal. Each day you write down a few things that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. When you’re going through a rough patch, it can be helpful to look back and not take things for granted. It reminds you to be thankful for each day.
However you choose to format your journal is up to you – just don’t forget to write! It might take some time to get into the habit, but hopefully you will find that it is a valuable part of your recovery and something you enjoy doing for its many benefits.
Get Real Recovery provides personalized treatment for addiction and supports clients in developing strategies and routines that work for their recovery needs and goals. Everyone’s journey is different, but Get Real Recovery has programs for each step of the way.
Build other strategies to support recovery at Get Real Recovery. Contact us today to learn more!