One of the most effective tools in one’s recovery process is journaling. You can do it from anywhere at whatever time you want to pen down your thoughts. Since journaling falls under expressive writing, your intention should not be to sound nice, tell a story that makes sense, or even ensure your words flow out nicely. Rather, the purpose of journaling is to help you process your emotions in a way that makes you understand yourself. It is a great way to reduce stress and get in touch with your feelings. So how can journaling help you people in addiction recovery? Discussed below are a few benefits of journaling.
Helps With Self-Reflection
Journaling allows you to get in touch with your emotions or personal needs. After you have journaled for some time, you will start developing more self-aware patterns that can help keep your recovery in check. This is beneficial because you are now holding yourself accountable. When one is self-aware, it is easy to recognize when you are abandoning your recovery journey. You can then take steps to resolve the situation. It also allows you to reach out for help anytime you feel overwhelmed.
Helps You Identify Triggers and How to Cope with Them
You can choose to write a journal either daily or weekly. It is all about reflecting on the day or week that has ended or is starting. In the process, you get to note down what you are grateful for and the challenges you have faced. As you write the good and the bad, you will realize what triggers you and how you manage to navigate that. Maybe you had a bad day at work, or you argued with a loved one, which pushed you on edge. Writing this down can help you make sense of your day or week. You can realize which situations are likely to trigger you and what are the healthy ways to cope without using drugs or alcohol.
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Benefits Your Mental Health and Prevents a Relapse
A journal is like your safe space where you get to put down your innermost thoughts, struggles, and feelings. Getting these things out of your chest will make you feel good. This is a healthy coping mechanism that most therapists recommend. One of the reasons many people have mental health issues is because they bottle emotions and refuse to acknowledge them. When you do not want to face what you are feeling, most likely, you will turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Having a way to process difficult emotions can also give you insight into healthy coping mechanisms.
Help You Cope with Stress and Anxiety in Recovery
Have you ever tried resting when you are anxious? It almost feels impossible because you cannot relax your mind. Anxiety makes you feel like you are dealing with hundreds of emotions simultaneously, and stress prevents you from sifting through these feelings. Instead of struggling, try journaling what you are feeling. Simply write whatever comes to mind. Journaling helps you see what is real and what is not. It allows you to make sense of your emotions and keep them in check. According to Impact Recovery Center, this will prevent you from having a relapse because you have processed your emotions.
Help Shed Some Light on Negative Thoughts
On recovery, you will encounter some negative thoughts. You may tell yourself you will never get sober, people will never trust you again, or you do not deserve good things. This negative dialogue can affect you. Journaling allows you to see how poorly you treat yourself. This is the first step to realizing that you can treat yourself with love and dignity.
For anyone in their recovery journey that has not embraced journaling, give it a try. It gives you a better perspective and allows you to see what you can do to cope with challenging emotions and situations.