Journaling as a Tool towards Recovery
Journaling is an excellent tool for anyone, but most especially for those in the recovery process from any kind of addiction. Journaling helps to give you insight, show you your progress, gives you a tool to tap into your subconscious thoughts and emotions, and helps to identify negative patterns and habits that bring conflict in your life.
Journaling is also a great tool to record your daily experiences and thoughts and gives you a tangible measuring stick that shows your growth and progress throughout your recovery process.
As well as being a platform for outlining structure and goals, journaling helps to give you a better understanding of yourself. By putting pen to paper your thought process flows onto the page releasing other thoughts and emotions that you may have had no idea were lying dormant.
In my personal journaling experience I have found a release from my shackled thoughts and overactive thinking. Putting my constant worries and fears on paper helps put them in perspective. Journaling is a great tool for asking yourself questions and getting the answer that is true to you and your core beliefs. During the journaling process you may also discover that your core beliefs and judgements about yourself are not as what you may have consciously thought, giving you a platform to relate information to your therapist and work through your findings.
Now I know what you might be thinking … What if I cant get my thoughts out quick enough? I don't even know where to begin when journaling! Its easier to get my thoughts out by talking about them, not writing them. I can help you with some of these questions.
One way to being journaling is to write about your day and how you felt about it - take a daily inventory and see your part in the day and how decisions you made effected how the day went.
Another way to start is to as yourself questions like, how are you doing [your name]? Why did you react like this in a certain situation? What was the best part of your day and why? There are many ways to get the pen process flowing, once it starts you may find that it just keeps going ….
Now to answer your concern about not getting your thoughts out quick enough, our minds are thinking a million miles a minute. No matter how much we would like, we are never going to get every piece of information we are thinking about out, be it through talking or writing. The idea is that writing does trigger other thought processes and get us thinking about things that we ordinarily wouldn’t. Also, when we write its a more intimate experience with self. allowing you to be more honest with your thoughts and feelings. More honest than you would be if you were talking about them to another human being. We all fear judgement, its a natural part of human nature. When you are writing you are able to release your thoughts and feelings without judgement, therefore you are better able to process them.
A quick recap on the benefits of journaling:
Great tool for self reflection that gives you the ability to reflect on issues
Charts your progress and offers insights as to why you use negative coping
Records your daily experiences and personal thoughts
Use it as a platform for achieving your goals
Identifies the negative patterns and habits that are bringing conflicts into your life
Helps you to confront your issues
Gives you a better understanding of yourself
People also report that journaling provides a record of gratitude, goals, intentions, and the ups and the downs of life as they walk the road of recovery.
It reminded them that they have the ability to take actions. Their actions led to personal growth. Growth led them ultimately to clarify their dreams and desires for living well.
May you be blessed by taking action in journaling your journey of recovery.
I am the Program Coordinator I oversee activities related to holistic health at Hillside Laguna.
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