When you complete detox and achieve early sobriety, you will have a lot of time. How do you spend each day without getting bored or stressed? Keeping a recovery journal might be the best way to help you maintain progress in early sobriety. Journaling can benefit your emotional and mental health in multiple ways.
Can Journaling Help the Brain Sort Out Its Noises?
You may notice the constant noise in your head. Substance use and addiction may bring a lot of negative thoughts to your mind. Journaling is a way to sort them out. When you write down things that are bothering you, this can help you prioritize and process problems. By keeping daily entries, you can also track the development of this issue.
For example, if you are bothered by a relationship problem, journaling can provide a way to pause and reflect on both your own and the other person’s behaviors. In this writing space, you can verbalize a lot of things that went unsaid. Journaling every day also allows you to track how specific challenges can be resolved.
Sorting out these noises in the brain is a pathway toward healing. You will feel relieved when writing some intense emotions down. In journal land, you can express emotions that you have tried to suppress in real life, such as anger or disappointment. It is a healthy way to release the negative energy caused by these negative emotions.
Can Journaling Reduce Stress?
Because journaling creates a safe space for emotional release, it is certainly a great way to reduce stress. You need to know that stress management is one essential life skill for relapse prevention. Any sober activities you do that can help reduce stress should be prioritized in this phase.
If you keep a recovery journal for years, your emotional awareness will increase. This will help you better identify and cope with triggers. Because journaling is all about reflection, you will be able to identify your own behavioral patterns in life. When you re-read old journal entries, you can begin to make sense of your typical responses to situations.
How to Journal If I Am Not A Writer?
Keeping a recovery journal does not require that you are a good writer. As long as you can sit down and write some honest thoughts about your day, that will work. For people who practice journaling for the first time, it may feel strange to write just for yourself. But you will soon find this exercise quite gratifying.
If you can find ten minutes in a day, preferably at the end of a day, to write down some things that impacted you emotionally, that would be a great habit. The goal is not to sound nice, because nobody else will be reading this. You just need to write down what happened and express your own thoughts in the journal.
What Kind of Journaling Methods Are Out There?
Keeping a recovery journal may look different for everyone. You may choose to begin with one journal. Or you can have different journals with slightly varying purposes. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. For example, you can begin with a daily entry journal where you document daily events and struggles. That would be a good starting point.
As you get more comfortable with journaling, maybe you want to keep a reflection journal where you describe what has happened to you and how things can be improved next time. The purpose is to pause and use this space to think about possibilities.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a good way to count your blessings in life. You can write down things that you are grateful for each day. This journaling method can center positivity, a key perspective that will benefit you on the journal to wellness. Without a perspective of gratitude, you may not be aware of how blessed life is.
What Are Some Prompts I Can Use to Journal?
Using a list of prompts can be a fun and easy way to journal. These can be themes, questions, or words and phrases to start a journal entry. When you do not have much to write down, you can use some thought-provoking prompts. Below are a few examples:
- What I wish others knew about me is…
- My short-term goals are…
- What are two things you do better than most people?
- My favorite memories are…
- Are you proud of your recovery progress so far?
- Name ten things you have learned about yourself during recovery.
- What scares you the most in recovery?
- How would you introduce yourself to new people?
In sum, keeping a recovery journal can be fun and relaxing. It can certainly help you recover better. If you abide by some key principles such as persistence, honesty, and self-appreciation, journaling can become a fruitful way toward self-care and self-discovery.
Full recovery from addiction means achieving self-sufficiency, self-understanding, and independence in life. Among the many methods and skills you can use to get there, journaling is fun and easy. Try including journaling in your self-care regimen. If you are looking for a supportive team that can equip you with long-term self-care techniques, look no further than Laguna Shores Recovery. We can help you learn the life skills you may be missing. Our experienced mental health professionals and compassionate staff understand the importance of life skills during recovery. We have designed every program to foster sober independence. Call us today at (866) 774-1532 to embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery.