When people are swept up in the cycle of addiction they can become stuck in a state of denial and are constantly escaping from reality. They might not take the time to organize and work through their feelings through self-reflection. One of the many daily tactics that addicts learn in recovery is the habit of writing in a journal. Expressing your feelings in a journal is beneficial for your mental health and is an especially useful skill for addicts learning how to become more self-aware and connected to their emotions.
Journaling can also be a great way for addicts to document their progress and at times look back to see how far they have come over time. It can be encouraging for them to see how their thoughts and feelings have changed for the better after doing all the important work in recovery. Writing in a journal can be a useful coping skill in times of emotional distress or even when dealing with the cravings and urges that addicts often experience in recovery.
Recounting the Day and Discussing Inner Feelings
There are many different ways to use a journal and people in addiction recovery can benefit from all the various aspects of journaling. The type of journaling familiar to most is the act of recounting your day and focusing on what you succeeded or struggled with the most. This can be helpful for addicts who are working hard in recovery and are experiencing something new every day. It can be a method of tracking their progress and remembering what they’ve worked on every day in their therapy sessions or group meetings.
Writing about the events of the day is a good way to process everything that happens and remember the most salient moments. Aside from the details of what occurs in the day, writing in a journal is also a way to work through internal feelings and thoughts. Writing out whatever thoughts or emotions come to mind can help people to understand the more complex things that they go through every day that might require some more reflection. This type of writing can be less structured or even a stream of consciousness sort of style that releases pent up emotions in a therapeutic way. Discussing emotions in the form of writing can help people in recovery review their past feelings and recognize patterns that could be holding them back in their progress.
Writing for Gratitude and Spirituality
Journaling can be a way to release negative thoughts and emotions but it can also be an opportunity to express gratitude and positive feelings that are likely to occur in recovery. Keeping a list of things that you are grateful for in your journal can boost happiness and help people in recovery stay positive throughout their journey to sobriety. Gratitude can come up naturally throughout recovery but it can also be something that you take time to cultivate through journaling. Addicts can look back on their lists of gratitude to give them motivation when they are feeling low or discouraged. In addition to gratitude, journaling can also give people a chance to focus on their spirituality.
Developing a spiritual life is known to be a crucial part of recovering from an addiction and keeping a journal can help people stay connected to their spirituality. In their journal, addicts can write out their personal reflections and inspiring thoughts that occur as they delve into the spiritual world. Writing in a journal in whatever form seems useful in that moment can be a valuable tool in moving forward in recovery and even preventing relapse. Developing the habit of journaling can keep people focused on sobriety and healthier methods of coping with their daily lives.