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JOURNALING THROUGH RECOVERY

journaling through addiction

Journaling Your Way Through Recovery

Keeping a journal can be an effective tool for someone detoxing and in recovery. Research shows that journaling can help to reduce stress, improves mental health and, may even lower the risk of a relapse. Journaling is a way for a recovering addict to track their progress through the recovery process but more importantly, it gives them insight into their own addiction patterns so that they can be identified and changed.

Types of Journaling

There are many different forms of journaling but the ones that are probably most beneficial for people in recovery include:

The Benefits of Journaling in Recovery

Here are just a few of the benefits that you can expect if you keep a journal:

Whether or not you decide to share your journal with a therapist, sponsor, addiction counselor or anyone else, getting your feelings and thoughts down on paper (or typing them into a computer or tablet) can help tame stress, anxiety and depression, allowing you to achieve greater control of your emotions and improve overall health.

Research shows that journaling can improve your physical health in these ways:

keeping a journal in addiction recoveryIn addition, a study of adolescents with emotional problems showed small but significant improvement in the teens' overall well-being when they practiced expressive writing.

The longer and more consistently you keep a journal, the better. If you're stuck for what to write about, choose a theme to help you focus. As you become more comfortable with the daily practice of writing down your truest thoughts and feelings, both the serious and the light-hearted you will find the words flow a lot more easily than you thought they would and you'll get more joy and benefit out of your writing.

It is important to look back periodically at what you wrote and how you felt in the days, weeks or months prior. As you get to know yourself better, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the situations and people that increase your feelings of happiness and confidence versus those that are toxic or encourage cravings.

Journaling engages your creative, imaginative and intuitive right brain and is what allows you to see multiple points of view. Writing can also help you find solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems by giving you a way to look at the problem as an "observer" of your feelings in the situation...

Journaling as an Addiction Recovery Tool

For someone in recovery, journaling is a great way to track your progress and improve your motivation and, may even decrease the risk of a relapse. The act of writing down what you're feeling forces you to think critically and, hopefully, be honest with yourself. It increases your accountability, so you may be less likely to use denial, excuse bad behavior or minimize poor decisions and their consequences.

The role of a substance abuse treatment program is to assist an individual in being able to physically weaning themselves from abusive substances and prepare them to be able to lead a drug free life of sobriety. Staying sober within the safe and nurturing walls of a rehabilitation center can be unproblematic for many, but the challenge of confronting life on the outside rests with the individual. Treatment offers the tools necessary for an addict to live without the need of drugs and alcohol, and gives them the ability to navigate life with a self-generated strength and freedom. Journaling is one tool that can help an individual stay balanced and free of addiction.

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