While in treatment, you learn healthy coping skills to maintain a life full of adventure and love. Recovery teaches you that you can enjoy your life without illicit substances and have a wonderful experience. You have learned many things to guide you in recovery although journaling your thoughts and feelings may be the most useful. There are many benefits to journaling your thoughts and emotions, with one being that it is just you, the pen, and paper. Journaling has an array of benefits and even more in recovery.
This blog will discuss the benefits of journaling in recovery and how journaling is an effective coping mechanism, no matter what you are going through. In addition, it will also explore different journaling techniques and ideas to be creative in recovery.
Journaling in Recovery
It is easy to get caught up in the mundane routine of every day. Sometimes it is hard to stop and recognize your feelings and emotions in recovery. You can get stuck in a cycle of completing the necessary chores and forget what you have been through to arrive here. Journaling your thoughts and feelings can remind you of how far you have come in recovery.
One of your best healthy coping skills in recovery is journaling. You will be surprised at the benefits and how you feel after writing your thoughts down on paper. There are a variety of ways that you can journal. It does not have to be boring, as you are the author and have control of the process. You are in control as to what your journal looks like. For example, children tend to scribble and are proud of what they created. You are free to do the same thing, as long as it means something to you in recovery.
Reduce Your Stress in Recovery
Journaling reduces daily stress. In one study, patients, family members, and health care providers from a children’s hospital recorded a decrease in stress levels after completing the following journaling exercise:
- Journal three things that you are grateful for
- Write the story of your life in six words
- What are three wishes that you have?
In a follow-up study, 12 to 18 months later, 85% of participants reported that their overall well-being was better after journaling, and 59% of the participants continued journaling to cope with stress.
Process Your Emotions in Recovery
When negative thoughts surface, it is easy to allow those thoughts to overwhelm your brain. Sometimes you allow the negative thoughts to consume your day and struggle to retrieve a positive mindset. Taking several minutes each day to unload your brain can be just what you need in recovery. After all, you do not have an individual therapist every second that you need to process a thought.
The importance of understanding that you have to take your recovery at your own pace is just as important as trying a new healthy coping skill. Processing emotions is hard for a lot of people in recovery. Journaling can be just the tool that you have been looking for to do this until you are ready to speak with a professional therapist.
There are many techniques that you can utilize. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all in recovery, the same goes for journaling. This is a private space between you and the pen. You can decipher how much or how little energy goes into this space. The techniques that you decide on will give you the most out of your journaling experience. Here are several of the most effective and powerful journaling techniques in recovery:
- Free writing – This means that you set a timer and allow all of your thoughts to be written. There are no rules with grammar or punctuation. You allow whatever comes to mind to be written, whether that is your grocery list or stressors.
- Morning pages – There are many benefits to jotting your feelings and emotions down in the morning. You can use the pen and paper as a dump truck of emotions and thoughts and leave it there. These pages are about anything and everything that crosses your mind.
- Art journal – Who says that everything has to be words? You are free to journal in recovery in any way that you want to. Creating a journal may be more effective for those who appreciate art more than writing. Express your thoughts and emotions by creating art in recovery.
- Unsent letter – Is there a person to whom you need to write a letter but are apprehensive to send it? Go ahead and write it. Release those emotions and set yourself free.
- Reflection – Take several minutes before you go to sleep and reflect on your day.
Creativity at Restoration Recovery
Restoration Recovery focuses on creativity as a part of recovery. We understand that it can be easy to lose sight of your goals in recovery. Journaling is just one of the healthy mechanisms that we encourage every day. There can be an overwhelming sense of control of emotions when journaling is present in recovery.
At Restoration Recovery, we believe in the holistic approach to recovery. This means we focus on the connection of the mind, body, and spirit.
Journaling can be just the healthy coping mechanism that you have been searching for. Learning about new strategies in order to be the best version of yourself is what recovery is all about. There are many ways to explore journaling and what works for you. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to journal. All you have to do is have a willingness to try. At Restoration Recovery Center, we understand how hard it can be to start something new. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, please give us a call today at (888) 290-0925. We are happy to provide details about our services.