How Writing a Journal Can Help Your Addiction Recovery
Battling addiction can be one of the most challenging journeys and can affect every aspect of your life, including how you feel mentally about yourself, your physical wellbeing and your social life. However, you’re not alone in this positive life-changing journey.
The road to recovery isn’t the easiest path to travel, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to make things happier, easier and more beneficial. Not sure where to start with your own recovery journal, here’s everything you need to know.
The Health Benefits of Journaling
There are many benefits to writing and keeping an addiction recovery journal. The act of writing in itself has scientifically proven positive effects on your wellbeing, helping you to reduce the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression that you may experience during your journey of recovery.
“This is because writing can help reduce your blood pressure, improves your lung and liver functions, proactively boosts your mood and even strengthens your immune functions, helping you to feel better entirely” – explains Cristina McClung, a Health writer and journalist at Ukwritings.
When it comes to writing an addiction recovery journal, it’s important to remember that you’ll get better the more you practice. This is because you’ll be writing about your emotions, your feelings, and your everyday life and this can be difficult if you’re doing it for the first time.
However, the longer you practice writing, the better you’ll be able to express yourself and therefore the more benefits you’ll enjoy.
By keeping a journal, you’ll be able to draw focus to your thoughts and feelings. This will make you far more aware of how you’re feeling every single day. This is a great way to get in touch with yourself and your mindset and, therefore, become motivated.
This is because you’ll be able to see your good days and bad days as they happen, helping you to stay on track and motivated in your endeavours to recover.
Addiction and habit-forming are two different things. Whereas addiction is typically associated with negative implementations to your social life and physical and mental wellbeing, habits are positive. They can help you build routines, stay motivated and inspired and achieve the things that you want to achieve.
Robert Heng, a Psychologist at Essayroo, says: “Although it’s suggested that habits take around 21 days to form so practising writing every day is a great way to build up your confidence in your habit-building skills. Not only will this be reflected in your writing, but you can also apply the logic to anything else in your life that you want to achieve.”
Track Your Progress
As stated above, keeping an addiction recovery journal is great for becoming aware of the present and looking back to see what you’ve achieved. This is the ideal way to track your progress so you can see how far you’ve come since you started your journey.
This is ideal for when you feel that progress is slow and you can start to feel despair when you feel like you aren’t moving forward. However, by referring back to how you were a day, a week or a month ago, you can see the progress you’ve made.
Recording Your Emotions
Your friends and your family may be there for you to help you through your addiction recovery journey but it’s difficult for these people to put themselves in your position and to feel how you feel. This can make things difficult when you’re trying to convey your emotions and how you’re holding up.
However, by keeping a journal, you can record your emotions in a way that best suits you. Only you understand yourself in the way that you do so writing down these thought processes is a great way to bring understanding to yourself, as well as venting the thoughts that build up in your mind.
When it comes to keeping a recovery journal, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself. Your journal is a private place for you to vent and record your emotions and feelings during your road to recovery. It’s also so important to remember that every decision you make during this adventure is down to you and nobody else.
By keeping a recovery journal in this way, you can embed the acceptance that the accountability is on you whether you succeed or not. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have the support from your family, friends, and professionals, but you can refer to your journal to see what decisions you’re making and how they will affect your overall journey.
How to Start Writing & Journaling
If you’re thinking of starting a journal, you’ll want to know where to begin. Start by getting yourself a dedicated book or folder on your laptop. Then set yourself the target of writing ten minutes every day before you go to bed (as the last thing that you do).
However, writing may not come naturally to you at first. When this happens, you can use online tools to help start off the process. Here is a selection you can start with;
State of Writing – this is a website full of writing guides you can use to improve your overall writing abilities.
Grammarix – an online grammar checker to help you improve and check your grammar for better journal entries.
Easy Word Count – a tool to help you set daily word count targets, helping you to form your writing habit.
The road of addiction recovery may seem daunting, overwhelming or despairing, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, apply yourself, tune into your mind and your body and enjoy your journey to a new and more fulfilling life.