Creating a solid recovery is all about finding the right tools that you will use to replace alcohol and drugs in order to be able to cope with life. Some of the most important tools will include things like acceptance, anger management, mindfulness, 12 Step Work, and gratitude. Journaling is one of other tools that we recommend that you add to your arsenal.
What is Journaling?
Journaling is all about writing down your thoughts and observations and reflecting on your experiences. There are no hard and fast rules about how you do this. Some people like to journal in the form of a daily diary where they write down what happened that day. A journal can also be just random reflections on your life. One incredibly effective type of journal involves focusing on all the good things in your life as this can help you develop gratitude that will increase your level of happiness and keep you committed to recovery.
Benefits of Journaling
- Problems will usually appear more manageable when they are written down on paper
- Writing about a problem can have a similar effect to talking about it with a friend
- Often by the time you have finished journaling about a problem, the solution will appear obvious to you
- Sharing your recovery journal (in the form of an online blog) could be of great benefit to other people struggling in life
- Journaling will allow you to see links that may not have been obvious when you were just thinking about your problems
- Keeping this type of record is a fantastic way to monitor your progress in recovery – it is so easy to miss the improvements in your life because we tend to take things for granted very quickly
- Reading back on your early journal entries in recovery can remind you about why you have chosen this path and it can boost your motivation
- The things that you write down in your journal can alert you to the fact that you have gone off-track and that your sobriety is at risk
- Journaling can make it easier for you to see what you want from life – it is useful when it comes to formulating goals
- Journaling is one of the steps you can take to escape the relapse process – although it shouldn’t replace telling other people how you feel
Misconception – You Need to be a Good Writer to Journal
A common reason for why people fail to journal is they are worried about their writing skills. It doesn’t matter if you are ‘not much of a writer’ because the only person who needs to see your journal is you. It is helpful if your writing is legible so it is easier to read back on your entries later on, but the mere act of writing stuff down is going to have a beneficial effect on your life. The fact that it has worked so well for other people in the past does suggest that it is at least worth trying. It is also worth saying that keeping a journal is a fantastic way to improve your writing skills.