The recovery process often is accompanied by feelings of loneliness, depression, and confusion. Counseling, group therapy sessions, and both virtual and in-person support groups may prove to be beneficial for most, but it’s important to have free, easy tools that you can use at any time to support your own recovery journey.
Journaling As a Recovery Tool
Journaling, in its many forms, can be one of these tools. Journaling helps individuals reflect on their thoughts, emotions, and actions with complete privacy and safety. As such, it can fuel personal growth as well as provide insights to share with a therapist or sponsor as preferred.
5 Potential Benefits of Journaling During Your Recovery
- It provides a judgment-free outlet for expressing emotions and reflections
- It may alleviate stress and anxiety
- It allows you to record progress, set achievable goals, and celebrate accomplishments during the recovery process
- It helps you find a different perspective on difficult situations
- It may provide a greater sense of accountability on the recovery journey
Journaling comes in many forms. Some resonate with a pocket diary style of journaling, allowing them to pull out a small notebook at any time to record their emotions and thoughts. Reflective journaling might happen at night, when you think back on the day and write about its challenges and lessons. Another style of journaling is a gratitude notebook, where you can record things you’re thankful for; looking back over your entries can be especially helpful in difficult moments.
Each style of journaling may be easily integrated into any daily routine and therapy regimen. Many therapists and counselors encourage journaling and may even offer specific writing prompts for exploration. Research suggests that reflective journaling during the recovery process can alleviate symptoms of stress and provide an outlet for emotional expression.
Consider a Prompt
If the blank page scares you, consider getting started with a writing prompt. A quick internet search for journaling prompts for addiction recovery will reveal hundreds of ideas. You can also try these writing prompt ideas to get you or your loved ones started on their journaling experience:
- Today I feel…
- At work I felt…… and now I feel….
- What was one challenge from the day and how did you persevere?
- Dear past/present/future self…
- Today I am grateful for these three things:
- My long term/short term goals are…
- What are you most proud of?
- Are you feeling any worry and how have you dealt with these feelings?
- What are your fears revolving around the recovery process?
- What is one dream you can remember and why is it significant to you?
Remember that journals may also be helpful for those supporting individuals who are in recovery. Speak openly with your therapists, counselors, or other supportive individuals about integrating the powerful act of journaling into your recovery process.
We Are Here to Help
Great Oaks Recovery Center near Houston, TX, offers a full continuum of treatment for those struggling with addiction. Please feel free to reach out to us for more information about the therapies we offer, our professional staff, or our facility and accommodations. We are here for you and your loved ones throughout the recovery process.