Have you ever used journaling to work through a thought or problem? If you have, you understand the benefits of keeping a journal. If you haven’t, you might not realize what you’re missing out on. Writing in a journal provides numerous benefits to anyone who chooses to use the practice.
Journaling is a helpful practice to start using during early recovery from addiction or alcoholism. You might believe that you don’t have anything to write about. The longer you’ve drank or used, the less inspired you may feel. However, it’s not always about what you write. There are numerous benefits to keeping a journal in addiction recovery.
Unless you kept a journal in the past, you might not realize how helpful it can be. Continue reading to learn some of the benefits of journaling in addiction recovery. Adopting the practice offers many different ways to step up your sobriety.
Process Thoughts and Feelings in a Safe Place
Processing feelings and events in your life with friends or a therapist helps. But taking the time to sit by yourself and reflect allows you to look at things without worrying about someone else thinks of you. Once you get the initial emotions out you can work through them with a more level head and even temper.
The most obvious benefit of journaling in addiction recovery is the ability to express yourself. Write down the thoughts you don’t feel comfortable sharing with many people, or anyone at all. As long as you keep your journal somewhere people can’t find it, you can write down whatever you like. No one will read it but you.
Work On Your Self-Discipline
When you first get clean and sober, chances are you retained little self-discipline. Unless it involved drugs, alcohol, or money to get your substances, it’s likely you didn’t care about it. You’re not alone if you found yourself thinking this way. Little else matters outside of the things that helped you get what you needed at the time.
Regularly keeping a journal helps you relearn self-discipline. Unless you attend a program that encourages or requires self-reflective writing, no one will force you to do it. Sitting down to write will be the last item on the list of things you want to do at certain times.
If you encourage yourself to push through the unwillingness to do it, though, you start retraining your brain. As you sit down to write enough times, especially when you don’t want to, you develop a positive habit of self-discipline.
Develop a Consistent Practice
Make writing in your journal a part of your daily routine. Most people who regularly keep a journal choose to write either first thing in the morning or right before going to bed. Whichever time you choose to write, make sure to do it at the same time each day.
You don’t have to write for hours at a time. Start simple. Sit down and begin writing for five or ten minutes per day. There is no standard length of time to write for. Just block off the same amount each day and stick to it. Starting off with shorter lengths keeps it from feeling like a chore encourages you to stick with it.
Boost Your Memory
Heavy drug and alcohol use wreaks havoc on your memory. You may find it difficult to remember things from recent months, much less years ago. Research shows that writing things down helps commit them to your memory. You will find as you start writing that the act of journaling helps you remember things better.
Continue staying sober and continue writing. As time passes, things you long forgot start coming back to mind. If you remember important events from your past while journaling, write them down. You start to piece things back together that you never imagined you would.
Improve Your Writing Skills
This point is quite obvious but journaling improves your writing skills. The only way to get better at something is to practice it. If you make writing in your journal a part of your daily routine, your writing improves over time.
To have more fun with it, write with a dictionary or a thesaurus next to you. Look up new words and find out the definitions of those you aren’t sure of. Both your writing and your vocabulary develop over time as you continue journaling.
Take Some Time for Yourself
Writing in your journal gives you a reason to take some time for yourself each day. Early addiction recovery can be an incredibly busy time if you’re in inpatient addiction rehab. The facility plans your days out for you and occupies much of your time. You spend many hours with the other people in your program.
When you sit down to write, you allow yourself the opportunity to have a few quiet moments. You can start your day off journaling before everyone else wakes up. Some choose to stay up a little bit later and write down thoughts about their day before they go to sleep. Whatever you decide, journaling gives you the chance to sit quietly with yourself, away from everyone else.
Seeking Addiction Recovery
Do you have a hard time quitting and staying away from drugs and alcohol?
If you can’t get clean and sober on your own, seeking alcoholism or addiction treatment can help.
Hawaii Island Recovery provides treatment services to people seeking help with their addiction and alcoholism.