Renaissance Ranch

Journaling and the Recovery Process

May 4, 2019

Why Should You Journal?

Every person can benefit from regularly writing out their thoughts and experiences. When it feels as though you’re overwhelmed, or crushed by what’s going on in your life, you may not think that journaling will give you a sense of relief.

Journaling can help you realize and overcome your negative emotion. Instead of keeping those negative thoughts inside, journaling can provide a necessary outlet to understand and process your emotions. Although journaling should not be used in place of seeking professional help, it can be used as supplemental help to regain balance for your mental health.

What Can It Change?

  1. Learn to Alleviate Your Stress

When something is weighing on your mind, it can prove difficult to move past it. Writing down what exactly is running through your head acts as a way to process and release. What you write doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, or even to yourself. Write without inhibition. Come back to your words later, reread, and process what you wrote after you’ve allowed those particular thoughts to leave your mind.

  1. Find New Perspectives

Journaling can help you organize your thoughts and when we write about the past, we give ourselves the chance to reflect and seek out new and different perspectives. We can’t change the past, and if we’re being kind to ourselves, we shouldn’t ask to. However, we can see our past with in a new lens.

When you feel able, try writing from a place of gratitude for your current wellbeing, or create a page of positivity next to pages with purely negative viewpoints.

  1. Be Honest With Yourself

In your writing, be honest with yourself. There’s no point in hiding from truths behind your words. It may be painful to revisit the unpleasant moments of your recovery journey, but when you’re writing, try reminding yourself that this is truly only for your eyes. Remember, you are confiding to yourself.

  1. Finding Another Path

Versus simply speaking to others, writing words out taps into a different part of your brain. One-on-one and group therapy sessions are crucial for fighting addiction and finding a safe path to recovery. However, creating small “therapy” sessions with yourself through journaling can be exceptionally helpful to those who have difficulties communicating openly through speech alone.

  1. Develop Consistency & Rediscover Self-Discipline

So much of recovery depends on the dedication we give to it. Keeping on the path of recovery means staying consistent in your practices and having the self-discipline to keep forming the habits that will positively affect your life.

Journaling may feel like a foreign concept to you at first. It may feel strange to make space in your day to write out something. You may even feel like you have nothing to say, in which case, think about using a daily prompt of some kind. If you have nothing, in particular, you’d like to jot down, a writing prompt can be your starting point.

Write the Story of Your Life.

Journaling allows you to write the story of your own life. Between every moment of success, and every trouble, journaling adds in remember the stories of what once was. Every story has a starting point, and writing it out can give you the chance to see how your story is developing, and where you’d like it to progress. When writing your story, you’re able to look back and reflect on even the days that seem mediocre. From the good days to the awful.

Process Your Thoughts in a Safe Space

Your journal should feel like a safe space. A space for you to seek guidance from previous entries, to bare your soul, and a place to recount every moment of joy.

Plan For Your Future

Journaling doesn’t have to only be about your emotions. It’s also a safe space to discuss the future with yourself. Write down your goals; for the day, the month, the year. However big, or small. When you lay out a plan for yourself, it gives you a chance to see the potential of your future.