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People express themselves in all kinds of ways. From creative expressions and artistic endeavors to other alternative methods, expressing yourself is critical to maintaining mental health. It’s also essential to the addiction treatment and recovery progress. You may be currently looking for new, holistic ways to improve your mental health, manage triggers, and abstain from substances. Believe it or not, journaling can help the process, too, but how can journaling support your recovery journey? What are its benefits? How can you start regularly journaling to improve your mental health or enhance your recovery? 

West Coast Recovery Centers offers clients a transparent and individualized path to sustainable, self-determined recovery. It’s our mission to inspire and empower people to change their lives by means of evidence-based and holistic methods. What better place to start journaling regularly than at our luxury rehabilitation facility? Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of journaling, and reach out to West Coast Recovery Centers to begin treatment today. 

What Is Journaling?

Some may find it silly to ask what journaling is, but it’s always critical to define something when promoting it as a way of improving emotional and mental wellness. Journaling and keeping a diary consist of expressing your thoughts and feelings by writing them down on paper. Essentially, journaling is an emotional exercise that prepares or helps people to cope with and work through distressing life situations. 

The process of journaling helps people organize their thoughts and document moments in time. Doing so helps people work through their issues. The documentation allows them to go back, evaluate, and grow from their past. There are several types of journaling individuals can experiment with. That includes: 

  • Gratitude journaling 
  • Meditation journaling  
  • Bullet journaling 
  • Morning journaling 
  • Reflection journaling

Additionally, people can keep art or visual journals, too. These are excellent ways to combine artistic expression and personal reflection. However, are there journaling methods more specific to addiction treatment? If so, what does this type of journaling entail? 

Therapeutic and Recovery Journaling Support

Recovery or therapeutic journaling can help you manage a mental health condition or substance use disorder (SUD). Writing about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings helps you reflect on them. Unfortunately, finding time for reflection during the day-to-day chaos of life is challenging. Writing down feelings about your recovery forces you to document failures and successes and acknowledge the impact it’s having on your mental health. 

Of course, some people may not be comfortable journaling, especially about their recovery. Writing down one’s thoughts and feelings can be scary. Even more so, it makes things real. It’s scary to have the reality of one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences on paper. Hopefully, understanding more about how journaling supports and improves mental health and enhances recovery can help you feel more comfortable trying it. 

How Does Journaling Support and Improve Mental Health?

We experience a never-ending amount of complex emotions and distressing situations throughout the course of our lives. Some people manage these emotions and situations better than others. However, it’s challenging to do when you’re also trying to heal from a mental health condition or recover from SUD. 

Journaling is cathartic, helping you process emotions and recognize harmful behavioral patterns. It can also help you control symptoms of a mental health condition and improve your overall mood. Other ways journaling supports and improves mental health include: 

  • Enhanced self-awareness 
  • Increased emotional regulation 
  • Improved coping skills 
  • Reduced stress
  • Strengthened resilience 
  • Decreased symptoms of anxiety or depression 
  • Improved communication skills 
  • Increased emotional intelligence 

Journaling can also boost your creativity, improve memory and cognitive function, and may even enhance your critical thinking skills. Is all this truly necessary, though, when it comes to addiction recovery? How does journaling support recovery? Let’s take a look. 

How Might Journaling Support Your Overall Recovery Journey?

Admittedly, there are many who don’t journal and still maintain long-term addiction recovery. Of course, journaling is not the cure-all for everyone with a mental health condition or SUD. However, if something as simple as keeping a journal can help prolong our sobriety and prevent relapse, isn’t it worth a try? Some of the potential benefits of keeping a journal during recovery include: 

  • Reducing stress and anxiety levels 
  • Tracking triggers, cravings, and other noteworthy facts about sobriety 
  • Helping you build and track the progress of your recovery goals 
  • Reflecting on past experiences, including negative experiences 
  • Processing traumas that may have led to the development of SUD 
  • Improving your interpersonal relationships post-treatment 
  • Creating and tracking new, healthy habits 
  • Developing gratitude, even for the smallest things in your life 

Overall, journaling can help you see just how far you’ve come, but how can you begin? 

Start Journaling Today!

The best way to start journaling is to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and start writing. However, there are some tips and tricks to get you started today, including: 

  • Finding a journaling technique that works well for you. 
  • Scheduling in 15 -20 minutes daily for journaling and quiet contemplation. 
  • Buying a journal you love to motivate you to write in it every day. 
  • Avoid worrying about what others think — your journal is for your eyes only. 
  • Journaling about anything that comes to mind if you’re struggling with what to put on paper – you never know what could be insightful later on. 

Journaling may not fix all your problems, but it can help you sort them out. Consider adding it to your repertoire to enhance and prolong your recovery journey today!  

Are you struggling with your mental health because you simply don’t have a healthy outlet to organize and process your complex emotions? Perhaps you’re struggling with your recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) because you’re continually caught off guard by triggers and cravings. If either scenario resonates with you, you may want to consider journaling. How can journaling support your mental health and recovery, you may ask? Well, journaling can help people process emotions, identify negative or self-destructive thoughts, and track the recovery procedure. It’s an excellent tool for people looking to recover, heal, and reinvent their lives. To learn more or seek treatment, contact West Coast Recovery Centers today at (760) 492-6509