In the early stages of recovery, you might be facing your stresses directly for the first time. Which, could tempt you to retreat to old, unhealthy habits. Many people in recovery use a journal to process their feelings because writing things down allows you to process your feelings. As a result, people often find that their problems don’t seem so big or awful.
Journaling is a simple yet powerful means to help you track your success too.
What should you write about? Anything you want.
Here Are Some Ways to Get Started With Your Journal for Sobriety
Use an App
Many people journal with the use a physical book to give themselves a break from screens. But, if you’re having a hard time getting off screens, try using an app that you can whip out whenever you have a thought to get down. Using an app could also allow you to start a routine when you journal.
Don’t Use Full Sentences
You don’t need to have well thought out writing when you are journaling. Feel free to write in whichever way you feel at the time is best. Some people only journal in bullet posts to highlight the most important or interesting things that happened in a day. By keeping your entries short and simple, you will make journaling an easy-to-do activity.
Write on a Calendar
Rather than writing in a notebook, get a large desk calendar or datebook and use that as your journal. Challenge yourself to write a sentence a day. This will allow you to easily track your journaling routine, motivate you to stick with the habit, and see when you miss a day.
Keep your journal somewhere you won’t miss it
It doesn’t really matter what kind of notebook you have but having an actual book will get you off of a screen for your day. It’ll also help you focus, instead of getting distracted by the Internet. When you keep your book in the same place, you will be more inclined to journal.
What You Need
- A simple notebook or a trusted document on an app/computer
- A pen or pencil you like a lot
- Ideas of what you are truly grateful for
What to write about
- What’s on my mind?
- How should I have reacted in hindsight?
- How are things different now?
- What would I say to a younger version of myself?
- What am I grateful for?
- What do I value?
- Who helped me?
Let your feelings do the talking
The main benefit of journaling to reduce stress is that judgment is totally absent. While writing down your thoughts and feelings, no one is telling you what to do, what you’re doing wrong, or messed up. The journal doesn’t talk back. Studies prove that journaling helps alleviate symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and worry.
Use it as a coping mechanism
The best part of journaling is how much it can help you find more ways to reduce stress or anxiety through the art of introspection. You will unlock more paths to a healthy life by learning what questions you need to answer through writing.
Helping yourself through journaling will improve your life because it’ll shift your perspectives on many things.