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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Putting Pen to Paper: Journaling for Recovery

Man journaling on his porch in the morning
Did you know that the simple act of opening a journal and recording your thoughts and feelings can open yet another door to healing?

If you’re on a path to recovery from addiction, you’re probably familiar with commonly prescribed treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy, medical detox, life skills training and more. But, did you know that the process of journaling can help, too? By taking the time to identify and document unresolved, toxic emotions from your past, you can learn to address those feelings proactively using healthy coping skills instead of automatically resorting to drugs and alcohol.

And, the benefits of journaling are proven. In a paper published by the Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, research participants were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings for a period of four days. At the end of the study, most reported the following health benefits:

  • Fewer days in the hospital 
  • Improved mood and psychological well-being
  • Fewer depressive symptoms 

Interested in Journaling? 3 Tips to Jumpstart Your Recovery! 

  1. Set aside 20 minutes each day to incorporate journaling into your daily routine. Like exercise, you reap exponentially more health benefits the longer you participate. That’s why it’s important to make journaling a priority. Consider setting your alarm in the morning a little bit earlier than usual to set aside a few minutes every day to acknowledge and record your thoughts and feelings with a clear mind. 
  2. Don’t overthink. One of the most liberating aspects of journaling is that there is no right way or wrong way to describe your thoughts and feelings. The simple act of journaling is the only goal. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or your writing style. What you choose to put in your journal is almost like a private therapy session. It’s just between you and the words you choose to put down on paper. 
  3. Start with words of gratitude. If you’re stuck, wondering what to include in your journal, consider starting the first few sentences each day with words of gratitude - perhaps about happy moments you celebrated the day, week or month before. And, it doesn’t have to include huge life milestones. You can simply take the time to celebrate a kind smile you received from a stranger, joy from reading a good book or the comforting hug from a trusted friend. 

Help for You and Your Family

Coast to Coast Recovery’s addiction treatment program works with you and your specific needs to develop a treatment approach that balances the mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment plans include traditional treatment approaches—such as medical care, medical detox, and individual or family therapy—alongside natural healing practices. For more information about how Coast to Coast Recovery can help their families with our specialized services, please contact us today at (800) 210-8229. We’re here for you.

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