Talking about your feelings is important, but so is writing about them. Journaling is an excellent tool for self-discovery that can provide much-needed emotional release during recovery.
If you are new to journaling, it’s important to understand that there is no right or wrong way of doing it. You don’t need to have earned straight As in English or harbor dreams of publishing a memoir before writing in a journal. In fact, all you need to get started is the notebook and writing instrument of your choice.
Writing as Meditation
Think of journaling as a form of meditation. It might help to sit still for a moment and get centered. Then, get writing. Write whatever comes to mind and put it down on the page. The act of writing on paper, not typing on a keyboard, helps to clear your mind, just as deep breathing does during meditation.
Many professional writers say they don’t wait for inspiration; they just show up at their desks each day and go to work. Take a page from their book—quite literally—and schedule time to journal every day for at least a few minutes. If a few minutes is all you have, feel free to set a timer to signal the end of your writing session. Once this becomes a regular practice, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can fill up pages in a short amount of time.
If staring at an empty page is unpleasant, use a prompt to get you started more quickly. Something as simple as, “Today I feel…” can be a great way to get your brain working and the ink flowing.
Turn Off Your Inner Critic
This is a journal, not the Great American Novel. Even if you do have greater aspirations as a writer, you don’t have to let anyone but yourself see your journal.
This is not the time to worry about grammar, spelling, or penmanship. It’s also not the time to worry about what anyone thinks. These are your private thoughts and feelings on the page. You might choose to keep them in the notebook, or you might tear them out and discard them. Either way, getting it down on paper is therapeutic for when you or a loved one is in recovery.
If you’d like to know more about other tools and resources that are helpful to you or your loved ones in recovery, contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770.