4 Reasons You Should Keep a Record of Your Life in Recovery

4 Reasons You Should Keep a Record of Your Life in Recovery

Keeping track of the progress you make in addiction recovery is one of the best ways to focus on healthy goals and to prioritize your wellness. One of the best ways to keep a journal is to record your life as you continue taking important steps toward recovery. The benefits of keeping such a journal during this period of life are far more encompassing than just having information for future reference; logging your recovery can steer you toward complete, incredible healing.

Journaling, or writing therapy, has recently gained much recognition as one of the easiest, most accessible and highly affordable forms of therapy. Even though many people keep a personal journal, keeping this habit during recovery is particularly important for the irreplaceable benefits it offers. Psychology Today states that this form of therapy can encourage dramatic change in addicts’ lives, because they will have the chance to express their feelings in a physical form that lends itself to contemplation. In other words, this task often improves emotional state and physical health.

There is no doubt that journaling is a beneficial practice when going through mental health or addiction recovery, but here are four reasons why:

  • Health benefits – According to some studies posted in the American Psychological Association journal, health benefits are a clear result of recording your life while in recovery. This fact can be seen in terms of reduced anxiety and stress with a focus on improvement of health and fewer deteriorating symptoms. One of the studies even showed a greater antibody response when analyzing the effectiveness of a medication for a serious disease.
  • Behavioral benefits – Closely related to an improved emotional state, improvements in behavior are another way journaling through recovery can be great. A publication by the Royal College of Psychiatrists website states that positive social outcomes are linked with journaling or therapy writing. Among the examples given are improved performance in work, school and memory, and a healthier performance in interpersonal relationships.
  • Coming to terms with your new way of life – Journaling is an excellent way to let go of the past and to embrace the positive aspects of the present and future. An article found in the US National Library of Medicine that examines the possible benefits of journaling for the bereaved finds that putting experiences and feelings in writing led to resolution and fewer negative feelings when compared with those who do not keep journals. Thus, it was found that journaling can be one of the most effective practices of self-care in recovery.
  • Track your progress – In recovery, it is important to keep track of what you accomplish, because then you can constantly remember how you have benefited from specific steps in the treatment process. But these notes should be more than reference points, as reading your journal can help you see how you have improved and why you want to keep working at sobriety. This act is a fine way of receiving encouragement from yourself when you see where you were back then and where you are now. This habit is also an excellent way to keep your improvement in check and to make sure your goals are specific and planned.

Although writing therapy has different results depending on the personal characteristics and circumstances of each person, the benefits already linked to these practices make it worth the effort to at least try the practice out regularly or under the advice of a health professional. A professional therapist or counselor can give you sound advice on what is involved in these practices and how can you benefit personally.

It is also important to remember that you do not have to have great writing skills or considerable free time during the day to keep a record of your life in recovery. Many people do not need to show their journals to someone else, so nobody will be checking your writing for errors. This act is a personal practice, something that can be done in just a few minutes per day. It does not require sitting down and formulating long thoughts that will transform into many pages of writing; it is just a way of safely expressing what is on your mind and how you feel regarding your recovery, how far you have come and where you want to be.

Further Help for Your Life in Recovery

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today if you would like to receive help in addiction recovery or wellness. Our admissions coordinators can give you information regarding the many tools at your disposition for recovery from addiction and mental health disorders. They can also answer your questions regarding the best way to help a loved one with one of these problems. Calling is free, so reach out to us at your most convenient time.