Staying sober as you recover from an alcohol addiction requires many therapeutic tools to help you decrease anxiety and give voice to your struggles. One of these tools is journaling. At Desert Cove Recovery, we offer alcohol rehab in Arizona that combines various therapeutic strategies to help you achieve long-term sobriety.
How Journaling Assists the Recovery Process During Rehab in Arizona
Journaling provides numerous benefits throughout the addiction treatment and recovery process, including helping you:
- Identify triggers
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Foster self-reflection
- Document milestones
- Strengthen mindfulness
- Encourage emotional release
Alcohol treatment is not just about managing the symptoms but about uncovering the problems that led you to seek out relief from alcohol in the first place. Journaling has long been used in treating mental illness because of how effective it can be at helping you find your triggers.1
Knowing your negative thought patterns and when they tend to appear or worsen allows you to prepare and even change your behaviors. By maintaining a journal, you’re able to start seeing those patterns.
Anxiety and stress interfere with everyday life and put you at risk of relapsing. Relapses can occur when stress increases your cravings for alcohol. 2 Your brain urges you to manage your body’s anxiety and other responses to stress as you always have: with alcohol.
By journaling during moments of stress and anxiety, you can get your racing thoughts down on paper while distracting yourself from the active need to drink or use other substances.
Journaling is an excellent tool to strengthen mindfulness and foster self-reflection without judgment. When you journal, you are free to express yourself in ways you may be afraid to do in group therapy sessions or individual therapy. This emotional release helps you to unburden yourself.
Alcohol Rehab in Arizona: Types of Journaling
There are many types of recovery journals, allowing you to find the option that best suits your needs and your treatment program.
Diary journals are a popular choice. They allow you to document everyday events along with any milestones you achieve and any challenges you face.
A gratitude journal helps you express gratitude for what you appreciate. The positivity of this type of journal provides a sense of hope that aids with the recovery process.
Another option is a reflection journal. Many people choose to write their reflections on decisions they took throughout the day and what outcomes those decisions led to.
Keeping track of your physical and mental health in a health journal as you navigate your recovery can be helpful. This allows you to look back through your entries to get a clear sense of your journey and how you’ve healed.
A goal journal can keep you motivated. You can focus on short-term and long-term goals and record all your steps to achieve them. With time, you can gain perspective and see what did and didn’t work.
How to Start Journaling
You can start journaling from the first day of your recovery, in the middle, or even after you leave official treatment. We recommend starting as early as possible to get a good sense of your progress.
It’s essential to try to journal every day. It doesn’t have to be a long entry. You also don’t have to only write. You can draw or doodle anything that comes into your head.
Many people benefit from journaling before going to bed. The process allows them to release stress to drift off to sleep without ruminating. If you want to journal at other times, make it easy by keeping the notebook with you throughout the day.
Begin Your Recovery at Desert Cove Recovery
Desert Cove Recovery offers treatment plans that help you begin and continue your journey toward lasting sobriety. Our outpatient services focus on a holistic view of recovery. We can provide the support you need to regain your trust in yourself and your strength.
Learn more about Desert Cove Recovery by contacting us today.
Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8935176/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788822/