Are you looking for new, holistic ways to manage triggers, cope with stress, and refrain from substance use? Perhaps you want to try new things to freshen up your relapse prevention plan. Individuals in both early and long-term recovery should consider changing their recovery plans to stay motivated throughout sobriety. At Alter Wellness Mindfuli, we can support your recovery by helping you learn the tools to maintain it. Recovery journaling is one such method that can be helpful.
Staying sober and maintaining recovery can be done with the help of therapy and professional services. However, sometimes the most crucial parts of a recovery plan are the things that keep us sober from one minute to the next. That can include such things as exercise, practicing mindfulness, and journaling. If you are struggling with your sobriety, it may be time to consider adding recovery journaling to your regimen today.
The Importance of Combining Evidence-Based Modalities and Holistic Practice into Recovery
Not that long ago, addiction recovery was an incredibly rigid process. Everyone struggling with addiction entered treatment programs that followed the same protocols or utilized similar treatments. This isn’t to say that some of these methods were not effective; however, nowadays, professionals understand the importance of individualized addiction treatment plans. After all, addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all. The same goes for recovery.
Your recovery or relapse prevention plan will differ from the person sitting next to you at your next support group meeting. Despite potential similarities, everyone is receptive to other practices. Yet, in many cases, the most effective treatment programs or recovery plans utilize both evidence-based modalities and holistic approaches.
Evidence-based modalities are therapies or treatments that are proven effective in treating people’s conditions. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) are all proven effective in treating substance use disorder (SUD). Thus, they are revered as evidence-based practices.
Some evidence-based practices do not treat the “whole person,” only the disorder. That is why holistic practices are also vital in treatment. Holistic methods treat the mind, body, and soul, improving the overall well-being of individuals. Some techniques utilized with evidence-based modalities include yoga, exercise, and meditation. Journaling can also be incredibly effective.
What Is Therapeutic or Recovery Journaling?
Recovery journaling – or therapeutic journaling – is a tool that can help you manage your mental health conditions or addiction. Journaling is the process of writing about thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and offers the chance to reflect on them. Finding time for self-reflection can be challenging in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Writing things down forces you to document life and acknowledge how your mental health or recovery is affected.
Some people may not feel comfortable journaling at first. However, all you need is a pen and paper to get started. Go out and buy a journal specifically for this purpose, curl up in a quiet place, and start writing whatever comes to mind. It does not have to be poetry – it just has to be honest.
Carving out the time to journal will be challenging initially, but as you continue, it will become second nature. Anytime you experience complex emotions, stress, intense feelings of anger and anxiety, or even happy feelings, take 10-15 minutes to write about it.
Later in the day, or when you make a new entry, reflect on what you’ve written. Do you still feel the same things? Was there a situation you could have handled better? Are you noticing anything that can threaten your recovery or mental health? Journaling is not only cathartic – it can also keep you accountable.
How Journaling Helps People Manage Their Mental Health
Many complex emotions, distressing situations, and negative behavior patterns often accompany mental health disorders. There are also a lot of potential symptoms you can experience. Psychotherapies and medications can help with these symptoms, but it helps to have alternative coping mechanisms as well.
Journaling helps you process complex emotions and recognize potentially harmful behavioral patterns. The self-reflection process that comes with journaling is critical to its effectiveness. It is only through self-reflection that individuals can recognize complex emotions or negative behavioral patterns and work to alter them appropriately.
But how does recovery journaling help when it is integrated into a recovery plan?
10 Benefits of Integrating Recovery Journaling into Your Recovery Plan
Alter Wellness Mindfuli offers many services, including continuing care. However, individuals must have additional methods of maintaining recovery, which can include recovery journaling.
Recovery journaling can help you:
- Track your recovery and healing process
- Process complex emotions or distressing situations
- Reduce symptoms and the risk of relapse
- Increase emotional intelligence
- Improve overall confidence and self-esteem
- Reduce stress levels
- Create positive and healthy habits
- Help you recognize harmful thoughts and behaviors and track new triggers
- Improve communication skills and relationships
- Work through past traumas
You can experience many other benefits through recovery journaling, but you must be open to the process.
Individualized care is essential for successful addiction recovery. Though each treatment and recovery plan differs, the most effective ones typically combine evidence-based modalities and holistic practices. For some, that includes therapy, yoga, meditation, and attending support meetings regularly. However, many also benefit from journaling. Recovery journaling is a tool that can help you manage complex emotions, reduce stress, and track your recovery progress. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences is cathartic and forces you to reflect on them and determine where you can change actions or thoughts as they pertain to your mental health and recovery. To learn more about recovery journaling or to begin working with Alter Wellness Mindfuli, visit our website or call (866) 973-4415 today.