Often used by therapists to assist clients during the Christian substance abuse recovery process, journaling is a way to purge anxious thoughts, gain clarity about thoughts and emotions, and record an ongoing dialogue with God.
James Pennebaker, researcher and psychologist at the University at Texas at Austin, has studied the benefits of expressive writing on the healing process. Pennebaker reports that routine journaling strengthens T-lymphocytes—a type of immune cell, and that writing about stressful situations helps people come to terms with them.
“When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experience improved health,” says Pennebaker. “They got to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function. … People will tell us months afterward that it’s been a very beneficial experience for them.”
Types of Journaling in Christian Rehab
Journaling styles vary broadly, but there are a number of writing approaches that are especially beneficial for people recovering from substance abuse.
- Gratitude journal. Addiction takes you to dark places. Gratitude requires a shift in mindset, which is necessary for successful sobriety. Use your journal to set aside feelings of inadequacy, anger, or bitterness about your substance abuse. During your journaling time, write a “thank you note” to God for the things you are grateful for that day. Acknowledgment of these blessings, small or large, teaches you to focus on the positive and trust Jesus to provide for your needs.
- Prayer journal. Write out specific prayer requests for yourself and others. This journal can serve as a reminder to pray for the needs you have listed, as well as a place to record God’s answers to your prayers. Over time, a review of your prayer journal can give you fundamental insights into God’s character, his plan for you, and his love for you.
- Themed journal. Select a theme for the day, week, or month. Choose a topic that resonates with where you currently are in your recovery journey. Sample topics might include fear, anger, goal-setting, relationships, or Bible insights. Take a stream-of-thought approach to your writing: journaling feelings, insights, and questions about your chosen theme.
Effective Alcohol Addiction Treatment Available Today
If you struggle with prayer or have trouble sharing your mental health issue or chemical dependency with others, journaling is a cathartic way to meditate and record your innermost thoughts. When you are ready to get the help you need, Christian Rehab Network stands beside you—available to help with insurance verification, interventions, and spiritual guidance that can bring about redemption—one day at a time. Call a Christian rehab specialist 24 hours a day at 877-310-9545.