The benefits of journaling in eating disorder recovery will vary from one person to another. The main thing is to let your journal be your safe place to talk. If you are afraid someone else might read it, lock it up in a safe place. If you prefer to journal on your computer, journal only on a flash drive and lock that up. Just don’t let anything stop you from being honest and open as you write out your thoughts and feelings. That honesty will serve you well in your eating disorder recovery. Laurie Glass
Please find below a very helpful post from HealED by Ali Kerr, ‘The Power of Journaling’. Ali talks about Jounraling for Recovery. Journaling is an important tool/aid in recovery, the benefits of journaling are so many, journaling while in eating disorder recovery can help you be honest with yourself. And that identifying feelings and emotions and honesty are keys to eating disorder recovery.
Journaling is a more positive way to look at things, though it does take courage, we get stuck in their past or present reality and view the future less positively, that’s where keeping a journal can have a huge impact. Many People have found journaling helpful in terms of long term recovery.
We hope you’ll find the post below helpful in your journey to recovery and healing.
The Power of Journaling
Have you ever tried journaling?
A recovery journal can be great tool for recovery –
but what you may be surprised to learn is that there are literally HUNDREDS
of research studies out there that have found regular
journalling to significantly improve
both physical health AND emotional well-being.
(Baikie and Wilhelm, 2005)
If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend giving it a go.
Recovery journals have 3 main benefits:
- They help you track progress and stay motivated. It’s easier to see a progression of time when you’re recording it.
- They allow you to see relapse patterns or any other consistencies that you may have missed.
- They give you a safe place to record your thoughts and feelings, and to work through them.
There are various types of journals available:
- Classic blank paper books
- Bullet-style journals
- Prompted journals with open-ended questions
- Q&A style, or fill in the blank
To find the right journal, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it need to be locked or password protected?
- Do I enjoy writing on a computer?
- Do I prefer nice pens and decorative paper?
Once you’ve found the right journal, it’s time to start writing. Some more questions to ask as you begin are:
- What time of day do I feel like writing?
- How much time can I dedicate to this?
- How often will I write?
- Do I enjoy writing long, detailed accounts of my day, or should I simply list the main points, bullet-style?
Now that you have your journal, you have a time dedicated to writing, and an idea of how detailed you’ll be, go ahead and get started! Create a quiet area for yourself where you feel comfortable, and won’t be interrupted. Write about whatever comes to mind, especially as it relates to recovery.
Some ideas of things to write about are:
- In general, how was my day?
- What emotions did I experience, and how did I handle them?
- What did I eat today, and how do I feel about that?
- What are my fears?
- What was my greatest accomplishment today/what am I proud of?
- What are my plans for a successful day tomorrow?
- And most importantly, be true to yourself, write down what you feel, what you think, what you think about how you feel… doodle, tear pages, cry. Everything that you write down in your journal is yours and do not be afraid of it.
Now you’re ready to start journaling. My advice is to actually schedule your writing time and have a reminder in your calendar. Most people prefer to write at the beginning or end of the day. Some people love to write and can spend about 10 minutes each morning and evening, gathering and reflecting on their thoughts. While others only write about once per week. The beauty of a recovery journal is that it’s just for you, so personalize it any way you’d like!
Remember, there’s no wrong way to do it, and it’s beneficial on so many levels!
Here’s to the things you’ll learn and discover along the way.
Love and light,