Self-Care for Healing and Recovery: Spiritual Practice and Journaling

Self-Care for Healing and Recovery: Spiritual Practice and Journaling

Many of us sacrifice self-care, and for various reasons. We might feel the demands of our families and jobs leave no time for self-care. We might be so depressed we don’t have the energy to be good to ourselves. Whatever the reason, we can start by setting the intention to love ourselves more and take better care of ourselves. Prioritizing our wellbeing mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, is so important for healing from mental illness and recovering from addiction. As we heal, we learn that the mental component is only one of many factors. Holistic healing, working with ourselves as whole people not just our mental illness or addiction, can bring about deep transformation. Here are some ways you can practice self-care.

Spiritual Practice

You have the freedom of developing your own spiritual practice so that it’s personally helpful and therapeutic for you, and there are countless ways to connect to your higher power, and to the higher power manifested within you. You can create an altar where you meditate or pray, with sacred pieces, crystals, candles, oracle cards, journals, mementos, symbols- anything with which you have a personal or spiritual connection. You can use anything you want for your altar: rocks or sea glass from your favorite beach, gifts or cards from loved ones, photos, inspirational quotes. Decorate it with your favorite colors, spiritual symbols and images. Make it a practice to commit to spending time with your altar, communicating with your spirit guides and angels, your higher power, your ancestors, with yourself.

Journaling

Writing helps us to connect with our inner voice, process our emotions, and allow our energy to flow. Write about anything you feel moved to: the things and people you’re grateful for in your life, the emotional challenges you’re facing, the regrets you’re having trouble forgiving. As you connect with yourself and your higher power, solutions for healing will open up to you. You might receive the inspiration to talk to someone who gives you amazing guidance. You might feel called to be of service and help someone else. You might find that sharing your story helps someone else going through something similar. Writing is one way to connect to our inner wisdom, to share of ourselves, to help others, to learn, and to heal.

The mind is only one part of mental illness and addiction. Holistic healing can make all the difference. Let Enlightened Solutions help you discover what helps you heal. Call (833) 801-LIVE


Journaling as a Tool for Recovery

Writing for twenty minutes a day, for just three days, can change your life. Does it sound unbelievable? James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas conducted research specifically investigating the positive effect journaling could have on emotion. He found that across the subjects of his studies, there was a positive and effective aftermath. Half of his subjects were asked to write about experiences in their lives which held distinguished emotional meaning. The other half of his subjects were asked to write about everyday occurrences and observations.

For those who spent the 20 minutes of writing a day focusing on heavy emotional experiences, Pennebaker discovered definite improvements, including, but not limited to:

  • Less depression
  • Less anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved relationships, memory, physical health, mental health

Undeniably, in each of Pennebaker’s studies, the practice of expressing emotional experiences through journaling proves to be deeply therapeutic. Writing helped in coping with stress, grief, fear, and depression. Additionally, overtime, people who regularly journaled change their language. More importantly, they change their thinking. Insight, understanding, and perspective begin to develop, demonstrated through phrases such as “I realize”, and “I understand now”.

Journaling as a Tool for Recovery

How does journaling lead to a greater sense of wellbeing and understanding in the world? Your average “dear diary”, as exemplified in Pennebaker’s studies, doesn’t exactly cut it. The human brain processes billions of intricate and detailed thoughts throughout the day. Emotion is one of the curious things about human beings, which we have a language to express. However, most modern culture suggests, in one way or another, against expressing emotion. From trauma to tragedy, accomplishment to happiness, there is general instruction not to feel too much- or at least let anyone know about it.

Mistakenly, emotions are thought to be passing experiences. While it is true that “this too shall pass”, the energy of each emotion we experience does not just go away. When we lose that baseball tournament at 7 years old and our father says “suck it up”, we don’t just “suck it up” and forget about it. We experience a colorful array of emotions that, until dealt with, stay with us a lifetime. Guilt, shame, disappointment, fear, loneliness- so much can be felt and it is completely unique to who we are as individuals.

Many of us drank and used drugs as way to simultaneously “let loose” to express ourselves, and shut down our persisting emotions. We wanted to feel everything by feeling nothing at all. When we get sober and start living a life of recovery free from drugs and alcohol, we are suddenly presented with all those feelings. Though we thought we had done away with them for good, we had only anesthetized them temporarily. Begging to be reconciled, every single emotional experience begins to surface. The fact of the matter is it has to go somewhere. If we are lucky enough to be in treatment, we have multiple therapy sessions a day to divulge. Still, at the end of the day, there may be more to process. Just 20 minutes of writing at the end of the day can help unload and make sense of all those emotions.

Journaling as a tool for recovery is an important and useful tool because it helps support emotional regulation. After years of consistent substance abuse, we have trained our brains to run at the first hint of uncomfortable feelings. Journaling is a way to make peace with the art of emotion, and possibly learn a thing or two from feeling them.

Enlightened Solutions has seen the incredible transformations which take place from the simple act of asking for help. If you are ready to change your life and ask for help overcoming your battle with drug addiction or alcoholism, call us today. 833-801-5483.


Creative Practices for Curating Inner Peace

Being in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction often requires a lot of vocal expression. Alternative therapies like art or music therapy offer opportunities for unique expression. However, evidence based treatment methods like talk therapy are standards in treatment.

Creative Practices for Curating Inner Peace

Journaling

One of the most important people you can learn to talk to in recovery is yourself. Journaling is a safe and sacred space for engaging in dialogue with just you and your spirit.

There is no need for a daily “dear diary” practice. Allow yourself a designated time and space for simply being with your writing. You can talk about your past, your present, and your future. When we peacefully allow ourselves our own protection in expressing ourselves we can be surprised by what comes up. Journals do not have to look or read a certain way. We are journaling, not writing a novel (though that can be another practice!). Indulge in the practice of self-compassion by embracing full transparency with yourself, your thoughts, and your words. Releasing what you have been storing inside to be stored on the pages of your journal is deeply healing. The act of writing is meditative within itself. At the end of each day, or anytime you choose to write, you will feel refreshed and more deeply connected to yourself.

Crystals and Stones

Rose quartz is for love. Amethyst, for knowledge. Garnet for social attraction. Blue lapiz, for creativity. Stones and crystals are full of energy. Each frequency of energy in each crystal and stone heals in different ways. Crystals and stone can be used by wearing them, holding them, placing them in your personal space, or even just keeping them in your pocket. Certain stones and crystals attract us, as if we were meant to find them. Researching the meanings and healing properties of the stone or crystal reveals a deep correlation with our lives.

Maximize the use of crystals and stones by using them for intention setting. Build a relationship with your special piece by creating a goal for its purpose. Are you feeling insecure in your life and stumble upon some Tiger’s eye? Known for offering protection, set the intention for developing feelings of safety. Over the course of just a few weeks, mindfully notice how those intentions manifest- because they will.

Visualizations

Visualizations are practices for meditation in which the brain is guided through imagining and envisioning. Visualization can also be a creative practice using tangible material items to materialized our fantasies, desires, dreams, wishes, and goals. Vision boards are a popular medium for this practice. Meditate in the energy of your creative flow, searching for what expression will be most supportive. Work within that space to create a visualization for your life.

Enlightened Solutions witnesses the transformative hope treatment for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can bring. Our multidisciplinary program is based in 12 step philosophy and holistic practices offering complete healing for mind, body, and spirit. There is serenity on the other end of your suffering. Stop suffering.

Call us today at 833-801-5483.