September 22nd is Dear Diary Day. We don't know the origins of this holiday, and we don't care. We honor it just the same!
That doesn't mean Workit staff scribbles in diaries morning and night. Nope, it means many of us tracked (or still track) our cravings to help kick addictions.
Why? Here are some reasons tracking your cravings can help kick addictions:
1. It's free.
Addiction treatment is expensive, if you haven't heard. Making note of when you're itching for a fixing? That doesn't cost a thing.
2. Science says logging your cravings is a good thing.
Hey, I'm not a scientist. I'm just a gal who kicked addictions, one day at a time. But scientists believe in tracking your cravings, in a notebook, on your computer, on your phone, or furiously scribbled on a napkin. You do you, boo.
Want the data? Shoot me an e-mail. I got you.
3. You can track cravings anytime, anywhere.
Other solutions are great. But you can't ALWAYS be making meetings, counselor appointments, exercising, taking steamy bubble baths, chewing delicious bubble gum, or whatever other advice you're getting. Sometimes, you need an instant solution.
(Read more: The 1-Minute Trick To Stop Your Alcohol Cravings)
You can write the tough stuff down in the bathroom at work, or while your toddler melts down about the serious lack of Teddy Grahams in your kitchen. Bust out your phone, and tell Siri what's going on. Don't have a smart phone? Keep a paper and a golf pencil in your car. Don't have a car? Keep it in your pocket. Forget fancy. Get something that works for you.
4. Tracking cravings will help you learn about yourself.
Logging your cravings over time can help you see what triggers you, or causes your cravings. If you continuously want to use after a visit to your mother-in-law's house, that's a hint that mom-in-law stirs up some triggering stuff for you. The perfect excuse to skip the next family dinner, IMO.
5. Logging your cravings can help you build plans to handle future cravings.
This comes back to learning about yourself. Once you know what causes cravings for you, what your cravings are like, and what helps you get through them, you have your own answers on how to get through cravings in the future.
Bringing this sort of perspective into your life (and your addictive behavior) helps you make better choices to handle cravings in the future. You can prep for events you know will be hard for you, and make sure you have tools on hand that worked for you in the past.
Become your own cravings whisperer, or your own cravings scientist. Get to know that stuff, rather than dread it. Study it, and learn from it.
But hey, don't take my word for why a cravings log works. Prove it to yourself.
And today, Dear Diary Day, is the perfect day to start!
Kali Lux is the Community Lead at Workit Health. She is also content writer and editor with a gift for breaking down big ideas into digestible bits. She loves to talk, write, and read recovery. Her short humor has been featured on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and her BA in English is from ASU.