There are different types of journals and journaling methods.
And while most of them don’t really share the same objective, we believe that they all have therapeutic value for our mental health.
After all, they help relieve our minds from their burdens.
Still, we understand that there are times when it feels so daunting to look at a blank page that we can’t find the right words to start a journaling session.
This is where prompts can get in handy.
It is also the reason why we aim to share journaling prompts for mental health with you.
What Do You Write In A Mental Health Journal?
Before anything else, let us first explore the different topics you can write in a mental health journal.
These will give you an idea of what you can do regardless if you have a prompt or not.
According to Mental Health America, here’s what a mental health journal can contain:
- Notes and observations on the negative thoughts that might be holding you down
- Actions you can take to counter these negative thoughts
- Mood trackers and the particular triggers that have possibly influenced your emotions
- Progress trackers, especially if you’re undergoing treatment
- Symptom records along with the time, date, and trigger (if any)
- Prescription trackers and their effects (if any)
• Anxiety Management
Writing down the thoughts that continuously worry you not only frees your mind from their burden.
At the same time, it can help you take a step back and separate yourself from them to get a more distanced and level-headed assessment.
• Stress Reduction
The act of putting your burdens into words can already be a liberating feeling that can significantly reduce negativity and stress.
It can also help you identify any stress triggers you might not be aware of and plan how to deal with them accordingly.
• Treatment Support
As mentioned, having a journal dedicated to your mental health can help with any treatment you might be undergoing.
You can use it to keep track of symptoms, triggers, episodes, and even prescriptions. You can also use it as a reference for your next consultation.
However, it is worth noting that journaling is only a single step towards better mental health.
To make the most out of it, we recommend combining journaling with other healthy habits, like daily meditation, healthy eating, and regular exercise.
What Are Some Good Journal Prompts?
Prompts are typically posed as questions that urge you to reflect on what’s happening and inspire you to write.
For your ease of reference, we will be dividing our prompts into three categories:
- General mental health journal prompts (geared towards anxiety and mental health issues),
- Personal journal prompts (focused more on your current personal experiences), and
- Therapeutic journal prompts (which help you manage episodes and symptoms).
Journaling Prompts For Mental Health
Here are prompts you can use for your journaling:
• Mental Health Journal Prompts
1. How are you feeling?
Close your eyes and make an inventory of all the emotions you are feeling right now.
What is the most overwhelming or powerful among them? Why do you think that is?
2. What are your most negative and positive thoughts right now? Try to reflect and write about them in detail.
3. Remember your first panic attack. Describe it in detail.
What triggered it? Do you still remember how it was like? How did you find relief from it?
4. How do you deal with your mental health issues?
Have you learned of any new ways to deal with them?
What do you think you can do to manage them if you suffer from another episode?
5. What triggers your episodes? Do you feel more anxious at home or outdoors?
Would you rather be left alone during your episodes, or do you find the presence of other people comforting?
Are your mental health issues tied to any memory or past experience? Are there people you don’t feel comfortable being with?
6. Is there a silver lining to your condition? Is there a positive side to having anxiety?
• Personal Journal Prompts
1. List down the things that made you feel happy and positive today. Did something make you smile?
What are the things that you are most grateful for right now?
2. List down the things you are feeling stressed about. Separate those you have control over from those you don’t.
If you believe that you control some (or all) of them, what can you do right now to take action and relieve your stress?
3. List down the things you love right now. Is there a particular hobby you enjoy and can take your mind off things?
4. Are there any songs, movies, or activities you find helpful in cheering you up? If yes, what are they? Make a separate list for each category.
5. What is an ideal day like for you? What do you need to do to live your life this way?
6. Write a letter to your future self while envisioning a better, more positive you.
• Therapeutic Journal Prompts
1. Are you feeling anxious right now?
Write down the reasons why and then close your eyes and slowly count to 100. Write down how you feel after.
2. Have you tried meditation? How was your experience?
Were there any thoughts that kept you from focusing? What were they about?
3. Name three things you can do to improve how you’re feeling right now.
4. Name three people who can help you cope with stress. What makes their presence calming for you?
5. Name three things (or people) you can let go from your life to improve your mental health.
6. Do you know someone going through the same mental health journey as you? How is he handling it?
Does he have any methods that might help you out as well? If so, how can you put them into practice?
How Do I Journal Daily For Anxiety?
You’re probably ready to start your journey with the journaling prompts for mental health we just shared.
Hence, here is a quick guide to building a daily journaling habit for your mental health:
Decide On Your Journaling Medium.
The first thing you need to do is determine the journaling method or medium that fits your needs and preferences.
You can either settle on a traditional notebook-type journal or opt for a mobile application to put on your phone instead.
As long as your app allows you to access your entries easily, both methods will be equally effective.
It will simply boil down to how often you’re going to use them.
Turn It Into A Habit.
You can latch this new journaling habit to an already established one to make it easier to remember.
For instance, if you always drink coffee in the morning, it might be a good idea to journal as you are drinking or right after.
Connecting journaling to this habit will make the new practice easier to remember and follow.
Use The Pomodoro Technique.
Keep your mind focused on the task by setting a 20- to a 30-minute timer as you are journaling.
Doing this will give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to capture thoughts faster.
Not only that, but it will also force you to continue writing in case you run out of words halfway through the time.
Use Our Journal Prompts For Mental Health.
Don’t stress yourself out even further by forcing your mind to come up with ideas on what to write in your journal.
Instead, make use of the journal prompts we shared or find ideas elsewhere. The Internet is teeming with journaling prompts.
Reread Your Entries.
Finally, don’t forget to reread your entries. This step is a crucial part of making this practice work.
Doing so will give you better insight into your condition and possibly even come up with ways to deal with it.
While journaling can undoubtedly help you deal with your mental health issues, it still does not come close to what professional help can do.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your doctor if your burdens become too much for you to handle alone.
They have various interventions that can help you towards a better, brighter, and more positive future.
Journal Prompts For Mental Health
So, is journaling even worth it?
Journaling is one of the most enriching activities you can do to improve your mental health.
It can free you from your negative thoughts, relieve your mind of the issues that plague it, and even help keep track of the treatment methods you are currently taking.
It can sometimes be challenging to start writing on an empty page, though, especially for beginner journalers.
Fortunately, there are various journaling prompts that can give you some ideas on what to write during those dry days.
Otherwise, feel free to write down any thoughts that might be bringing you down, along with potential solutions that you can think of.
Our web pages and blog posts provide general information for general purposes only and not to be used for any medical, legal or alternative health advice for any type of physical, mental health or financial concerns.
Always speak to your practitioner before embarking on any new alternative treatments. If you have concerns about any medical matters, you should always consult your healthcare provider without delay.
We thank you for taking full responsibility for your own health and wellbeing in life. ☺