How to Start Journaling for Mental Health? Best Journal Prompts for Mental Health
Keeping a diary or journal to explore your thoughts and feelings about the events in your life is referred to as journaling. There are numerous approaches to doing this. Even occasional, sporadic journaling can be stress-relieving when the practice is focused on thankfulness or emotional processing. Journaling as a stress management and self-exploration tool works best when done consistently.
However, there are many various ways to practice journaling. One of the most effective ways to relieve stress with journaling is to write in length about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events, as one would discuss themes in therapy, and brainstorm solutions.
People can clarify their thoughts and feelings by journaling, which helps them learn more about themselves. It’s also a useful tool for problem-solving because writing down an issue frequently makes it easier to brainstorm solutions.
By thoroughly examining and releasing the emotions associated with traumatic situations, as well as by including both hemispheres of the brain in the process, journaling about them aids in processing them and allows the experience to become fully integrated within the person’s consciousness.
Keeping a thankfulness notebook or even a coincidence journal can help you focus on aspects of your life that you choose to do so more frequently. Besides de prompts we’re going to provide you in this article, you can also look for journaling prompts for printable material such as mental health PDF, journal prompts for mental health PDF, or mental health journal prompts PDF online. You can even look for a daily journal prompts for mental health app.
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Journaling Prompts for Mental Health & Mental Health Journal Prompt
Journal Prompts for Mental Health: There are many ways to journal, making it a highly useful technique for reducing stress. Choose the one that is best for you. Keep up your favorite journaling routine if you already have one, by all means! However, you could also want to give something fresh a shot. Here are some journaling techniques to try if you’re new to it. See what functions best for you.
- Gratitude Journal: Some people keep a daily thankfulness journal in which they express their gratitude for three or more things each day. This is a very effective stress-reduction technique because it encourages you to concentrate on the resources you currently have and boosts your current mood, both of which have been found to increase long-term resilience. The fact that you are left with a record of all the wonderful things that have occurred throughout your days is an added plus; in the future, if you’re feeling sad, you may cheer yourself up with a few pages of reminders for all the good things in life.
- Emotional Release: As a stress-relieving technique, you can also write about your feelings in response to the day’s events. This can assist you in processing your emotions and perhaps even exploring more constructive reframing possibilities. Writing down pleasant things that have happened in your day gives you the chance to optimize and relish any good feelings you may be experiencing. Additionally, by focusing on the positive aspects of your life and managing the negative ones, you can improve your positivity ratio, which is a crucial component of stress management.
- Some people just keep notebooks to record the tasks they need to complete each day, their objectives, the memories they make, and other important information they don’t want to lose. This is known as a bullet journal or personal planning diary. Writing things down can help keep your mind clear and aid in stress relief because it can aid in memory and help you recall what’s important to you. Feeling less stressed can be achieved by becoming more balanced and orderly.
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Best Practices for Getting Better Everyday Journal & Mental Health Journal Prompts
- Add journaling to your daily routine: Regularly keep a notebook to better keep track of your feelings and moods. Keeping a daily notebook allows you to express your anxieties in small doses throughout the day rather than all at once or only when things are really awful.
- Make your journal easy to access: If you keep a diary on hand, it will be much simpler to include it in your daily routine. In your purse or on your nightstand, keep a journal and a pen. Even your phone may hold a note for you to keep a journal on the fly. You’ll be able to express yourself more easily if you have easier access to your journal.
- Your journal is for you: In your journal, write everything you want to or need to. It is not required to be visually appealing or to read like a Hemingway novel. Try not to impose too many limitations on how you journal because it is solely for you. Don’t focus on misspelled words, crossed-out items, or skipped pages.
- Re-read your journal: Review your past emotions, experiences, memories, and moods.
- Date your entries: This explains your emotional timeline and makes it easier for you to track. Date-stamping your entries makes it easier to reflect and spot trends.
- Be Honest: The writing in your journal will be personal to you and reflect that. Slow down and consider the feelings and entries that are more difficult for you to write. The advantages of your journaling journey will increase if you are honest with yourself.
Journal Prompts for Self Discovery & Self Care Journal Prompts
Here are different self-reflection mental health journal prompts or Journal Prompts for Mental Health:
- What makes you feel powerful?
- What makes you feel calm?
- What makes you feel in control?
- How do you encourage yourself when you’re trying something new?
- What’s a choice you can make this week based on your needs?
- How do you shift your mindset if it isn’t working for you?
- How do you recharge?
- How can you celebrate yourself today?
- What does your situation best look like today?
- What helps you slow down and feel more present?
- What can you do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?
- What’s a goal you want to accomplish and why?
- How do you put yourself first without feeling guilty?
- How do you practice self-acceptance?
- How do you stay focused and steer clear of distractions?
- How do you trust yourself to make big decisions?
- How do you set boundaries and avoid absorbing someone else’s emotions and stress?
- How do you savor the time you get alone?
- How do you notice when you’re nearing burnout?
- How do you share your feelings with the people who care about you?
- How do you swap envy for joy when other people accomplish things?
- How do you advocate for yourself?
- How do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?
- How do you ask for help or support when you need it?
- How do you practice self-love and self-kindness?
- How do you calm your nerves in a difficult situation?
- How do you make the time you spend with people more intentional?
- How do you embrace your authentic self, even if it looks different from what others expect?
- How do you set and protect your boundaries?
- What new opportunities have come out of the challenges you’ve faced?
- How can you step outside your comfort zone to grow?
- How do you remind yourself that you’re enough?
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Journal Prompts for Anxiety (Anxiety Journal Prompts)
These are some mental health journal ideas for anxiety and Journal Prompts for Mental Health:
- Today, I am thankful for…
- My favorite accomplishment is…
- I am anxious when….
- I felt sad when….
- What is one thing I wish I could change…
- My happiest memory is…
- What’s been bugging me lately?
- Make a list of 15 things you love about yourself…
- My favorite body part is…
- One way I could love myself more is….
- My Childhood hero was ________ and I am similar to them in these ways _______.
- What is your best quality?
- Write a letter to one of your parents. (You do not have to give it to them.)
- Make a list of 10 quotes that inspire you
- Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for.
Journaling Prompts for Therapy & Journal for Therapy
Journal Prompts for Mental Health: Writing in a journal occasionally is like having a long, heartfelt conversation with your best friend and sharing your deepest feelings. You can safely step beyond your comfort zone by using the blank page to investigate your past experiences and any difficult times you may have gone through. You can process your negative feelings and look back on your younger self in a healthy way to make improvements to your mental health.
Allow your journal entries to develop into a secure place to process challenging emotions. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, putting your internal thoughts on paper can prove helpful the next time you find yourself in a challenging circumstance. The advantages of journaling are innumerable. Here are different mental health daily journaling prompts:
- What is a negative thought that has been recurring? How can you deconstruct it and turn it positive?
- What are three affirmations you can tell yourself this week to improve your mindset?
- Are there any books or tools you have found that have helped you learn about having a positive mindset? What are they and what was the biggest lesson from them?
- What cognitive distortions do you identify the most with?
- What are five positive thoughts that you can tell yourself when you are feeling down?
- Write down as many thoughts you’ve had during the day as you can. How many of them were negative? How many of them were positive?
- Describe a day you’ve had that started out bad but turned out to be a good day. How did you achieve that shift in mindset?
- Did you know that you can control your thoughts? Today, try your best to only think positive thoughts. At the end of the day describe how this went. Did you notice any changes?
Deep Journal Prompts
Here are some mental health journaling prompts or journal prompts mental health or journal writing prompts for mental health (Journal Prompts for Mental Health):
- Write down 5 things, or activities, that make you the happiest. Why do they make you happy?
- What are the triggers that cause you to feel anxious? How can you avoid them or minimize their effect on your mental health?
- Check-in with yourself – how are you feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally today?
- What makes you feel like your most authentic self? Is it being around a certain person, doing a certain activity, etc?
- Write one to three things that inspire you to be your best self.
- What helps brighten your day when you are going through a hard time?
- What’s your love language (words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, physical touch, or quality time)? How can you better show love to yourself through that?
- When was the last time you cried and what helped you feel better?
- What causes you to get angry? Are there any certain coping skills that help you calm down?
- What makes you feel the most confident?
- What are the emotions that you feel the most? Are they mostly positive or mostly negative?
- Who is someone in your life that always seems positive? How can you learn from them to develop a more positive mindset?
- Do you express your feelings easily? If not, why?
- Who are you the most positive around, and who seems to bring out more negative thoughts?
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Journal Prompts for Depression – Journal Mental Health Prompts
Here are different Journal Prompts for Mental Health related to depression:
- What times of the year do I feel my best? My worst? Do I notice a pattern?
- Think of a moment when you felt deeply at peace. Write every detail you can think of. what do you smell, hear, see, taste, and feel on your skin when you think of this moment?
- What steps can I take to ease my depression? What’s worked in the past?
- Write about your resilience. Give specific examples of when you’ve shown resilience.
- What do I need more of in my life? How could I take steps toward that?
- Looking back, were there early signs that I was heading toward depression?
- What’s my relationship with food like normally? How about when I’m feeling depressed? (a key here is to separate from the depression. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it’s important to recognize that we are separate from our emotions and they will pass.)
- What specific emotions do I feel today, underneath the darkness of the depression clouds? Why is it important for me to be aware of these emotions?
- What emotion is most prevalent today? Where in my body do I feel it? What would I like to feel there instead?
- When I think back, _ was when I felt most alive, alert, curious, and safe. What was happening then? What was I doing? Who else was present?
- If there’s one thing that could change in my life now, what would that be? What can I do to start changing my direction?
- Where do I feel most depressed in my body? Why is it important for me to know where it is?
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Art Journaling Prompts for Mental Health & Daily Mental Health Journal Prompts (Journal Prompts for Mental Health)
Journal Prompts for Mental Health: Visual journaling, also known as art journaling, has a long history in the field of art therapy, especially as a way to help people cope with stress and trauma rehabilitation. Due to his consistent visual journaling use, Carl Jung is frequently referred to as the “poster person” for visual journaling in art therapy. Typically, he produced little circular drawings that, in his opinion, represented his inner thoughts and the collective unconscious’ archetypal domain.
There are several publications on the market that offer helpful suggestions on how to start or develop your practice of visual or art journaling. Here are some of the more well-known visual journaling prompts used in art therapy, listed [in no particular order], in the style of the Art Therapy Interventions. These are followed by some general recommendations for using these techniques for your own self-expression and exploration, guided journal prompts for mental health:
- How Do You Feel Right Now? This prompt, which is also known as a “feelings notebook,” may be the most popular. I frequently advise clients to keep a feelings journal in between sessions and to spend a brief amount of time each day utilizing colors, shapes, lines, or images to depict “how I feel today.”
- Unprompted Imagery. Numerous things can be seen as spontaneous imagery, however the majority of the time it alludes to drawing scribbles or free-form lines and searching for images inside them.
- Drawing with a non-dominant hand. The art therapy/journaling guru Lucia Capacchione advises individuals to “write with your non-dominant hand” as part of a journaling practice and to “draw with your non-dominant hand” over time to observe what emerges.
- Circulating in a Circle. This is occasionally referred to as a “mandala journal.” Simply trace or draw a circle on each page of your diary, then make it a regular habit to sketch inside or outside the templated circle.
- Dream diary. Try maintaining a journal of the visual images you remember from your dreams if you have time right after you wake up. Try outlining the essential ideas of your dream by first writing down a few important words or phrases.
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 Sohal M, Singh P, Dhillon BS, Gill HS. Efficacy of journaling in the management of mental illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fam Med Community Health. 2022 Mar;10(1):e001154. doi: 10.1136/fmch-2021-001154. PMID: 35304431; PMCID: PMC8935176.