3 Journaling Prompts For Anxiety and Mental Health
by Brittany Jorel
3 years ago
As a teenager, you might have had a diary. A “secret book,” where you shared your deepest thoughts, desires, fears, or even crushes without judgment. It was a place to write down memories, “first-time” moments, and things that were taking place in your life. Without realizing it, it likely felt good to release your thoughts and feelings onto paper.
As I got a little older, I stopped using a diary. It felt “childish” and a bit silly. I remember thinking, “I’m too old to be writing in a diary” and slipped the book in my closet, never to be opened again.
That is until I found myself in a destructive relationship with a very toxic person. This individual shattered my confidence through emotional abuse. He threw nasty insults my way daily, making me feel small. I felt like I had to live a double life, one where I was scared for my wellbeing at home, and the other where I faked that “everything was okay” to my family and friends. It was draining, exhausting, and very scary.
I am proud to say that today, I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I had the courage and support from friends and family to release myself from that toxic relationship and start an entirely new life. But the physical scars healed much easier than the emotional ones.
After I left that abusive relationship, I felt broken. Not free, like most people, would think. I was lost, anxious, overwhelmed, and sinking into a dark depression.
I will forever be grateful for the support system I had and that I dared to reach out to a therapist for some guidance. It was through my healing process that I decided to start writing in a “diary” again. Except for today, we call this a journal.
Journaling saved my life!
I used journaling as a tool to find light when I was stuck in a very dark place. It became an outlet for me to heal. Since I was struggling with anxiety and depression, writing down my thoughts and feelings helped me to gain control of my emotions and, overall, improve my mental health.
I share the story above with you because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you feel like you are struggling with anxiety, stress, overwhelm, or fear, I highly suggest adding journaling as a tool to help you manage these emotions.
Journaling can be a liberating experience. Releasing your thoughts and feelings on paper can help you calm the mind, find clarity, and feel lighter. I love how there is no right or wrong way to journal, and you can do what feels right for you!
However, I know that if you’ve never journaled before, it can feel daunting, staring at a blank piece of paper. That is why I wanted to share with you three journaling prompts to help you release any anxiety you are feeling. These prompts are ideas to get you started, and believe me when I say that you will feel so much better afterward.
3 Journaling Prompts for Anxiety and Mental Health
To start, I want you to grab a pen and paper, and find a quiet space.
Before we get started, I want to remind you again that there is no right or wrong way to journal. Your answers do not have to be any length (writing just one word or feeling is perfect). There are no expectations, and no one is judging you. Just write down the first feeling or thought that comes to your mind.
Okay, let’s do this, girl!
First, I want you to close your eyes and take three slow deep breaths.
We do this just to help calm the mind.
When you open your eyes, I want you to answer the following questions.
- Write the three encouraging words you need to hear right now.
- Name five memories when you were extremely happy.
- If you had to pick one bad memory or experience you could re-write the outcome, what would it be, and how can you think of the experience differently?
How do you feel?
Now, I want you to take a moment to read through your answers again.
Do not judge the words you’ve written down. Acknowledge those emotions and feelings.
Journaling has become a part of my morning ritual; however, do not feel pressured to do this every single day. Especially as a beginner, thinking about journaling daily can be overwhelming. To start, only do it when you feel like you need it, and who knows, maybe it will become a part of your morning ritual as well.
If releasing your emotions and thoughts by writing it down felt useful to you, I encourage you to continue. And remember, you got this!
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. If you or a loved one is in a domestic abuse situation, please know help is available! Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak on the phone, you can log onto thehotline.org or text “LOVEIS” to 22522.