Updated: Jan 22, 2021
Stress, anxiety, depression, are some of the various mental health struggles that can dramatically impact our everyday lives. One easy and incredibly effective way to support our mental health is through journaling. This simple tool can be as quick as writing out a few sentences or journaling for a period of time.
Here are a few great prompts to get you started:
Write out a list of quotes, songs, even stories that inspire you, lift you up, or bring a smile to your face. Whenever you're feeling lost, use this list to guide yourself back. Feel free to borrow our favorite quote below:
Emotions are a crucial part of our lives. It's important to process and digest our intense emotions - fear, grief, anger, resentment, jealousy - or they can become burdensome. With compassion and curiosity, reflect on the emotions that have tempted you, especially during a stormy time in your life. In a list, name the emotions you felt. Then think on ways you can process them, to lighten the burden you may be subconsciously carrying.
Take a moment to reflect and identify something you're grateful for - a conversation with a friend, a cup of tea, the smell of the summer rain. Anything that has brought light into your day. Then, set a timer for 1 minute, and write a list of everything, big or small, that you're grateful for. When the timer is up, look back on your list and reflect on the joy that comes from everything in your life.
Write a letter to someone who you think needs your forgiveness. Discuss what they did and how it made you feel, and then forgive them and let it go. Or write a letter to someone asking for their forgiveness. Discuss what you did and how it may have affected this person, and then forgive yourself and let it go.
Reflect on a time in your life that was particularly tough. It could be a particular event that comes to mind or a general sense of challenge that you remember. Sit with any emotions you recall from that time - maybe frustration, fear, loneliness, anger. When you're ready, write out words you wish someone had said to you at that time. Whenever you face a future challenge or just need unconditional love and support, return to this list of words/sentences.
Think about spending a day doing only the things that make you feel excited, happy, engaged, or fulfilled. Write a list of everything you would include in this day, from the time you wake up until you go to bed at night. Then read your list and choose at least one item to incorporate into your schedule tomorrow.
Pick ONE positive word you’d like to focus this week and brainstorm a list of things you can do to bring this positive word into each day. At the end of the week, take a moment to reflect/journal on how it impacted your week and how you feel.
The point of using these prompts is to make a lasting change. Our minds are powerful tools that can be adjusted to improve our future, well-being, and sense of self. May your mental health journal show you that you already have the tools you need to be your own best cheerleader!