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5 Self-Care Journaling Prompts for Mental Health

A journal with a pen on it

In the world we live in today, mental health struggles are incredibly common. Millions of people are affected by mental illnesses each year. Studies suggest that 1 in 4 people will experience one in their lifetime. Having self-care journaling prompts is a proven activity to improve your mental health.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to understand that you aren’t alone. However, it’s also okay to acknowledge that coping might be difficult. While scheduling appointments with Licensed Professional Counselors, taking prescription medications, and practicing mindfulness are all great tools for managing mental health symptoms, there are additional methods that you can try.

Journaling, for example, is a simple practice that can help you deal with anxiety, stress, depression, and bipolar disorder (and it can be done from the comfort of your home). Additionally, those struggling with mental health can use their journals to record behaviors and improve their habits.

Unsure how to go about starting a journaling habit? Don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for. I’ve helped hundreds of people embark on their journaling journey, and I’d be happy to do the same for you.

The Benefits of Journaling

Learning how to take care of yourself is an integral part of being human. Simply going throughout our daily lives places a wide variety of emotions at our feet.  And that alone can feel overwhelming. Journaling, therefore, is a fantastic way to express yourself and deal with those intense emotions.

Of course, there are plenty of additional benefits that journaling can provide.  Such as:

  • Managing anxiety and reducing stress
  • Coping with depression
  • Helping you prioritize problems, concerns, and fears
  • Tracking any symptoms over time
  • Recognizing your triggers and learning how to control them
  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk
  • Identifying any negative behaviors or thoughts

How to Get into the Habit of Journaling

Are you wanting to get into the habit of journaling? For some, this might seem like an easy task, but for others… well, not so much. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Write whenever you can (or need to). Some people like to journal every day, while others journal sporadically. If you need help getting into the habit, I suggest picking a convenient time of day and challenging yourself to write for just 20 minutes. Continue to do this until it becomes a habit.
  • Keep your journal out in the open. If you physically look at your journal each day, you’re more likely to write in it. If you’re worried about snoops, simply keep it hidden and write yourself a reminder.
  • Don’t worry about grammar! No one is going to read your journal except for you. Therefore, don’t put any pressure on yourself to spell words properly, use correct grammar, or even write in a way that makes sense at all. 
  • Get creative with it. Sometimes staring at a blank page can feel overwhelming. If this sounds familiar, try switching up your formatting! Don’t worry about writing in complete sentences or paragraphs. Instead, try writing a poem, song lyrics, a letter, using sentence stems (“I feel my best when…”), or incorporating doodles.

5 Self-Care Journaling Prompts

Have you mastered the art of journaling each day (or however often works for you), but are running out of things to write about? Don’t feel discouraged, as even the most talented of writers struggle with writer’s block.

If you need a bit of inspiration, try these 5 self-care journaling prompts to improve your mental health:

1. Write About a Time When You Felt Content

Think of a moment in your life when you felt happy. In your journal, describe the situation and the surroundings at the time. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing?

If you can, try and recall what exactly made you feel happy and how that emotion felt. Consider whether you could recreate that feeling in another manner, and jot down some ideas of how.

2. Try Stream of Consciousness Writing

Stream-of-consciousness writing is exactly what it sounds like. According to Matthew Welsh, MS, Ph.D., it is “writing the first words or thoughts that go through your mind without actually planning or consciously thinking about what you are writing.”

To practice, simply write the very first word or thought that pops into your head. Then, keep going. When you’re writing via stream-of-consciousness, there’s need for commas, periods, or capitalization. Just keep writing until you feel like stopping.

3. Write a Letter to Your Biggest Fear

Sounds kind of funky, right? However, if you write a letter to something that scares you, it’ll usually tell you how it feels. Not only will this make your fears appear smaller and less overwhelming, but consistent practice will help release their grip on your life.

4. Give Your Anxiety a Voice

Okay, yes… this might seem counterintuitive. However, when you’re in the midst of an anxiety or panic attack, journaling can become an incredible route out of it. People tend to have a hyper sense of self-awareness when they’re mid-anxiety attack, so grab your pen and put every feeling on paper.

5. Apologize to Yourself

When you’re navigating problems related to mental health, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re only human. Your journal is a safe space to apologize for moments when you’ve been hard on yourself. More importantly, it’s a place for you to forgive yourself for not being perfect.

Additional Mental Health Journaling Prompts

Still want some more journaling prompts? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.  You can find an additional 20 journaling prompts.  Or, you can check out an additional 64 journaling prompts from mental health.

Best Mental Health Therapist in Fort Worth, Texas

By now, I hope you’re able to understand how journaling can be a terrific tool for your mental health. Also, I hope that these 5 self-care journaling prompts to improve mental health were able to offer a bit of inspiration.

Journaling can help you manage struggles like depression, anxiety, stress, and bipolar disorder. However, to effectively treat those mental health illnesses, journaling is best combined with routine visits to a licensed mental health counselor.

If you’re looking for the best rated mental health therapist in Fort Worth, Texas, look no further than Fort Wellness Counseling. We believe in patient-centered care that equips you with the skills necessary to accomplish real, long-term change.

As much as journaling can help soothe your mental health battles, they don’t have to rule your life. Contact our team to book an appointment today.