How to Journal For Your Mental Health
If You're Journaling to Manage Your Anxiety or Depression, These Therapists' Tips Could Help
Start a Gratitude Journal
"The goal of journaling is simply to recognize the good and focus on what is going right to help increase our positive emotions," psychiatric social worker Aaliyah Nurideen, MSW, LSW, told POPSUGAR. "Gratitude-journaling is a great way to manifest happiness through noticing and observing joy and successes — whether big or small — in our lives to improve our well-being."
According to Aaliyah, you can journal daily or weekly, whatever works best for you. To start gratitude-journaling, she recommends responding to one of the following prompts for seven days straight:
- Describe something you did well today. She likes this prompt because it helps you recognize smaller moments of success.
- What are three things you're good at? She recommends this prompt because it allows you to get out of the cycle of thinking negatively about yourself and allows you to acknowledge your strengths.
- Describe three reasons to be excited for the future. This prompt will shift your thinking from your current circumstance and help create hope and optimism, Aaliyah said.
"Once you develop a routine and become familiar with journaling, you can then move on to reflecting upon your entire week and choosing as many prompts to guide you as you journal," she added. Below are additional prompts she recommends to guide your journaling.
- What is something that you were grateful for today?
- Describe how you were helpful to someone this week.
- What is something beautiful that you saw today?
- Describe something that made you laugh today.
- What is something you accomplished today or this week?
- Describe an unexpected good thing that happened to you today or this week.
- Describe a challenge you overcame today or this week.
- What is something nice someone said to you today or this week?
- Describe a moment in which you were proud of yourself today.
- What was your favorite part of today or this week?