5 daily journaling tips for your mental health
Journaling and mental health go hand in hand. Not only do we believe that at The Journal That Talks Back™, but it’s also backed by science: 65 percent of people who journal report an improvement in their ability to manage stress, and 33 percent of people say the reason they started journaling was to lower stress and reduce anxiety.
Journaling is also great for memory, learning and performance, with 78 percent of frequent journal writers citing an improved ability to learn and retain important information (as opposed to only 42 percent of people who don’t journal).
Want to take advantage of the benefits of journaling for mental health? Here are five awesome journaling tips for mental health that will help you rethink the kinds of daily journaling you do while also adding some spice to your otherwise ordinary journaling prompts.
Write your “best case scenario” journal
We spend a lot of our lives thinking about all the worst things that can happen. But what about the best things that can happen?
Write a journal entry about a “best case scenario” in your life. What do you stand to gain from your dreams, passions, goals and ideas? What would an absolutely perfect life look like to you? Who would you be friends with? What activities would you engage in? What would you eat, read, play, sing, learn, do?
Writing out good thoughts like these in a journaling prompt can help you balance out bad thoughts and keep you focused on everything you’re excited about.
Bonus tip: if you’re constantly ruminating on negative thoughts, you can journal about those, too. Try writing out the absolute worst-case scenario regarding something you’re nervous about. Write it down in detail so you can fully get it out of your mind and onto the paper. Then…
Write a journal about how you would deal with that worse-case scenario. How would you react? How would you recover? How would you move on?
Doing this can help you realize that even the worst outcomes are manageable.
Write about what you want to do in a year
Similar to the above scenario, take some time to journal about all the things you want to do in the next year. Note that this isn’t the same as a “where do you see yourself in a year” journaling prompt. Instead, you’ll be writing about all the lovely experiences you want to have, and letting go of things like achievements and material gains.
By focusing more on what you want to do, you can lean into things under your control, instead of hyper-focusing on winning an award, putting a ring on it, having children, etc. (The best part? Once you stop focusing on checking all those boxes, you start accomplishing them anyway—as a byproduct of simply being happier, healthier and more attuned to your own life.)
Write a letter to your old self about mental health
Who did you used to be? Where have you come since then? What kind of anxiety, depression or other symptoms did you deal with before that don’t exist now? For this journaling prompt, try telling your younger self about all the coping mechanisms and skills you’ve learned in dealing with your mental health. How proud would your past self be of your current knowledge?
Write a love letter to yourself
What do you love about yourself? What are your best traits and qualities? Make a daily journaling list of all the things you enjoy about yourself, including your talents, relationships, skills, memories and ideas. All of us can be pretty amazing when we want to be, but sometimes it takes a bit of reflection to remember just what it is about us that makes us so special.
Write with a friend
Journaling is often seen as a solo sport. We keep our journals hidden away from others… as if there’s something to hide within them. But what if you let go of that and tried journaling with someone else?
Journaling with a partner can keep you committed to the act of journaling while also teaching you things about how you see yourself and the world. It’s kind of like working with a therapist or a coach—you’re so close to yourself that you don’t see the things holding you back, but someone else will spot those things from a mile away.
Although there’s lots of different ways to do this, we recommend working with a coach. They’re specifically trained to see your blind spots while also building you up and keeping you committed to the lifelong act of journaling.
5 daily journaling tips for mental health
And that’s it! Pretty simple, right? Journaling for mental health doesn’t have to be hard. Just keep trying new things until you start to get into the habit of journaling for mental health on a regular basis. For best results, daily journaling will help you stay committed to the act of self-improvement, and it’ll definitely benefit your mental health.
While it might take some time to get used to the idea of journaling, you’ll soon find yourself excited to journal each day. So, what do you say?
We are a coaching company with expertise in lots of different areas like mental wellness, career, relationships, parenting and a whole lot more. While coaching in The Journal That Talks Back™ can help you to take a deeper look at the above topics, we recognize that there are times when other resources, like therapy and/or counselling, may make more sense. As such, we have begun to develop a Mental Health Directory with well over 800 resources and we are investing time and effort into really growing it. It is also developed in a super user friendly way (we hope) so that it's easier to navigate than say another government website. Click the button below to check out our Mental Health Directory.