Journaling for anxiety is an effective coping technique that can help with managing stressful emotions. By expressing your thoughts on paper and analyzing them, you can explore your emotions, learn more about your mind and find ways to manage your anxiety. Journaling is not a substitute for therapy with a professional, but can greatly complement the recovery process.
Yet, many people with anxiety have trouble starting a habit of journaling whenever they feel stressed. One of the biggest reasons this is happening is because many simply do not know what they need to write in a journal – this is where guided notebooks come in as a helping hand.
Following a guided notebook is easy and more engaging than freewriting. In this article, we explore some of the most popular journaling prompts for anxiety that can help you get closer to your mental health goals.
What Do You Write In A Journal When You Have Anxiety?
Journaling for anxiety is extremely effective, as we’ve discussed in one of our other articles. If you are determined to start journaling for anxiety, it’s recommended to use prompts that will help you get started. Some of the prompts may help you with understanding the underlying reasons for your anxiety, while others may draw your attention to certain coping skills you can use whenever you feel anxious.
In addition, using journaling prompts for anxiety can help you feel calmer and more grounded. Below, we will share some of the most popular and effective prompts you can use whenever you feel like you want to share your emotions.
Related: Journaling For Anxiety: How To Journal Effectively?
Is Journaling Good For Anxiety?
According to one study, whether you are dealing with anxiety, distress or depression, journaling can help in many ways. Writing out your emotions on paper is linked to decreased mental stress and can increase well-being.
How Do I Start A Mental Health Prompt Journaling?
To get started with anxiety journaling, set aside 10-15 minutes of your time and find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Get yourself a notebook or a journal – you can use a traditional diary, purchase a guided notebook, or even use your computer for this purpose.
Before writing, try to calm yourself down with the help of some breathing exercises or meditation. It’s recommended to journal in a calm state of mind so the practice is effective and enjoyable.
Now, you can either turn to freewriting, where you’d share anything that is on your mind, or you can use journaling prompts for anxiety.
Journal Prompts For Stress Relief & Depression
If you feel depressed or stressed, use some of the journaling prompts for anxiety below to clear your mind and get relaxed.
- Share everything that is making you stressed at this moment on paper. You can tear up the page after you are done.
- At this moment, I feel challenged by____. But I know I am supported by ____.
- Some things that help me the most at the moment are _______.
- What can I do today to change the stressful situation?
- Which ones of the past challenges turned out to be a great lesson for me? What was the silver lining? How can my current situation be beneficial for me?
- What did I accomplish today that I can be proud of?
- What worries me the most? Is the situation really as bad as I perceive it?
- Choose any place or situation that relaxes you the most and describe it in great detail.
- Talk about all the tense places in your body. “Scan” your body once again and write about the areas that feel relaxed.
- What are the ways I usually deal with stress? Are they really helpful? What other ways can I try to better deal with the situation?
- How would I feel if I know for certain that I would get through this situation? How would I act?
- What do I need to feel safe and confident in this very moment?
- What is going great in my life at the moment, despite the difficulties I face?
- What fears am I holding on to at the moment that are not serving me? How can I let go of these?
- What are some of the things I can look forward to once this stressful period is over?
- I am grateful for the following things in my life_____.
30 Most Helpful Journaling Prompts From Anxiety
If you are feeling anxious and panicky, try the following journaling prompts for anxiety:
- Right now, I am_________. I want to be_________.
- Pay attention to your breathing and your body. Become present and describe your feelings. Are you feeling tired, worried, or tense? Maybe you are feeling healthy, strong, and energetic? Talk about your inner feelings in detail.
- Talk to your inner critic. If he/she has been extra active today, use this chance to challenge them. If they are talking about all the things you’ve done wrong today, remind them about all the things you’ve done right.
- Choose a single positive word to focus on today – happiness, gratitude, joy, or love or anything else that makes you smile. Write it down and commit to seeking this emotion in all the actions you do.
- Choose one single problem that has been making you feel anxious lately. Ask yourself different questions about it, as you would talk to a friend or a family member. Make sure your questions are supportive and kind and try to think about this situation from a different angle. Is the situation really as bad as you first thought it was?
- Write about your favourite way to de-stress. Is it taking a bath or exercising? Describe how this practice transforms you and how it makes you feel. Is there anything else you’d like to try that can make you feel great?
- Remember a story where you made a positive difference in someone’s life. How did it make you feel?
- Think about your ideal day – what are the things that make you feel excited and happy? Write down a list of activities that you’d like to include in that day – from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Choose one of the upcoming days that you can implement your plan.
- Think about your favourite accomplishment and describe it in detail.
- Think about the things you’d like to change in your life and how this change would make your life better. Describe in detail the steps you want to take this week to work towards your goals.
The next journaling prompts for anxiety are easy to start with if you just want to follow a simple structure with your journaling:
- Today, I am grateful for_____
- I feel anxious when ____
- I feel sad when _______
- My happiest memory is when ______
- One thing I’d like to change at this very moment is ______
- What’s been on my mind lately?
- 10 things I love about myself are _____
- One way I could love myself more is_____
- My best quality is_____
- I make other people’s life better by _____
- Quote that inspires me today is _____
- What can I do to challenge my anxiety today?
- The last time I felt this way, I______
- Write yourself a letter forgiving yourself for something that has happened to you in the past when you felt bad.
- Write a letter to one of your parents (you don’t have to give it to them)
- One thing I wish I had said no to is_____. This makes me feel_____
- I need to let go of______
- Self-care for me means_______. I can incorporate more of it into my daily routine by_______.
- 3 things about me that I wish other people knew are ______. I can _______so they know more about me.
- Write one goal for next week that you’d like to accomplish and write down the steps towards it.