I’m Jen and I have depression and anxiety.
I can recall feelings of depression grabbing hold of my brain as young as 4-years-old. Sometimes the world would just seem flat and dull.
It never stayed for long when I was a kid, but as I grew older I began to experience seasonal depression every year along with a huge amount of social anxiety. Spring was my favorite time of year because that’s when the foggy haze of depression would lift.
Then my dad died suddenly when I was 13 and the haze just wouldn’t leave. If it wasn’t center stage it was at least on the periphery commanding attention at the most inconvenient of moments.
Now in my 30s, I’ve been through years of therapy and learned a bunch of coping mechanisms to help me effectively manage my mental health.
What are some of my faves?
1- I love reading when I’m anxious because it takes me outside of the fearful world I’ve been building for myself inside of my own mind.
2- Getting outside into nature and practicing breathwork regularly has also been life-changing for me when it comes to improving my mood and changing my perspective. If you haven’t tried breathwork before check out my Breakthrough with Breathwork series for beginners!
3- Finally, journaling has always been a great way for me to lower my anxiety and depression. When I journal I’m able to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper, reflect on what’s working well in my life, and what isn’t, and determine possible triggers that might be increasing my mental health issues. Check out these journal prompts to help you improve your mental health.
Journal Prompts for Mental Health
- Write about the happiest time in your life.
- Write about a difficult time you’ve been through and how you got through it. What coping mechanisms did you use?
- How would you help a friend who is having mental health issues? Now do that for yourself!
- Pretend an older version of you is giving you advice on how to deal with your depression right now. What would they say?
- How do you cope with stress? Make a list of healthy options you can turn to when you’re feeling stressed out!
- Write down a list of negative thoughts or limiting beliefs you have about yourself. Then tear that baby up or burn it.
- When you’re in a positive headspace write a list of things you want to tell yourself when you’re depressed and different things you can do to make yourself feel better.
- Feeling self-doubt? Use this guide to journal about the self-doubt you’re feeling and challenge it!
- What is your safe place? If you don’t have one then pick one or make it up. Describe it. What does it look like? How does it smell when you’re in there? How do you feel?
- What makes you feel motivated or inspired?
- What do you want more of in your life?
- What do you want less of in your life?
- What are 3 small things you’re grateful for right now? Keep it sweet and simple like being grateful for the warmth of the sun beaming through the window or the smell of sunblock.
- What seems to trigger feelings of depression in you? What are 3 things you can do to help yourself when you feel this way?
- What are your core desired feelings? What feelings do you want to experience most often?
- What seems to trigger feelings of anxiety in you? What are 3 things you can do to help yourself when you’re feeling your anxiety flare up?
- Are there things or people in your life you feel like you should be grateful for but just aren’t? How do you feel about these things or people? Why do you think you aren’t grateful for them?
- Is there someone you’re holding a grudge against? Write a letter to them telling you all about how you feel and then forgive them. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself not them!
- What are you feeling worried or anxious about and why?
- Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself for anything you’ve done that you deem as bad or not good enough. Give yourself a fresh start and then burn that letter.
- If you knew you couldn’t fail what would you do?
- Write a letter to your future self that includes all you want to achieve and questions you hope they have the answers to.
- List out all your worries, to-do list items, appointments, etc. Get them all out of your head!
- What causes you to feel the most stressed? What can you do to prevent or mitigate those triggers?
- How can you start your day on a better foot? Make a list of a few things you can incorporate into your morning to make you feel a bit happier.
- What are 3 new things you’d like to try or learn about?
- What are 3 things you did today? They can be big or small!
- What area of your life are you most unhappy with? What can you do to start improving in this area?
- How can you start taking ownership of negative things that have happened to you? How can you start to take your power back?
- What is one bad habit you’d like to stop?
If you’re feeling stuck in a depression rut or anxiety is making your brain feel like a tornado try journaling with the above prompts.
By reflecting on your feelings you can challenge your anxiety and depression and learn how to practice better self-care. Journaling can also help you become more aware of patterns you might have been missing and certain triggers that might be causing increased mental health issues.
The above prompts will help you tap into your inner self, increase awareness of what your triggers are, and come up with different ways you can manage your mental health when unwanted feelings start taking over.
Want to learn more about journaling? Check out these related posts!
- What are the benefits of journaling?
- Journal prompts to learn more about yourself!
- How journaling can help you right now!