Regularly maintaining a journal is known to help people with their mental health and journal prompts are great to help you start with your journal. There are many reasons and ways that it does so, which we have detailed here. In short it helps to keep you focused on your goals and not on what your depression is telling you, it helps with a state of mindfulness, and it can be a cathartic release that helps reduce anxiety, depression and increases your quality of sleep. There are more benefits but that is for another article on another day!
How to Start Your Journal
Starting a journal can seem daunting, but like any change you are making to your lifestyle it requires two things:
For any change you want to make in your life, you will need to be determined and work out the best way to fit it into your current routine. There is no point trying to change everything at once, just take incremental steps and build new ideas and new practices in to your day in a manageable and realistic way. Then you apply that change with persistence and determination.
The other difficulty often faced is simply knowing what to write, and that is where this article comes in handy.
We have listed out 12 weeks worth of journal prompts. These are taken from our mental health daily planner and journal, designed to help get a better grasp on your day and your mindset. If you like what you see and want to keep your journal on a regular basis, it may be worth taking a look at the book. Having it all printed out and kept in one place helps to keep it front of mind. It helps to have a consistent record and monitoring of other factors, such as sleep and mood. The regular prompts around gratitude and your daily targets, all add up to give you the best chance of getting on top of your mental health in a positive, proactive and productive way.
12 Weeks of Journal Prompts
1. What did you learn today?
2. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years time?
3. What is the biggest challenge you have in front of you?
4. How is your current mental health?
5. Who do you look up to and why?
6. Write about something good that happened this week
7. What would you like to do over the next week?
8. What is one of your favourite memories?
9. What can you learn from the last time you failed at something?
10. What makes you frustrated?
11. What are your greatest strengths?
12. What really excites you?
13. What have you learnt about yourself recently?
14. Write about a challenge you faced and overcame
15. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
16. Write a note to ‘younger’ you
17. Write a note to ‘future’ you
18. What would you do if you didn’t have any fears?
19. What have you read recently that really made you think?
20. If you remember one thing from today, what do you want it to be?
21. What things always help you feel a little better?
22. What do you wish people knew about you?
23. What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
24. What is something you want to learn more about and how would you go about doing so
25. What are you most afraid of, and why?
26. What can you proactively do to benefit your mental health
27. Who would you want to say thank you to and why?
28. What do you want to be better at, how would you go about improving in that area?
29. Describe your happiest childhood memory
30. What do you want to remember when you are struggling?
31. What do you want to achieve in life?
32. What is one place in the world you want to visit?
33. What is one change you want to make to your daily routine, and how would you go about doing it?
34. Describe a time you sabotaged a situation for yourself and how would you handle it differently in the future
35. Describe your perfect evening
36. What personality traits do you like and admire the most?
37. What personality traits do you dislike the most?
38. What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
39. When was the last time you cried?
40. What are some of your favourite things?
41. What would your ideal career be?
42. What is your biggest achievement?
43. What benefits do you notice when you exercise?
44. What helps to calm you when anxiety begins to build?
45. What about today do you wish you could do again tomorrow?
46. Write about a song from your childhood that always puts a smile on your face
47. Describe one of your earliest memories
48. What are your top long term goals?
49. What does nobody know about you?
50. What was the most fun you ever had?
51. What are 3 things you can’t do without?
52. What are your pet peeves?
53. What quote really means a lot to you?
54. How well do you deal with anger?
55. What is the main emotion in your life right now?
56. When was the last time you told someone a secret of yours?
57. How easily are you able to forgive someone who causes you pain?
58. Write a letter to someone you want to thank
59. How did you feel on your first day at school or in a new job?
60. What would you do if money didn’t matter?
61. What makes you unique?
62. What are you really good at?
63. What do you do when you need to practice self-care?
64. How do you want to improve the world?
65. What event would you like to attend?
66. What song instantly reminds you of a happy time?
67. What do you look for in a friend?
68. How would you describe yourself?
69. What is a weakness of yours and how could you improve it?
70. What is your wildest dream?
71. Who was your favourite teacher, and why?
72. What book have your read over and over again, and why?
73. What is one problem you want to overcome this week and how would you do so?
74. What activities do you want to do more of?
75. What was the most surprising thing to have happened this week?
76. “The most vulnerable I have ever felt was when I …”
77. What is your secret desire?
78. Who do you feel the closest connection to and why?
79. What is one hobbie you want to take up and why?
80. Do you believe in soul mates?
81. What was the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
82. What do you look forward to the most?
83. What do you admire most about one of your closest friends?
84. How have you been feeling this week?
I hope you find these helpful and that you find real benefit from your journal. To have all of these prompts, along with the gratitude challenge, goal setting, mood and sleep monitoring and more in one easy to use book that will help you get in control of your mental health and daily routines, you can order them here if you are in the States and here if you are in the UK.