People often wonder how to get started with journaling. To someone who has never tried to journal, it can seem difficult. Try to remember that there is no right or wrong answer. You also do not have to worry about misspellings, punctuation, or run-on sentences. Just put pen to paper and start writing. Some people ask if using technology to journal is okay. It is okay but it is less effective. Research has shown that putting pen to paper allows our brains to process the information in a different way. Also, if you are setting goals for yourself, writing them down makes them more concrete and makes you more likely to achieve your goals.
For some of my adult patients, I have encouraged journaling. For some people, free writing or uncensored, stream of consciousness writing comes naturally to them. For other people, this can be hard to do. With that in mind, here are some prompts I have collected over the years to help people who are either new to journaling or who need a little encouragement. Feel free to use whatever works best for you.
Some Writing Prompts for Better Mental Health:
1. Tell Me a Story about Your Family.
2. Who or What Inspires You?
3. What are 25 of your favorite personal qualities?
4. What really scares me is...
5. What makes me happy?
6. Write a letter to your future self in 5 or 10 years.
7. What is one thing you wish other people understood about you?
8. When was the last time that you learned a new skill? Tell me about that process.
9. Write about a time when you were courageous.
10. Write about your current, last, or favorite pet.
11. What are your hopes, dreams, and aspirations?
12. If you could have one perfect day, what would it look like?
13. Write a letter to your younger self.
14. Write about a time when you helped someone who didn't ask for your help.
15. Who was your childhood hero?