Speaking with a therapist, seeking the support of friends and family, or even exercising more regularly: there are many useful tools for managing your mental health. If you’re the creative type – or even just find it useful to share your thoughts in a journal – maybe it’s time to add writing to your arsenal of mental health resources. Think of journaling as another form of mindfulness, or even a coping strategy when facing difficulties that cause stress or anxiety. By taking the time to slow down, calm down, and sort out your thoughts and feelings, you can learn more about yourself, which is the first real step towards self-acceptance and positive change. Ready to take the time to sift through your thoughts and feelings? Grab your favorite journal or laptop and try one (or all!) Of these writing prompts. Good writing!
1. Gratitude index: When anxiety strikes, it steals your point of view with it, forcing you to focus on all the things that worry you instead of everything you need to be thankful for. Recalibrating your mind to remember all the good things in your life can help keep anxiety or annoyance at bay by giving you something positive to focus on instead. This one is simple: just list all the things you are grateful for. Don’t cut corners and be as specific as possible to counter what you might be feeling. For example: Do you feel lonely? Make a comprehensive list of the people who love you. Do you feel incompetent or late? Write down the accomplishments you are most proud of. Manage stress at work? List everything you are looking forward to, whether short term or long term.
2. Take your own opinion: Have you ever felt like you had decision paralysis? If you suffer from anxiety about an important decision, or don’t know how to deal with a difficult dilemma in your life, stepping outside of the situation can be an interesting way to find out what you are thinking or feeling. really about it, then take action to advance. Mentally withdraw from the situation you find yourself in and write a few paragraphs of ideas as if you were sharing them with a friend who is in your shoes. What advice would you give him? How would you encourage them? What would you like them to know? Then step back into the situation and think about how you can follow your own advice.
3. Respond to fear: Fear can be a debilitating force in our lives, but that doesn’t mean it always tells us the truth. Even though our insecurities and anxieties often lie to us about ourselves, our lives, or other people, it is so easy to listen to them. It’s time to stop the cycle by cutting the fear that holds us back like it’s a toxic friend. While there is healthy fear, the concerns that keep us insecure and constant fear are the opposite. Think of it this way: how would you talk to a friend if he was lying to you as much as your fears are? Write a letter to your fear as if you were cutting ties with a friend who doesn’t treat you well. As you talk to them, remind your fears who you are and all you have to offer.
4. The other side of the coin: Many times, on the other side of our greatest weakness, there is incredible strength to be grasped. For example, if you are struggling with anxiety, it probably means paying attention to details and caring about others; if you are a perfectionist, you probably appreciate hard work; and if you are critical, you probably care about the well-being of others. Pick a few aspects of your personality that others have criticized in the past, or areas that you are not sure about. For each of them, write a paragraph about how these elements can be strengths or assets in your life, and then come up with a game plan for how to build on those strengths in a positive way.
What’s your favorite writing prompt to follow? Tell us how you journal @BritandCo!
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