How to Start a Mental Health Therapy Journal Today

by socialworkhaven
How to Write a Mental Health Journal

We are experiencing strange waves rippled around the world. Will you agree with me that these unusual times can affect our mental health considerably? A mental health condition can be difficult to deal with. It could have a tremendous impact on your life.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you have for sure”

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How to Start A Mental Health Therapy Journal

I have struggled with very intense anxiety in the past. These days, through journaling, and by being my own therapist, I can manage and cope with my anxiety.

What is Journaling?

Journaling is writing down your feelings and thoughts to help you understand them more clearly. Writing for therapy channels positive thoughts and helps ease symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. It also helps your emotions and improves your mental health.

How to start a mental health therapy journal

As I mentioned earlier, writing for therapy and starting a mental health therapy journal is a great way to channel positive thoughts and ease symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

If you’ve been thinking about starting your own therapy journal, but you’re not quite sure how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. I will explain what a mental health therapy journal is, the benefits of writing for therapy and how you can start creating your own positive thoughts and help yourself become healthier and happier than ever before.

What is a  Mental Health Therapy Journal?What is a Therapy Journal?

A mental health journal, also known as a therapy journal is a book or diary used to write down your emotions, thoughts and worries and help clear your mind. Often people practice writing for therapy before bedtime, to promote a good night’s sleep, or first thing in the morning to give themselves a positive and optimistic start to the day.

The art of writing down your thoughts and emotions helps to self-reflect and allows you to better understand yourself. If you’re feeling anxious for example, the source of your anxiety might not always be clear. When you begin to analyse how you feel in that particular moment, writing down your thoughts, ideas and emotions, may reveal the reasons why you’re feeling anxious.

Writing for therapy is truly therapeutic and for some people, a daily ritual. Plus, as it’s a simple way of coping with symptoms of stress, social anxiety, depression and other mental health illnesses.

So, if you’d like to learn more about yourself and understand your emotions, start your own therapy journal today.

How Do I Start a Mental Health Journal?

How Do I Start a Mental Health Journal?

Do you ever wake up in the morning and just feel deflated?

Feeling depressed or bored is actually quite common, but if you’re feeling stressed out, exhausted, irritated and emotional, you should seriously consider starting a mental health journal. Writing down what that little voice in your head keeps repeating, will help you to self-reflect, understand what’s really going on in your mind and figure out how to make yourself happy.

To start, you’ll first need to decide if you want to keep a paper journal or a digital journal. I have found that writing by hand helps me process my thoughts better. However, pick whichever format works best for you. For starters, you could find a book, journal or diary and a pen that allows you to write easily and comfortably. Once you’ve found a journal that you like, it’s time to start writing for therapy.

Here are some tips on how to start your very own therapy journal and begin taking back control of your emotions, thoughts and ideas:

  1. Create a date with yourself. Writing for therapy needs to be a habit in order to enjoy the true benefits of your therapy journal. Set a time when you’re going to write down your thoughts and do this on a daily basis if possible. Pick a time when it is convenient for you.
  2. Schedule your journaling time into your day like any other important appointment. This can be just before you’re going to sleep, or first thing in the morning. Put your therapy journal by your bed to encourage a good routine.
  3. Do not worry about grammar or spelling errors This journal is yours and it doesn’t matter if you format your sentences or misspell words. Allow your thoughts to flow freely!
  4. Do not hold back. Remember that no-one is going to read your therapy journal, so it’s a safe space for you to let go of your emotions, thoughts and worries and put pen to paper and vent your frustration, anger, sadness and joy. 
  5. Kick start. Start each journal in a way to help kick start your therapy. Try a phrase such as, ‘hello you’ or ‘Today I..’.
  6. Make your journal a judgement free-zone. This means that you should write whatever your feelings are. Do not attach negative emotions like guilt or embarrassment to what you write. Don’t judge yourself for journaling to help resolve your inner conflicts.

If you’re feeling anxious, emotionally overwhelmed or stressed out during the day, seek time to yourself by taking out your therapy journal. It should be there for you whenever you need it.

How Do You Write a Therapy Journal?

How Do You Write a Therapy Journal?

When it comes to writing for therapy, you need to be honest with yourself. Don’t shy away from your fears, concerns or worries and make sure to not only investigate your emotions and thoughts but also consider how you feel physically.

Stress, anxiety and feeling depressed can also impact your body and cause aches and pains as you tense up while stressed out. It’s important to note down how you feel overall, as your mind and body are intertwined. Should you be feeling down, it could be due to a hormone imbalance, but it could also be due to a nagging pain in your shoulder, that you’re not actually paying much attention to.

When you take out your therapy journal, take a couple of deep breaths.

  • Assess your body and slowly shift your focus from your toes, to your lower back, across your stomach and eventually up to the top of your head.
  • If you notice any discomfort, pain or tension, be sure to note this down.
  • After taking in how you feel physically, it’s time to address your mental health.

You can often start by writing down how you feel in that particular moment.

Next,

  1. Consider your thoughts about the day ahead, or the day just passed.
  2. Pay close attention to how you feel when you consider events, people and situations.
  3. If you are feeling stressed or anxious about an upcoming event, write down all possible outcomes and consider their impact and significance.
  4. Often by noting down the reality of a stressful situation, we can begin to realise how our emotions are conjuring up all sorts of crazy outcomes, when in reality, everything will be ok.
  5. Try to always end your personal therapy session with positive thoughts.
  6. You can write down a daily affirmation such as ‘ You have everything you need to succeed.’ or ‘ You are loved, you are powerful, you are enough.’
  7. Track your progress toward goals, good habits, and positive behaviours.
  8. Record the actions you’re taking toward your goals and monitor your progress. Write down or check off when you engage in your good habits or behaviour.

There are some wonderful therapy journals on the market that provide prompts and questions to help keep you on track with writing in your journal. So, if you’d like the extra help, look online for therapy journals or journals for healing.

What Are the 5 Signs of Mental Illness?

What Are the 5 Signs of Mental Illness?Mental illness is more common than you think, but symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can often be difficult to spot. There are however a few telltale signs that someone may be suffering from a mental health condition. So, if you think you may be suffering with a mental health illness or you’re concerned about a friend, family member or colleague, here are 5 common mental health symptoms you should know:

1: Feeling sad, down or deflated, regularly.

2: Mood swings and feeling scared, worried, or guilty.

3: Withdrawal from society activities, friends and family.

4: Major diet changes, choosing to comfort, eat, restrict food or drink alcohol more.

5: Low energy, restless nights and feeling exhausted.

What Are 7 Types of Mental Disorders?

What Are 7 Types of Mental Disorders?

Mental health conditions can affect people in different ways. Some people show clear signs that they’re suffering with a mental illness, whereas others often suffer in silence, with no visible symptoms.

To illustrate the many types of mental disorders, here are seven types of mental illnesses:

  1. Depression, stress, anxiety. These mental health conditions have common symptoms. From feeling down, suffering from mood swings to feeling anxious in social situations, depression, stress and anxiety can affect your life.
  2. Psychosis and Schizophrenia. These long term mental health conditions involve a detachment with reality. A person may have difficulty understanding reality and focusing.
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This condition makes a person feel as though repetition will protect them and loved ones, or that they can avoid particular situations by repeating actions or rituals.
  4. Eating disorders. Controlling eating patterns, the food you eat or controlling the calories you consume are all aspects of eating disorders.
  5. Personality disorders. This mental illness can often mean that a person suffers with emotions, relationships and social interactions.
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Usually triggered by a traumatic experience such as witnessing a death, suffering a miscarriage or being attacked. Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause emotional distress and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
  7. Bipolar disorder. This condition involves mood swings and the person can quickly experience extreme emotions. This can cause issues maintaining long-term relationships.

What is Poor Mental Health?

What is poor mental health

Poor mental health means that you’re not feeling positive, energised and happy. You may be feeling stressed out, depressed or just down. But that’s OK. As our body is sometimes affected by a virus, or is in pain after suffering from an injury, we need to respect and appreciate the fact that our mind also needs time to recover and heal.

Conclusion

As we experience things in life, our mind, emotions and mental health will be affected, and that’s just part of life. If you think your mental health isn’t quite where you’d like it to be, don’t worry, being proactive and doing things such as writing for therapy, are great ways to help ease your symptoms and heal your mind. For positive thoughts, happiness and mental health, try starting your own mental health therapy journal today and see how giving yourself time to reflect and analyse your thoughts and emotions, helps you to become happier and healthier.

How to start a Mental Health Therapy Journal | Writing for Therapy: Final Thoughts

Well…. that about does it!

Have you started a mental health journal? Has it been a positive experience? Let me know in the comments below!

  1. Create a date with yourself. Writing for therapy needs to be a habit in order to enjoy the true benefits of your therapy journal. Set a time when you’re going to write down your thoughts and do this on a daily basis if possible. Pick a time when it is convenient for you.
  2. Schedule your journaling time into your day like any other important appointment. This can be just before you’re going to sleep, or first thing in the morning. Put your therapy journal by your bed to encourage a good routine.
  3. Do not worry about grammar or spelling errors. This journal is yours and it doesn’t matter if you format your sentences or misspell words. Allow your thoughts to flow freely!
  4. Remember that no-one is going to read your therapy journal, so it’s a safe space for you to let go of your emotions, thoughts and worries and put pen to paper and vent your frustration, anger, sadness and joy. Don’t hold back.
  5. Start each journal in a way to help kick start your therapy. Try a phrase such as, ‘hello you’ or ‘Today I..’.
  6. If you’re feeling anxious, emotionally overwhelmed or stressed out during the day, seek time to yourself by taking out your therapy journal. It should be there for you whenever you need it.
  7. Make your journal a judgement free-zone. This means that you should write whatever your feelings are. Do not attach negative emotions like guilt or embarrassment to what you write. Don’t judge yourself for journaling to help resolve your inner conflicts.

Read next:

Like it? Pin it for later.

Mental Health Journal

References

  1. https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/
  2. https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/journal-therapy
  3. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
  4. https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/journal-therapy

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4 comments

Jeff August 9, 2020 - 12:32 pm

A mental health therapy journal really does work, but you must get started and make it a part of your daily routine. I have been journaling for many years after my health started to decline, and you don’t even need to write sentences you can just write whatever pops into your head. I also doodle pictures at times, and all of this relieves my negative thoughts and feelings and I feel better getting them off my mind.

Jeff

Reply
socialworkhaven August 9, 2020 - 6:54 pm

You can write anything that comes to mind Jeff. Free writing! 🙂

Reply
Alyse August 9, 2020 - 5:12 pm

I enjoyed reading your article mental health therapy journal. Thank you for sharing this valuable info for free. I’m going to use these tips you have suggested here.

Reply
socialworkhaven August 9, 2020 - 6:53 pm

Excellent Alyse. Thanks 🙂

Reply

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