A photo of a Black man with dreadlocks in New York thinking while writing in their journal to represent the topic of the article - Improve Your Wellbeing With These 8 Easy Journal Ideas

Improve Your Wellbeing With These 8 Easy Journal Ideas

 

Journalling is a staple of mental health care. It’s one of the most popular suggestions for helping those with mental health issues or as a preventative self-care measure. The reason for this is that journalling is effective. I’ve even written about this before myself, which you can read by clicking here. Thus, I thought I could add to my pervious article by discussing some of the eight journal ideas that can help you with your wellbeing.

 

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8 Easy Journal Ideas

 

Gratitude

One of the common problems with life is the negativity bias. You can see the negativity bias best at work through the fact we prefer reading negative news (doomscrolling) over more cheerful news (cheerscrolling). But it’s not just world news, we do that with our own lives too.

 

To overcome our negativity bias tendency, we can take a leaf out of the book of positive psychology. All you need to do is create a list in your journal and start tracking the thing you’re grateful for. As I said, these are easy journal ideas.

 

The kind of things you could be grateful for could be anything, like someone holding the door for you when your hands were full or getting a nice compliment about your clothes. It can be anything really, as long as it gives you even the tiniest boost to your feelings of gratitude.

 

Highlights

Although similar to gratitude, it’s not quite the same. For this journal idea, first decided if you want to do daily or weekly highlights. Then you need to create a list and add a highlight for that day or for that week, and do this every day or every week.

 

A highlight could be that you got up early and got ready for work with time to spare to start off your day more relaxed than usual. It could also be for getting praised for something you’ve done.

 

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Triggers

Many people can have their mental health condition triggered by something, or have an addictive behaviour triggered. However, sometimes we’re not always aware of what those triggers are. With this journal idea, you can track what’s triggered you until you find commonalities.

 

So, every time you feel you’ve been triggered, you just write about what happened and what’s around you. For example, if you were alcohol dependent, but in recovery, you might get triggered by the smell of alcohol, so if that happens, write it down.

 

Another example would be getting anxious at work. Now this could have been caused by something someone said, something that happened, something you saw, stress, etc. Write it all down and you’ll be able to narrow in on the trigger, then when you have, you can work on how to overcome it.

 

I had a client whose anxiety was getting triggered by uncertainty at work, although they didn’t realise it at first. So when their manager said something like, “I need to see you in my office later”, instead of getting anxious about what it’d be about, they would simply ask. Asking that simple question allowed that client to reduce their anxiety and stress at work significantly.

 

Habits

The problem with habits is that we can engage in them with little to no thoughts. Thus, this journal idea will force you to activity think about your habits by the mere act of tracking them in a journal. This can help you realise when and why you activate this habit, while also allowing you to learn how to overcome it.

 

Medication

If you’re on medication and finding it hard to track if you’ve taken them, then using your journal to track your medication can be really useful. Just create a table with the list of medications with an area for date and time they were taken.

 

The picture is split in two with the top image being of a woman sitting on a sofa in front of her laptop writing in her journal. The bottom image being of a woman sitting near the sea and writing in her journal. The two images are separated by the article title - Improve Your Wellbeing With These 8 Easy Journal Ideas

 

Side effects

One problem with taking medications is that you can experience side effects. Medications like antidepressants can be especially bothersome for their side effects as you try different antidepressants. Thus, tracking which ones caused what side effects and how long they lasted can help you pick the right antidepressant for you.

 

Because of the way my anxiety disorders work, some medications can cause me to have psychotic episodes. The first round of antidepressants that I started in August 2021 caused me to have a psychotic episode that only stopped when I stopped taking the medication. The trigger for the episode was drinking alcohol while on the medication. Although I only drank once on the medication, the psychotic episode didn’t go away until I stop taking the antidepressant, about four weeks later.

 

Several antidepressants later and I’m on one that also triggered a psychotic episode when I drank on it. However, it only lasted the day. The next time I drank, I had a psychotic episode that lasted about 30 minutes, then the next time I drank after that, it lasted a couple of minutes. Now, taking this antidepressant and drinking alcohol doesn’t cause a psychotic episode at all.

 

Tracking your side effects will allow you to understand what’s going on with your medication, allowing you to make better decisions. It will also be beneficial to your doctors to know how bad your side effects are when making treatment decisions with you.

 

Mood

The problem with being human is that, as I’ve said, we’re a sucker for the negativity bias. We often recall feeling worse than we actually felt. This is one of the easiest journal ideas, so all you need to do is keep a mood diary in your journal. Just track your mood every day, say, during the morning, the afternoon, and the evening.

 

It can often be easier to do this on a scale of 1-10, with one being the worse and 10 being fantastic. Doing this will allow you to have an accurate idea of mood and might lead to insights of what caused your mood to change.

 

Strength word of the day

You don’t have to do much for this one. All you need to do is create a table in your journal to write a strength word each day at the start of your day. Doing this will help you live your life intentionally every day. Just pick your strength word and let that would be the strength you try to live by and your mantra for the day.

 

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Summary

 

Keeping a journal can help for a lot of reasons. When I was dealing with the trauma from my childhood which caused my insomnia, I kept a notebook by my bed. In doing so, I wrote about everything that bothered me and eventually all those thoughts and memories lost their power over me.

 

These other eight easy journal ideas can also help improve your quality of life. Using gratitude and highlights will help return positivity to your life. And tracking your moods and triggers can help you find obstacles you can work on overcoming. So why not give them a try? What have you got to lose?

 

As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with using these journal ideas in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.

 

Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.

 

 

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60 thoughts on “Improve Your Wellbeing With These 8 Easy Journal Ideas

  1. Very interesting ideas. I am relatively new in journaling since I have been doing it just for the last year. I definitely agree with you about how freeing and helpful it can be. I feel like it makes me thoughts more clear and helps me cool down my temper.

  2. I will definitely be using a few of these in the future such as a side effects list.

  3. These are great journal prompts. We definitely agree with you that habits can cause some problems since we engage in them nearly automatically. Great post, and thank you for sharing!

  4. I read quite a bit about journalling, so I love that your piece has several highlights that make it sound out! I have never really enjoyed doing trackers, so I really love the idea of strength words and, for people who take medication, the side effects page. Both those two journal ideas are new to me and I love them!

    • About a year ago I wrote about how you can report side effects and interactions between two medications, because of a personal experience I had. This is why tracking your medications and the side effects can be important and why I included them. Thanks for commenting

  5. I think sometimes people underestimate the power of journaling in different forms. Gratitude is something that you don’t even need to journal, but simply speaking to a family member or just out loud, can change your mindset and make you feel grateful and more positive. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren x

  6. Some great ideas here thank you for sharing. I do wonder about whether journalling will serve me, I try to write my daily gratitude but tend to forget to keep it up. I do like the strength word idea, a mini affirmation to take throughout the day. I will try to implement that one.

  7. Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of what is going on in and around you in your daily life. I’ve done a little journaling before, but it wasn’t specifically geared towards a specific goal (gratitude, habits, etc). It was mostly about letting out what was inside me. However, I do track my mood daily through a meditation app where I take stock of my mood at the end of the day. I like the idea of journaling highlights and will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing.

    Corinne

    • My main experience of journalling was also about letting out what was inside me, which really helped with processing my trauma. I highly recommend using a journal to do that as well

  8. Very useful ideas. I kept a journal whilst in therapy for anxiety and depression. It helped me to understand myself better

  9. You’ve shared some really great suggestions here which I’ll defiantly be putting to good use. I love the thought of gratitude and mood journaling, two things I’ve never done before but I’ll for sure be giving that a go. Thank you so much for sharing with us! Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  10. I use journaling a lot to help with my mental health and all these prompts are spot on ideas! I keep a gratitude journal each day and it especially helps me see things in a better light on tough days!

  11. I try to journal everyday now. My favorite journal format being the “wall of text”. No art, nothing but writing from top to bottom. This is such a great post. I’ve written on some of these topics but everytime people ask me “what the heck is I here” I just say “Anything and everything” hahaha.

  12. I have been journaling all my life and I find that a gratitude journal was the most effective for improving my mental state and my overall wellbeing. Great post!

  13. Outstretched list, UW! There’s something about the physical act of putting something to paper… getting it out… it’s an act of intentionality. There’s some real power to that. Oh, and I hadn’t heard of “cheer scrolling.” It makes a certain kind of sense though. Thanks.

  14. I really like the idea of highlights! I’ve had quite a few lately but didn’t feel like taking the time to document them. This is a confirmation to sit my butt down + journal my highlights. It’s not a huge thing + I’m excited for the habit of showing up. Thanks for this ☺️

  15. I love this idea of journaling on daily basis worrying about different anxiety triggers and day high lights waiting to happen.

  16. Love these ideas! I keep a gratitude journal and use a habit tracker app, but now I want to add some triggers and a ‘strength’ word. Great post!

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