Last Updated on February 2, 2021
If you want to reflect on your mental health and what you can do to have better mental health, these journal prompts are for you. We scoured the internet for the top recommendations to improve your mental health and turned them into journal prompts so that you can reflect on how well you are doing in that area and what you can do to improve it.
1. What am I grateful for?
Gratitude does it all. It improves your mood, gives you a more positive perspective, reduces stress and depression, and makes you more optimistic. Gratitude has a positive impact on your brain and can help you sleep better and feel more refreshed and energetic in the morning.
This is an important journal prompt for better mental health as it helps you focus on what matters most instead of things that are bothering you.
As a bonus for better mental health, use this journal prompt every day to help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your daily life.
2. What are my strengths?
Recognizing your strengths are extremely important for better mental health. Your strengths help you overcome obstacles and get things done. Recognizing and using your strengths help boost your self-confidence and self-worth.
So, what are your strengths? How can you use them today to do good things or feel good?
3. What makes me laugh? How can I bring more laughter into my life?
Laughter can, directly and indirectly, affect your mental health positively.
According to this article, it can directly influence your mental health by:
- Relaxing you.
- Releasing endorphins.
- Reducing anger.
- Improve your mood.
- Strengthen your resilience.
- Ease anxiety.
- Ease tension.
- Diffuse conflict.
- Shift perspective.
It’s a free tool that we can all use to improve our mental health.
4. What nutrients am I missing for better mental health?
There are some nutrients that will help you have better mental health. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are shown to decrease depression.
Some elements to think about include:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin D
However, there are many other nutrients that do important things in the body and can affect mental health when there is a deficiency. Everybody is different and needs different things.
What nutrients do you think you are lacking? Are they important to your mental health? How can you add more of them into your diet?
5. Who do I need to forgive?
Holding onto emotions like anger is not good for mental health. It can cause bitterness, depression, and anxiety.
When you can forgive, you can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve your overall mental health.
Who do you need to forgive?
If you are not sure how to answer this journal prompt, you may want to go through a workbook like 21 Days To Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant to help you overcome the pain that you haven’t been able to let go of.
6. What stress-busting techniques do I have? What techniques can I cultivate?
We are all going to experience stress, but some of us hold onto that stress a lot longer than other people, and that’s when it affects our mental health in a negative way.
This is where stress-busting techniques come in. They help us tackle stress as soon as it arises, and we can move on to better things.
Stress-busting techniques include:
- Breathing exercises.
- Coloring in a coloring book.
- Positive visualization.
- Listening to some good music.
- Going out for a walk.
- Taking a bath.
- NLP techniques such as dissociation and reframing.
- Positive affirmations.
What do you do? And what techniques can you cultivate to help you bust stress when it arises.
7. Am I sleeping well? How can I improve my sleep habits?
Poor sleep and poor mental health can go hand in hand. A lack of sleep can affect everything in your body, including your psychological state and mental health.
If your sleep isn’t that good, don’t worry… you can learn how to sleep better. You may not get a good night’s sleep right away, but with the right tools, you can sleep better and better as the days go on until you are getting a good night’s rest that is beneficial for better mental health.
8. What gives meaning to my life?
Meaning and purpose in life are good for better mental health. Knowing why you get up in the morning can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, and allow you to focus on what needs to be done during the day rather than thoughts of lack or worry.
You may find meaning in your job, taking care of your family, contributing to other’s lives, or crafting a life that you want to live.
If you don’t know what gives your life meaning, I recommend asking yourself questions to figure out what you are doing with your life.
9. Am I exercising enough?
The research has been out there for a long time, exercise is good for mental health. We all know this.
Are you exercising enough? How can you add more to your days?
10. What foods make me feel bad?
Are there any foods that make you feel bad? For instance, can you polish off a bag of chips, but then feel sick, tired, and sad when you are done?
Think about how you eat and which foods lift your mood and which affect it negatively, and then make a plan to start cutting out those foods that contribute to your mental health negatively.
11. How can I be more present?
Living in the present is good for your mental health. Living in the past promotes regret and sadness while living in the future promotes worry and anxiety. Your sweet spot is in the present moment where you can focus on what’s happening, practice gratitude, and take care of business.
How can you be more present?
I find that paying attention to my senses helps. For instance, I stay focused on the sounds and smells around me as often as I can to keep myself in the present moment.
I also try to engage with whatever is happening with everything I have. For instance, if I’m cooking, I pay attention to every step of the process, or if I’m with family, I keep my attention on them and what they are saying. I try not to let my mind drift off.
12. What can I do every day to make me feel good?
What habits can you develop to make you feel good? What do you enjoy doing?
There are plenty of habits that will help improve your mental health. We know about exercising, meditation, and mindfulness, but there are some other pleasure habits that have a calming effect on the body.
For instance, reading has been shown to calm the mind and relax the body.
13. What habits make me feel bad?
Recognizing what habits make you feel bad is just as important as recognizing the habits that make you feel good. When you are aware that they are serving you negatively, you can start to cut them out of your life.
To name a few habits that could be making you feel bad:
- Eating poorly.
- Being lazy.
- Comparing yourself to others.
14. Do the people in my life make me happy?
List the people in your life and whether or not they make you happy. If you find some people who make you downright miserable, is there a way you can end the relationship? If not, can you deal with it in a better way? Maybe spend less time together?
The fact is that the people you are around the most will directly impact your mental health. If you surround yourself with miserable people, then you will end up being miserable. Their energy is going to rub off on you as they complain, sulk, whine, and gossip.
15. How can I boost my endorphins today?
Boosting endorphins boosts pleasure. That’s all we need to know to want more of them in our lives.
But, if you want to get into the mechanics, here’s a good video to watch.
16. What affirmations will benefit me most?
How you talk to yourself matters. If you are constantly affirming to yourself that life is hard or stupid, then guess what life will be for you?
When it comes to better mental health, it’s important to adopt some affirmations that will help you speak differently to yourself and change your mindset and belief to more positive ones.
So, what do you affirm to yourself the most? Is it that life is hard? What affirmation can you say instead of that? Maybe that life is fun, exciting, or rewarding? Pick something that feels better than ‘Life is hard!’ and you will start to feel better mentally.
17. What can I learn?
When you learn new things, you boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, and sense of purpose.
You can learn anything you want with the help of the internet, so pick something you are interested in and create a schedule to start learning today.
Or sign up for something like Skillshare that tackles many different subjects and will help you learn many different things.
18. How can I give today?
Research shows that giving can stir up positive feelings and boost your sense of self-worth. It can also foster gratitude and meaning in life, both of which we’ve talked about in our journal prompts for better health.
You don’t need to volunteer at a soup kitchen to give.
- You can donate some money or clothes or household items.
- You can clean up your neighborhood.
- You can help someone carry their groceries.
When you take the time to help other people, you reap the benefits for your mental health, so don’t skip out on this journal prompt. Decide how you can contribute starting today!
19. Am I being true to myself?
A lot of times, we are pretending to be someone we are not and that can affect our mental health negatively. It’s important to be true to yourself and honest about who you are and what you want out of life.
Is there anywhere in life you are being inauthentic? How can you change that?
20. Do I take breaks when I need them?
Pushing yourself too hard is bad for your mental health. It causes stress, worry, and anxiety. Things to think about include:
- Do you take breaks in your life from your plans, goals, and must-dos?
- Are you constantly going for other people but never putting some time in your self-care?
- Should you be resting throughout your day to recharge?
- How can you incorporate more time to relax and be still in your day?
21. What groups can I join?
A sense of connection is important to good mental health. It gives us a sense of belonging and fitting in, which makes us feel more confident and boosts our self-worth.
Connecting with like-minded people is important. Fortunately, there are plenty of offline and online groups that we can join to connect with other people.
In this pandemic time where we can’t connect physically, we can easily get online and find groups and forums (a lot of people are meeting up on Zoom) to connect with people. We can connect, support others, get support, and feel like we are part of the group.
If there was a group that you would want to join, what would it be? How would it affect your mental health?
22. How can I get out into nature more?
I think we all know this on a human level, but even if we didn’t, research suggests that mood disorders can be lifted by spending more time outside.
We are more present outdoors and there is something about connecting to nature that pulls us into a peaceful, stress-free state. Also, we tend to be more active when we are outdoors as opposed to indoors, which can help us get that exercise that also boosts our mental health.
Reflect on this journal prompt and see how you can add more outdoor time into your routine.
For instance, can you go for an evening walk instead of watching that TV show that doesn’t make you feel good? Or can you plan a weekly trip out to the country?
23. Do I get enough sunlight?
There’s a reason that happiness and sunny days go together.
Sunlight is important for mental health. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a disorder that can cause some people to get depressed, in part because they are getting enough sunlight in their days. Moreover, sunlight can release serotonin and increase vitamin D, both of which impact our mental health.
Are you getting enough sunlight every day? While each body is different, the recommend sunlight per day is 10-30 minutes.
24. How’s my breathing?
It’s not something we think about often – despite the fact that we do it constantly – but breathing has a big impact on our mood. It can help us come out of anxious periods, reduce negative emotions, and keep our body calm and centered as we go throughout our day.
If you use this journal prompt and notice that you are constantly doing short, shallow breaths, you should look into better breathing habits that will help boost your mental health. Here’s a short video to give you a start.
25. How is my gut health?
Gut health is another thing we don’t always think of when it comes to promoting better mental health, but it turns out that it’s really important and you will want to give this journal prompt some thought.
If you experience a lot of gastrointestinal issues, then the distress you are feeling can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. Research has shown that probiotics can help you to restore normal microbial balance in the gut and can play a role in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
26. What are my favorite quotes?
The right quote can motivate you to do better things for yourself and your mental health.
The right quote can inspire you, encourage you, and uplift you.
The right quote can help you change your mind about something.
With this journal prompt for better mental health, I suggest you find a few quotes that inspire you and make you feel good, and then post them somewhere you often go.
We used to put up quotes on our bathroom mirror so we could see them every morning, and it was a great way to start the day off right.
27. How can I be more productive?
When you are productive, you feel better about yourself. Productivity can boost self-esteem and confidence, unlike procrastination or missing the mark, which makes you beat yourself up or feel bad about how you spend your days.
How can you be more productive? If you need some suggestions, here are 31 productivity tips that may help.
28. What challenges can I take on?
Taking on a challenge builds character, improves your skills, and gives more meaning to your life.
It helps you figure out who you are, what you want, and what you are capable of.
It expands your comfort zone and allows you to do more and be more, which are both good for your mental health.
In short, you should challenge yourself often.
What challenges would you like to take on?
29. How can I improve my important relationships?
We already have a journal prompt that looks at your relationships and how important good ones are, but this journal prompt helps you look at how you can take action in your relationships and create stronger, healthier bonds with the people you want in your life.
There should never be a time where you are not working on your relationships. They add so much value to your life, especially for your mental health, so you should put some time and energy towards them as often as you can. If you don’t, you may lose them, which could be a big blow to your mental health.
30. How can I trick myself into feeling good quickly?
How can you trick your mind into feeling good quickly? You can smile or laugh and act as if you feel good. This really can trick you into a better mood!
You can also use your body language. For instance, you can stand straight, swing your arms, tap your feet, dance, or do another movement that you would do if you felt positive and optimistic. Your brain will follow suit if you keep acting ‘as if’.
31. Who do I want to be more like?
Do you know someone who is happy all the time? Do you want to be more like them? Use this journal prompt to dissect them and what makes them so happy. You should discover some habits or practices that you can implement into your own life.
You can even interview them to find out what they do to boost their mental health and copy some of their best practices.
The beauty of life is that we can always learn from others. We may not have the experiences to back up their knowledge, but we don’t need that to benefit from what they know. They can give us insights that we can’t get on our own, which can benefit our mental health in a big way.