Anxiety can sometimes feel like a giant zit on our forehead. We walk around all day feeling like everyone can see it and judging it, so we try to cover it up. Covering it up though only makes it worse and causes it to stay around longer. In order to have it become smaller and eventually disappear, we must actively combat it.
Journaling is a great way to actively combat your anxiety because it helps you process it, cope with, and surrender it to Jesus. Journaling can be difficult if you don’t exactly what to write about, so here are 17 prompts to get you started.
1). Count Your Blessings
Whenever I am feeling anxious or discouraged my mom reminds me to count my blessings. Doing so resets your focus on what is good instead of what is currently taking over your thoughts.
Doing this can be more difficult some days than others, so give yourself grace with how many blessings you need to count for that day.
How often should I do this? I recommend starting with writing down 3 blessings each day. You can certainly write more, but first, make it a habit to say 3 blessings.
2). What Caused Me Anxiety Today?
We may know why we are feeling anxiety we may not fully understand what caused it that day.
Anxiety is always triggered by something whether we are able to identify it at the moment or not. This journal prompt will help you with identifying what caused your anxiety.
You can do this prompt two different ways:
- Meditating over what you did that day, and when you had feelings of anxiety then write it down.
- Write down your entire day in a list format and circle each one you were engaging in when you had feelings of anxiety.
How often should I do this: When you first begin journaling make it a habit to write this prompt every time you feel anxiety so that you can identify what is causing it and what you need to change in order to help prevent it.
If you have written out your list and do not fully understand it I recommend discussing it with either your counselor or someone you trust to help you identify what is causing you anxiety.
3). Cast Your Cares On Him
In Psalm’s 55:22 David says the following,
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.Psalms 55:22
God longs for us to tell him everything even our anxieties.
For this prompt write out everything you are struggling with as an act of surrendering it to God so that he may sustain you.
How often should I do this? I suggest making this a weekly habit. Pick a certain day you write it out weekly. By picking a specific day, you are more likely to do it.
4). Attributes Of God
You are loved by a magnificent creator who can be described in so many ways.
Writing out His attributes will give you comfort by being reassured of who is holding you daily in His hands. Though we as humans have some good attributes we are far from perfect, but our God is not.
Write a list of some of God’s attributes and how you see Him, this will also show you if you need to spend some more time digging deep into the Bible to better understand His character.
Here are some verses that reveal God’s character:
- 1 John 4:8
- Hebrews 13:8
- 2 Peter 3:9
- 1 John 1:5
- Isaiah 40:28
- Psalm 30:5
- Psalm 18:30
How often should I do this? I suggest making a master list of many attributes and going back to it daily to remind yourself of who God is.
5). Draw Your Anxiety, Then Write About It
In order to fully cope with your anxiety you have to first understand it.
Though this activity may seem silly it will help you better understand your anxiety by drawing it, and also get all of your pent-up energy out at the same time.
Make this one your own by using colored pencils, draw a huge crazy circle or something that represents your anxiety to you, and even add in drawings of the specific people/things that cause you anxiety.
How often should I do this? I recommend this prompt being a one-time activity to help you identify your anxiety and how it affects you.
6). Mood Tracker
Emotions fluctuate and change in the blink of an eye, so being able to recognize what you’re feeling and why will help you deepen your understanding of what triggers your anxiety.
Mood trackers are super fun to create and the options are endless. You can be as basic as creating a regular chart and stating your overall mood for the day or get super creative by drawing a cloud with raindrops and coloring the raindrop according to your mood.
On top of tracking to your mood make a bulleted list of what caused you to feel that way especially if it’s related to your anxiety so that you can better understand your potential triggers.
How often should I do this? You should make this a daily habit to help you understand your emotional patterns, anxiety, and to just get an overview of your mental health. Remember it is even more important to fill out your mood tracker on your really bad days, not so that you can let them control you but so that you can better control them.
7). How Did Jesus Show Up For Me Today?
We go throw each day like it’s just another day of our lives and see it as just another day on the calendar, but our God shows up for us each in every day in a variety of ways.
Journaling throughout the day in your journal or note pad on your phone about things that happened will help you focus on what Jesus has done for you throughout the day, and will turn you from feeling stressed to feeling blessed.
This is something that I pray throughout the day and ask God to show me what he’s done for me so far. This can be as small as a text from a friend I’ve been missing to or as big as an answered prayer.
At the end of the day write out all that Jesus has done for you, and even if it’s only thing thank Him for that one thing.
How often should I do this? You should do this daily for a month to see how much Jesus shows up for you daily in the midst of your anxious thoughts.
8). Verse Journaling
Verse journaling is such a great way to redirect your brain from all that’s currently consuming you and helps you focus on God’s holy word.
Verse journaling can be done any way you want, but I usually have a specific structure I use when journaling a verse. First, I write out the entire verse. Second, I write each individual verse and look up definitions of the words I don’t understand. Third, I draw out the verse, fourth I pray over the verse and ask God to help me apply it to my daily life.
Here are some specific verses to journal about that will help you cope with your anxiety:
- Isaiah 40:31
- Psalm 94:19
- John 14:1
- Romans 8: 38-39
- Isaiah 35:4
How often should I do this? Do this prompt weekly to help retrain your brain to focus on God’s word.
9). Dear Anxiety…
Anxiety can make you feel all kinds of things angry, sad, scared, frustrated, alone. I don’t about you but because of this I wish I could sit down and have a discussion with my anxiety, and that’s exactly what this prompt helps you do.
Write a letter to your anxiety stating exactly how you feel. Take some time before writing your letter to dig deep and gather all your thoughts. After letting it all out, and don’t read it again. The reason for not reading it again is so that you can just let it stay on your paper, and to try to let it go.
How often should I do this? This prompt is another one-time thing to really get out all of your feelings towards your anxiety, but if it helps you cope better with your anxiety write as many letters as you want.
10). What Do I Control Vs. What God Controls
When having feelings of anxiety we can feel we are not in control in any aspect of our life, but despite whether we are in control or not our God always is.
For this prompt make two separate lists one being all the things you control, and the other being all that God is in control of. Though you may want to be in control of different items on your list pray about each because sometimes there are things in our life that have a death grip on, we must surrender it to God putting it in His hands knowing that it should bring you peace that He is taking care of it for you.
How often should I do this? As you are completing this for the first time see how you’re feeling while compiling your lists. If you are trying to put everything on your side, then I recommend completing this prompt once a week until you feel like you’ve really started to surrender every aspect of your life and anxiety to Him.
11). God Moments
Throughout our lives, the good and bad, God is always there whether see him or not. There will be moments in your life where you just know the good thing that happened was from God. These are what I call God moments, and writing them down will help give you something to go back to when you are struggling with your anxiety.
I have a journal designated to my God moments so that it can be easier to find and separate from all of my other journaling. When writing your God moments know that these are not always huge things, they can be anything that God has blessed you with, revealed to you, or a time when you’ve felt His presence.
How often should I do this? Whenever a God moment happens write it down in a journal or a note pad, and transfer it to your page specifically for all your God moments.
12.) I Can Manage My Anxiety By…
When anxiety hits everything else can feel like a blur, and we can begin to shut down. To prevent your anxiety from taking over it is crucial to have a list of coping methods to help you face your anxiety at the moment.
Writing this list may be difficult because you may have no idea what will help you reduce your anxiety, but there are many online resources to help you get started. I recommend starting with 10 different items on your list, and memorizing them so that you don’t always have to have your list with you.
How often should I do this? Though this prompt is a one-time thing, I recommend bring it with you to a counselor or doctor so that they can help you add more coping methods for your anxiety.
13). Dear Friend
If you’re a helper like me you’ll find yourself helping your friends when they’re going through difficult times and giving great advice, but when you go through the same things you can’t always think of the same advice for yourself.
For this prompt imagine your close friend is feeling the exact way you are right now, and write a letter to them to help them. After doing this read it as if it were for you, and take all of the advice you gave to your friend.
How often should I do this? I would recommend writing this prompt once a month, but depending on how often you are having feelings of anxiety you can either increase or decrease how often you do this.
If you’re really struggling with your mental health and feel like you have no one to turn to or need someone to talk with immediately please contact this crisis hotline by texting: Text CONNECT to 741741. This hotline will connect you with a therapist.
If you are having any suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can reach out at any time for free and confidential support.