I have so many tools in my mental health arsenal years of therapy and reading and research and bookmarked TikTok videos, that I sometimes can’t remember where the specific tools came from. But, at some point in time I learned that boundless journaling can be bad for people who have anxiety because you can end up hyper-focused on the negative. So, someone who deals with downward spirals of negative or worrisome thoughts…journal prompts with positive slants are a great resource.
I’ve tried various forms of this over the years but haven’t stuck with them (Hello, undiagnosed ADHD) but I think I found a prompt/format that might work because it’s simultaneously positively focused and loose. I get bored with the singular “Gratitude” or “Joy” pages. I also felt like they were too easy to fake. Like, I could grab something passing from the day to write down because in 24 hours surely I could think of something I was grateful for.
Okay, I am having a hard time putting into words why this works and others don’t. ANYWAY…the goal is to have 4 thoughts or moments to document from the day that loosely fit under the following words: JOY, GRATITUDE, REFLECTION, LEARNING. The thing I’ve liked about it is A) when I feel gratitude my brain now says, “Hold onto that until you can put it in your journal!” and B) my brain says, Pay attention, this could be something for the “learning” prompt when I am given opportunities to learn something new.
I mean, granted, I have only done this for 3 days, but I’ve really enjoyed it already. And there’s just a feeling for it like it fits with my brain, you know? Like it almost gamifies my day by giving me a challenge to hold onto that has a mostly positive focus but doesn’t feel overly saccharine like joy and gratitude only pages tend to feel.
Anyway – just thought I would share!