If you’ve been anxious, stressed or overwhelmed lately, therapy can be a real life saver for you. Not only can it help you calm down, but it can help you find that much-needed comfort and encouragement in hard times. That’s no secret.
But often, for many reasons, you might find real therapy not suitable for you. It might be too far, too expensive or you might feel not ready for it yet.
In that case, journaling at home can help you reach a pretty similar effect. In fact, therapists all over the world are encouraging their patients to journal at home to supplement the therapy or use it as a quick self-help tool when real therapy is not available.
In this article, I will show you 4 simple ways to journal at home so you can reach a therapy-like effect and a relief.
I will also add links to printable journals that you can download, print and start journaling right away! I use these journals myself, my readers use them, and they are a simple, effective way to calm down, correct your mindset and experience an at home therapy when you need it.
So here we go!
How To Journal For Therapy At Home
1. Release anxiety & worries
Journaling is very useful when you’re anxious or deeply worried about something. It can help you to see your worry from a perspective and check if you’re anxiety is actually based on the real facts.
Many times we’re anxious about something that is not even real or, in other words – not happening at the present moment. You might find yourself worrying about something that happened in the past, or something that hasn’t even happened yet.
In both cases, the worry is created in your head. You might be safe and well at the moment, but the thoughts and imaginings you’re having are producing most of the anxiety you feel.
A great way to release such worries is by using a simple anxiety journal. It can help you write down those anxious thoughts and take a more in-depth look at them. This is perfect for simple situations where just writing your thoughts down is enough.
When you need a stronger self-therapy effect, you can try asking yourself several questions that help to dissolve the worry you’re experiencing.
In this case, I recommend using cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to check your thoughts and see if you’re worry is real. Ask yourself such questions:
- Is my worry happening only in my head?
- Is there anything I can do to change the situation? If no – do I really need to suffer worrying about it?
- Am I catastrophizing (in other words – making things more significant than they are)?
- What’s the worst that can happen? And even if it did happen – what are my options?
- Is there anything I can do to help myself feel better in this situation?
2. Debunking irrational beliefs
Irrational beliefs are self-taught thinking patterns. These automatic thoughts come every time something distressing happens and they are usually so deeply engraved in your brain that you don’t even notice them anymore.
Here are a few examples of irrational beliefs:
- Something terrible happens, and you automatically think “it’s always happening to me” when, in reality, it’s might just happen one or two times.
- You make a mistake and automatically think that “you’re a failure and can’t do anything right”. But this is rarely true. You might not be super talented in one thing, but be spectacular in another.
- You’re doing something, things are not going 100% perfect, so you think that “it’s not good at all”. In reality, nothing is completely perfect and there are more colors than just black or white.
- You have a problem and you decide that “there is absolutely no way out”. Again, in reality, most of the issues have 1 or another solution. There’s rarely a situation when there are absolutely no ways to solve it.
Getting rid of irrational beliefs can give you a fantastic, liberating effect on your life. It can teach you new ways to think and help you stop falling into the trap of unrealistic scenarios.
The easiest way to spot and replace irrational beliefs is by using cognitive distortions. I included a full page of them in my Thought Workbook to help you debunk your irrational beliefs and help you create a positive mindset even in the hardest situations:
3. Just letting all out
Other times you may find yourself feeling pretty well, and not worried about anything at all. It doesn’t mean that journaling can’t be useful to you. Quite the opposite! Daily journaling can help you support your mental health + prevent those anxiety attacks and irrational beliefs from forming.
The simplest method of daily journaling is just writing your thoughts in a diary. In this case, you can let yourself lose with writing and just let it all out on the paper!
When I do that, I tend to get amazed by how much self-encouragement I can actually find in myself, without the need to talk to anyone or going to a therapy session.
When writing in a diary, make sure to keep positive self-talk and support yourself. You already have enough to deal with so there is absolutely no need to be negative about yourself.
4. Working on your mindset
Last but not least, you can use journaling to build a positive mindset and resilience. A perfect way to do that is by practicing daily gratitude and positivity exercises. Both of them can help you shift your focus from what’s going wrong to what’s going right – and it can be a pretty powerful secret to staying strong in hard times!
You can read more about gratitude, positivity, and resilience in guides:
P. S. Looking for a way to become a stronger person overall?
Then you would love my Mindset Printable Super Pack – it contains all the journals I’ve mentioned in this guide + more tools for your fear, anxiety, self-therapy & thought journaling (a total of 130+ pages with -50%). It helps you create a mindset of a strong and courageous person who’s not that easily shaken – no matter what happens:
That’s it! I hope you found at least a few ideas on how to start journaling for therapy at home.
Do you want to start journaling but still feel confused about it? Share in a comment at the bottom of this page and I will help you to start!