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Last Updated on February 6, 2024
Maybe you’re here for one mental health challenge or another, whether it’s a serious condition or you’re just juggling everyday stress! No matter where you’re at, mental health applies to everyone. In fact, we need to start taking our mental health as seriously as our physical health.
Think of it this way: you probably go to routine doctor’s appointments to check in on your physical health. Why shouldn’t you check in on your mental health here and there, too?
And for those times where you can’t make it to therapy, or you’re struggling in between sessions…in comes the Printable Anxiety Journal to save the day!
I, Alexa Davis, founder of Ambitiously Alexa, am not a licensed psychologist, counselor, physician, or therapist, nor am I claiming to heal, treat, cure, or prevent any psychological/emotional/medical conditions. This printable anxiety journal is not meant to substitute or serve as therapy or any diagnostic measure or tool. This is only meant to be used as a helpful guide. (The most I have is a B.A. in Psychology, so I’m not able to do anything fancy here!)
If you’d like to change your coping habits and the way you respond to stress, this is ABSOLUTELY the resource for you! Keep reading to see an inside look at what you’ll get in the anxiety journal.
Who are these printable mental health worksheets for?
I want to make it very clear that you do NOT have to be struggling with mental illness to benefit from the Anxiety Journal!
As I said before, we alllllll experience life’s daily stressors. So there will be times where our mental health could use a little attention and care! This journal can be useful for absolutely anyone.
Although, if you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, you will find this journal to be especially helpful. These make for great therapy worksheets for adults, too! Even for group therapy activities!
Now, let’s see the printable Anxiety Journal in action and break down some of the pages! I’ll show you exactly why these mental health worksheets are seriously the best.
A Look Inside the Printable Anxiety and Therapy Worksheets PDF
First mental health activity in the workbook: setting your goals
You won’t be able to pinpoint what you’re working toward if you don’t lay out a clear vision. That’s why right smack on the very first page is the Mental Health Goals page.
Because mental health has a few different elements at play (emotions, thoughts, and behaviors), you’ll want to identify goals relating to your mindset, behaviors, or any other ways in which you’d like to improve your mental health.
Looking at the examples in the photo, my mindset goals are focused on improving my thought patterns. My behavior goals are focused on improving my actions. Lastly, my other goals are anything else relating to mental health that comes to mind. This can be as open-ended as you want!
*P.S: None of the written examples shown are personal, they are just a guide for you!
Identifying Triggers Worksheet
When you become aware of what triggers your stress, you can better prepare for it in the future. If you know that busy weeks stress you out and next week is going to be insane, you can prioritize self care this week so you don’t end up burnt out! This trigger template lets you pinpoint exactly what events and patterns initiate stress for you.
This can give you a sense of control over situations where you wouldn’t otherwise have control. You may also learn what to avoid, if any of your triggers are unavoidable, like doom scrolling before bed.
Journal prompts to reflect on every activity you do
Doing a mental activity is one thing. But to really absorb what you’re doing, it’s even better to reflect on it and observe your mental processes.
That’s why after each page, you’ll see a writing prompt like the one pictured. This will give you the chance to reflect on the mental exercise you just did and see where your thoughts take you.
So, after the Mental Health Goals example we saw earlier, the next page would be a writing prompt relating to your Mental Health Goals. Just as “Identifying Triggers” is its own activity with a writing prompt to follow!
Coping Skills Worksheets PDF
As you get further in tune with your mental health, you’ll discover which coping strategies hit the mark for you and which ones don’t help one bit. That’s important to rule out! Because…why make yourself do something that isn’t working?
This coping skills worksheet PDF is here to guide you in choosing the right coping tools for YOU!
And in ruling out which coping strategies are unhelpful, you’ll also nail down ones that are. This way, in times of stress when you’re not able to think as clearly, you know exactly what to do ahead of time.
Cognitive Restructuring Worksheet PDF
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been the victim of a negative thought! 🙋
Of course, right? And you also probably know how impossible it can feel to get yourself out of a negative thought and avoid it spiraling out of control.
And I mean…it ain’t easy! Just look at all the steps you gotta go through on this page to travel from negativity to rationality!
But I swear, if there is any page in this journal that will totally transform the way you approach your thoughts, it’s this cognitive restructuring worksheet.
Cognitive restructuring is where you pause and question the evidence of a belief that you formed from emotional reasoning. This helps you reframe the thought into something more rational or positive.
This page is inspired heavily by CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which I thoroughly researched prior to creating this worksheet!
These helpful little boxes will guide you from start to finish on how to reframe any negative thought.
The biggest takeaway from this page is that it gets you to question the evidence behind a negative thought. When you start to realize that perhaps your thought isn’t grounded in much evidence, it helps you see it more rationally.
There are many pages like this one throughout the journal that build upon understanding and improving your thoughts. There’s also pages specific to delving into your emotions and behaviors!
Emotional Regulation Worksheet PDF
Reminder: you can be honest with yourself without making yourself feel bad. You can look at your struggles through a lens of self love. We are all works in progress. Just by reading this post, looking into this journal, you clearly care about nurturing your mental health!
We all have emotional strengths and weaknesses, and now is your chance to assess them. Lean into those strengths of yours and allow them to support you in practicing emotional regulation. Recognize those weaknesses and see what you can do to address the underlying reasons why you’ve developed these.
All of this information is essential to have when determining how to approach your mental health journey, making it personal to you.
Negative and Positive Emotions Template
This is another great chance to assess your mindset, mood, and key mental health struggles. You might notice that you’re experiencing negative emotions a little too often, and positive emotions not often enough. And if that’s the case, this exercise is the first step in finding out why your emotions are so negatively impacted.
Mental Health Mood Tracker Printable
Talk about getting a clear picture of how your mental health is going! There are three tracker pages just like this: daily emotion tracking, daily behavior tracking, and daily physical symptom tracking.
The specific emotions/behaviors/symptoms/moods you want to focus on are tailored to you. That’s why you get to write them in yourself down the left hand side.
You can pick the emotions specific to what you struggle with and what you’d most like to improve on. Completely customizable!
Either start tracking on the 1st of the month (hence the 1-31 slots), or you can just pick it up right away. Either way, you’ll get a full month’s worth of a visual to gauge how you’re doing.
If this is something you want to keep up, I highly encourage you to print duplicates of these tracker pages (or ANY of the pages!) for your personal use!
I created these mental health worksheets pdf to go above and beyond what you might already see on the online market.
With an organized design, thought-provoking writing prompts, actually useful activities that will truly shape your emotions and cognitions…you’ve got yourself the perfect resource for taking charge of your mental health.
I can’t wait for you to print it out and see for yourself how much this will improve your wellbeing!
I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO USE IT!
What makes THESE mental health worksheets stand out?
I’ve learned that prioritizing my mental health was the key to seeing improvements in the way I respond to stress, manage my emotions, and fix maladaptive coping habits and behaviors.
And these mental health worksheets will help you do just that.
This is not just a bunch of fluff that pretends to help you but really doesn’t.
Instead, you’re getting benefits like…
Backed by researched, enhanced by personal experience
As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, has a B.A degree in psychology, and is knowledgeable on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), I know exactly what a journal like this needs to be a valuable resource.
Leading up to the creation of these worksheets, I spent a lot of time thoroughly studying CBT and what makes it so effective for tackling common issues like anxiety and depression.
I then translated this into easy-to-follow practices you can do on your own or with the help of a therapist!
These mental health worksheets for adults are exactly what I wished I had when I was first navigating my mental health. So between each writing prompt, activity, and mental exercise that was carefully curated on every page, I know it will be insanely useful for you too!
FAQs About Journaling With These Mental Health Worksheets
How can journals improve mental health?
By keeping a journal (which can include mental health worksheets!), you’re making an intentional effort to put your mental health at the forefront of your mind. You’re addressing your struggles and brainstorming how you can best tackle them.
That’s a step ahead of many people, and it is SO very beneficial to your wellbeing.
If you turn mental health journaling into a habit, you’ll get into the routine of understanding your emotions, triggers, and roadblocks.
And with better understanding of the problem comes more efficient problem-solving skills. Research shows that expressive journaling reduces anxiety too.
From both an emotional and practical sense, journaling is a ridiculously useful tool for improving your mental health!
How can mental health worksheets help YOU?
While mental health worksheets don’t replace therapy, they can make a huge difference when used to supplement therapy.
If you’ve ever been to therapy, you know the struggle of sh*t hitting the fan on Tuesday…right after your weekly session on Monday. How convenient.
That means you have to wait a whole week to see your therapist again! Ugh, honestly, nothing could be worse.
We have to find ways to self-support on our own in the meantime. This is where worksheets come in to give you that little extra boost of support during the week! You can also totally bring these into your therapist to use in-session, too.
These particular worksheets are CBT-focused and may be ideal for those who struggle with anxiety and depression (note: I’m not licensed to give you advice on that–always ask your therapist if these are right for you!).
What type of journaling is best for mental health?
With so many journaling techniques, you may be wondering “okay, but which type of journaling is the best for mental health specifically? Any form of journaling that reduces stress and increases your self-awareness is most beneficial. This is the goal you should have in mind as you journal.
Luckily, there’s many ways to accomplish this! Some types of journaling geared toward improving your mental health include…
- Brain dumping or stream-of-consciousness journaling – this is exactly what it sounds like: releasing all the pent up thoughts in your brain onto paper. This helps you get troublesome thoughts off your chest and can help you make better sense of them after seeing them written out in front of you. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to do an effective brain dump.
- Gratitude journaling – your mindset, even in spite of challenging circumstances, is key for your overall mental health and happiness. Shifting your attention away from the bad and toward the good in your life by gratitude journaling lowers stress, improves sleep, and may even reduce your risk of heart disease
- Trauma journaling – or even simply journaling to process bad experiences. When a negative event and the emotions surrounding it go unaddressed, it leaves a lasting impact on your mental health. Revisiting negative experiences (when you feel ready) can help you process, cope with, and move forward from them. These trauma healing journal prompts will guide you through exactly how to do this.
- Daily reflection journaling – checking in with yourself at the end of each day helps prevent negative experiences, thoughts, and feelings from going unaddressed. You may not realize something from your day really bothered you until you sit down and assess the highs and lows of your daily emotions.
- Mental health mood tracking – kind of hand in hand with daily reflection journaling is mood tracking. This can be done on a chart and recorded daily for a month at a time, giving you a visual representation of how your mood has been doing! My printable anxiety journal has tracking worksheets for your emotions, behaviors, and the physical symptoms that result from bad mental health days.
- Goal oriented journaling – goals don’t have to be about productivity only. Setting mental health-specific goals can help you track your progress over the years and give more structure to your plans of prioritizing your mental health. Whether it’s to decrease anxiety or build better morning habits that ease you into your day, goals can guide you to where you want to be.
I made sure to feature several of these types of journaling techniques in my printable anxiety journal worksheets! I know how important it is to focus on the stuff that’s actually geared toward your mental health, so I’ve got all the bases covered.
Do therapists recommend journaling?
Yup, you betcha! Therapeutic journaling has been shown to reduce intrusive thoughts, decrease avoidance of negative thoughts, and improve working memory. For these reasons and more, therapists are always recommending journaling to help people regulate their thoughts and emotions more effectively.
Therapists like Allison Lobel, psychologist at Wellington Counseling Group in Chicago, are all for journaling because it allows people to organize their thoughts and feelings. In turn, (and here’s the important part) they gain more agency over their mental state.
Anything that can give you a sense of control, or at least help you become in-tune with what’s going on in your mind, will make you more capable of coping with anything life throws at you. That’s where these mental health journal templates come in handy!