Doctor Doni

Journaling for Mental Health: Reduce Stress by Writing More

Would you be surprised to learn that studies have shown[1] that journaling increases well-being, decreases stress and anxiety, and enhances overall quality of life?

All of those peace-of-mind benefits are as simple as taking out a notebook and writing down your thoughts.

I find that journaling helps me to:

  • Decrease worry
  • Sleep better
  • Improve my mood
  • Process feelings
  • Gain a better understanding of what I’m feeling and experiencing
  • Identify patterns, ideas, and goals
  • Feel inspired and motivated
  • Keep track of tasks, and so much more

Journaling: How to Get Started

The most common question people ask me, when I ask if they have tried journaling, is: “What do I write?”

The cool thing is that it is really up to you. No one else is going to read what you write. It is not going to be turned in to be graded, and you don’t even have to read it again. It is simply about moving the thoughts and information in your mind… onto paper.

There is also an added learning and mood boosting benefit[2] when you use a pen or pencil and hand write, versus typing your thoughts. So, it is worth it to write with your hand on paper or in a journal.

Sometimes it can seem that there are so many racing thoughts in your mind, that you’re not sure where to begin. What I find works best, is to simply start with the thought happening in my head at that very moment.

It might literally be writing the following: “I don’t know what to write. I have so many thoughts in my head right now.” And from there… you keep going.

There is no determined end. And it is absolutely not about perfection. Writing can be messy. Words can be misspelled. It’s not about grammar or having anyone understand what you have written. It is just about getting your thoughts out of your mind and down on paper.

You may decide to burn what you write, or throw it away, or close the journal and put it away, but writing it down will inspire you and reduce your stress and anxiety. Journaling has even been shown to help people cope with depression[3].

Journaling: How I Do It

If you don’t know where to start, you can follow my lead and the develop your own method from there! I like to have sections in my journal:

  • one section for writing about dreams
  • a section for notes about conversations
  • a section for ideas I have while doing something else
  • a section for writing about feelings or when I feel overwhelmed
  • a section for what I may want to say to someone, but want to write it out first
  • a section for lists of things I need to do but keep forgetting to do
  • a section for writing what is on my mind… whenever, whatever
  • a section for practicing gratitude – who or what am I thankful for today

In my book, Master Your Stress Reset Your Health, I encourage readers to use their journaling notebook as a way to fine tune their self-care, or as I call it selfC.A.R.E.®

C – clean eating
A – adequate sleep
R – recovery activities
E – exercise

You can learn more about selfC.A.R.E.® when you listen (or watch!) my podcast episode on it: The Importance of SelfC.A.R.E. (How Humans Heal, Episode 134).

Journaling Prompts and SelfC.A.R.E.

Use these questions to help you start writing in your journal and to ensure that you take time out for some crucial self-care activities:

  1. What did you try today or this week?
  2. How did it go?
  3. What went well and what would you like to do differently next week?
  4. How do you feel – physically and emotionally while integrating C.A.R.E.?
  5. What is the best daily routine for you?

You can also write about the supplements you are taking, the doses that are working best for you, and at what time of day. Where you are in the Stress Recovery Protocol. How it feels to be taking better care of yourself and what you’ve noticed.

When You Should Do Your Journaling

Journaling is for any time of day; there’s no right way to do it. Some people prefer to write first thing in the morning. It’s also a nice addition to a bedtime routine, to get thoughts off your mind before sleep. You can pull your journal out and write whenever you find your mind racing.

I encourage you to start writing… today.

I find that it speaks to my soul to light an organic candle and write in a beautifully bound notebook. Now, you can give yourself and your loved ones the gift of healing and recovery with Dr. Doni’s SelfC.A.R.E Notebook and companion Organic Resiliency Candle.

Start journaling today... light an organic candle and write in a beautifully bound notebook. Give yourself and your loved ones the gift of healing and recovery!

Click to Order

There are endless ways you can use journaling. Your journal can literally become your best friend. Your confidant. A place you can write your feelings, your hopes, your experiences, and your intentions.

Start right now! Order my SelfC.A.R.E. Notebook and get started journaling!

Happy writing!

P.S. I’d love to stay connected! You can find me in these places:

I’d also like you to consider these additional stress-busting resources:





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