5 Writing prompts for anxiety and depression

In the last few years there has been a steady increase in people interested in writing about their experiences with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health challenges. This is a great sign, showing that what was once taboo, is now being brought to light.

One of the biggest difficulties facing anyone writing their memoirs is that the writer wants to provide meaning to their writing. But, before you can do that, you need to understand the depth of your writing. This is where writing prompts come in.

Writing prompts are designed to get your mind focused and energised. And it is the accumulation of short essays you’ve written that you can use as the backdrop and research when you decide to write a book. Additionally, writing prompts, when combined into a journal or as seperate essays, are also an excellent way to publish your book. Think of them as, “A year in the life of anxiety,” with one or two writing prompts completed each week.

Lastly, and this is especially so for anyone who struggles with mental health challenges, writing prompts can be therapeutic. They help you to reflect, evaluate and focus on moments of struggle as well as remind you of those moments you were filled with joy and life. The latter can be effective. Remember, anxiety (in its simplest description) is an overwhelming sense of concern or fear that something negative will happen to you. Often, there is no specific fear, but just a fear. These concerns can dig deeper into a person’s thoughts, leaving them with a sense of paranoia or thoughts that nothing good can come from any situation. Now, while focusing on positive affirmation in writing prompts is a good way to reflect on the positive and recall recent positive events, it is not a cure for mental health challenges. Though, it can contribute to your overall well-being.

So, as the willingness to talk about mental health becomes more common, here are 5 writing prompts to get you writing about your experiences. Hopefully, they will lead to great things.

Writing prompt #1

Write a letter to your younger self. What advice can you give them to better navigate their mental health?

Writing Prompt #2

What are 3 things about yourself you wish others knew? How could you share these things with others more?

Writing Prompt #3

What is one way your depression or anxiety has held you back this week? What could you do to change that? What positive experiences do you think you could have gained if you were not held back?

Writing Prompt #4

Who is someone you admire and what qualities do you share with that person? Which qualities does that person have that you would like to improve in yourself? And what are two ways to improve those qualities?

Writing prompt #5

Write a letter to your future self telling your future self how you feel, your fears, and thoughts. Then thank your future self for the strength they showed through the years, the positive qualities they gained, and recognizing yourself for being that same person.

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