This post contains trauma journal prompts to help you on your recovery journey.
Why Use Journaling Prompts?
Journaling, also called expressive writing, is a great way to process past events and cope with symptoms of trauma.
In fact, A 2018 study involving 70 adults who struggled with anxiety found that online journaling for 12 weeks significantly reduced their mental distress.
One of the benefits of journaling is that it’s inexpensive and can be done almost anywhere and anytime.
Trauma Journal Prompts
1. When did you first realize that you experienced trauma?
2. How did your trauma impact your current behaviors and thought processes?
3. What negative beliefs do you hold because of your trauma? How can you counter these beliefs?
4. What specific coping mechanisms have you been using to cope with difficult emotions? Are they healthy? What healthier ways can you cope with difficult emotions?
5. Do you experience hypervigilance? (the elevated state of constantly assessing potential threats around you) If so, what triggers this feeling the most?
6. Do you experience flashbacks or nightmares? Do you notice any common or recurring themes?
7. What are some of your common trauma triggers?
8. What bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts do you experience when triggered?
9. What can you do to better cope when triggered?
10. Do you tend to downplay what you’ve experienced? If so, why?
11. How do you think your trauma is holding you back from living a fulfilling life?
12. Are you able to recognize that what happened does not define you?
13. How can you show yourself more understanding and compassion?
14. Do you have any self care activities in place?
15. What are things, people, or places that make you feel safe?
16. What do you need to forgive yourself for?
17. What would tell a dear friend who had been through the same experience?
How to Use Trauma Journal Prompts?
To use trauma journal prompts, follow these steps:
1. Choose a safe and quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
2. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax your body and mind.
3. Begin by choosing a prompt that resonates with you. It can be anything related to your trauma, such as “What was the scariest moment for me?” or “What has been the hardest part of my healing journey so far?”
4. Reflect on the prompt and write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or making sense. Just let your thoughts flow freely.
5. Take breaks as needed. You may experience strong emotions while journaling, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Engage in self-care activities such as stretching, meditating, or speaking with a therapist.
6. Review your writing periodically to track your progress. Notice any patterns, themes or insights that emerge and use them to guide your healing journey.
Remember that the goal of trauma journaling is not to relive past traumas, but to process and release them.
Be kind and gentle with yourself throughout this process, and seek professional help if needed.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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