Using a Feelings Journal to Cope

Emotions JournalWhether you like writing or drawing or none of the above, a Feelings Journal is an extremely useful tool in learning how to cope with emotions. It is one of the most important thinking coping skills in the Please Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff Coping Tool Box and can also serve as a diversion tool or even a spiritual tool. Your journal is a space to record what’s going on in your life, and even more importantly the emotions that you are feeling. It can be as simple as a binder full of lined paper, a journal purchased from the store, or one you make on your own. The rest of this post describes how we made the journal shown in the pictures here.

Supplies

  • A notebook filled with pages. We used a sketch book for our journal, but you may prefer lined paper.
  • Markers
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue

Instructions

  • Create a title page for your journal. Call it whatever you would like and decorate your title page. You can decorate the cover of your journal as well if you’d like.
  • Our journal is organized by emotions, so we created a table of contents page which has the various color tissue papers that we used and the emotion each color is associated with.
  • Make a page (or pages) for each emotion. Title the page with the name of the emotion, and use pieces of the appropriate colored tissue paper to decorate the page.

How to Use Your Feelings Journal

  • As you notice emotions in your life, open your journal and record the date and what is going on (use words or pictures or whatever works for you). Add as much or as little detail as you need (unlike many journals, this one is built to allow for more than one entry on each page). Keep your tissue paper and markers handy so you can add additional pages as needed.
  • Revisit your entries at a later date and record anything that helped you get past the less pleasant emotions or anything good that came from the more pleasant emotions.
  • Once your first journal is done, make another. Or, consider separate journals for each emotion if you like to write a lot!
For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.
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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families.Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship).You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.