58 Journal Prompts to Balance the Mind & Jumpstart Your Journaling Habit
Why Should You Start Journaling?
As I sit here reminiscing about my diary days, I find myself overwhelmed with nostalgia. Remember that feeling of unpacking your deepest secrets in your diary? Maybe it was about your secret crush, the mean girl you secretly hated, or how much your parents annoyed you that day. It was the one place you were able to freely express yourself without the judgment of others.
A journal works the same way. It’s not only your diary, but it can be your task manager, your sketchbook, and/or your idea catcher. It’s a place where you can process and reflect, unpack the feels, manage your time, create art, whatever you see fit. It takes an infinite variety of forms, but there are known benefits regardless of how you use it.
THE BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
1. Journaling reveals insight into your life, experiences, and thoughts.
2. It helps develop critical thinking, self-understanding, and reflection.
3. It is an effective mindfulness practice that encourages your mind to be present.
4. It can focus your mind and ground you to your core values.
5. It allows you to navigate and process your emotions.
6. It promotes introspection and can help you justify actions and decisions.
7. It enhances written and verbal communication skills.
8. It can help you visualize and accomplish your aspirations and goals.
9. It can help you prioritize your problems and fears.
10. It can hold you accountable for your actions.
It’s obvious that journaling is one habit that strengthens the wellness of the mind and the soul. It can better equip you to manage stress, anxiety, and mental health, ultimately strengthening and balancing your Seven Dimensions of Wellness. It is a habit that can build resilience and enable you to thrive amidst life’s challenges.
It’s worked wonders for many people, but I’ll fill you in on how it’s worked for me.
This is Why I Started Journaling
Thoughts racing and words colliding‒grasping a snippet of a thought only to be replaced by another. That’s one way to describe the chaos that goes on in my conscious mind.
Sound like you, too? Raise your hand if you can relate!
Because of the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions flashing into my mind, replacing one after the other, I’ve sometimes found it extremely difficult to communicate my thoughts concisely. Processing the stream of information in my mind, let alone the external stimuli, has led to many instances where my communication was unclear and difficult to understand.
To think and feel a certain way, but to verbally communicate it in a way that blurs or distorts what I actually mean—doesn’t that sound so frustrating?
Have you ever felt unable to muster up the right words that genuinely reflected what you were thinking? It can feel extremely restricting! In my case, it’s led to countless miscommunications, unnecessary arguments, and occupational roadblocks.
Journaling changed that. It has helped me UNDERSTAND my overwhelming thoughts and emotions. The ability to internally process and reflect has given me a healthy way to express myself. I can be authentic with myself, but with others as well, without the anxiety of being misunderstood.
You’ve seen how it’s helped me; are you ready to give journaling a try?
How You Can Start journaling
There’s no right or wrong way to start journaling. Whether you journal for 10 minutes a day or once a week, that amount is up to you. Only you can experiment and decide what works for you and provides the most benefit.
Be realistic about your expectations and don’t beat yourself up on days you can’t journal. But if you want it to become a habit, you need to make it a priority and commit to it.
Listen to what you want to get out of your journaling practice. However you decide to journal, whether that’s done with traditional paper and pen/pencil or electronically, be authentic to your wants and needs.
Don’t censor or edit while you write! Let your thoughts and emotions flow, even if it’s straight up crazy, doesn’t make sense, or is painful. Put your perfectionism aside and release yourself.
Go back and review what you wrote! Reflect and process your thoughts and emotions. Doing so can provide clarity and justification for past and future decisions.
If you don’t know where to begin or what to write about, I’ve included 58 journal prompts to strengthen the health and wellness of your mind and soul.
58 Journal Prompts to jumpstart your journaling habit
Reflecting on You + Your Values
What are 3 non-negotiables for your morning routine?
What are your favorite self-care practices?
What speaks to you on a spiritual level?
How would you describe a perfect day?
How would you describe what being healthy feels like?
How would you describe love?
What does your dream house look and feel like?
What qualities about yourself do you love the most?
What is some loving advice you would give your future self?
If you were to receive a love letter, what would you want it to say about you?
What does your inner critic say about you today?
When is the last time you were altruistic? What did you do and how did it make you feel?
Physically, how do you feel right now?
How does your body begin to react when stressed?
What’s not working for you right now?
What do you need to let go of right now?
What secrets are you keeping? Are these secrets affecting your life or mental health? Why or why not?
Have you made any difficult decisions lately? Why did you make those decisions?
What do you perceive to be the worst thing you’ve ever done?
What do you need to accept?
If you could be anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you want to be and why?
What is/are your favorite book(s) right now? Why?
What song(s) can you relate to. Why?
Reflecting on Your Goals + Personal Development
What is your most important task today?
What were you successful in accomplishing today? What expectations did you not meet?
What is 1 unhealthy habit you have right now? How can you replace it?
What mistake(s) did you make today? How can you learn from it?
Have you faced any obstacles lately? What did you do to overcome them?
What is your 1-month goal?
What is your 3-month goal?
What is your 1-year goal?
In the next year, what are 5 improvements you would like to make regarding your life? How will you make those improvements?
What are 3 things that you can start doing to improve your well-being?
What have you achieved despite your mental health struggles?
Did you do anything creative today? How did it make you feel?
Are there any hobbies you want to dedicate more time to? If so, what is one way you can do that?
What is your dream career? What is one step you can take today towards that goal?
If you were fearless, what are 5 things you would do?
If you had to write a letter to your future self about your vision for him/her, what would tell him/her?
What are some valuable life lessons you would share with a friend?
Who or what helps motivate you the most? Why is that?
Reflecting on Your Emotions
What made you really happy today?
What is one of your happiest memories? What made you feel that way?
What made you laugh today? Why?
What caught you off guard or surprised you today?
What are you worried about? Why?
What scares you the most right now?
What has your anxiety taught you about yourself?
What is frustrating you right now? Why?
Did anything trigger you today? If so, what was it and why?
What are 3 things that make you angry? Why?
What are three pet peeves you have? Why?
Have you felt lonely lately? What is one way you can change that?
When was the last time you cried? What caused you to cry?
What is one thing you struggled with today? How can you improve on it for tomorrow?
What are 5 things you want to remember during difficult times?
Do you have any regrets? If so, this is your chance to find peace with them and let them go.
Do you feel like you have enough support? If the answer is no, what are some ways you can start building up your support system?