11 Best Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection

Amber Murphy

Journaling is one of the best ways to release your emotions and thoughts. While it may seem unnecessary, given as we live in a digital era, writing in a journal can help you incorporate more peace and control in your life. Journaling isn’t just limited to writing what happened in your day, but there are so many variations of things you can write about, which is the exact purpose of having journaling prompts. This way, your journal will be filled with several ideas and thoughts that represent you. In this article, we’ll be talking about specific journaling prompts you can choose from.

11 Journaling Prompts

Blank journal open on a table

These journal prompts work for any type of journal. Whether it’s a mindfulness journal or daily journal, make it your own. Take the prompts that make the most sense for you, and change them if necessary. Use them as inspiration.

1. Write down a few things you were grateful for

Gratitude is such an important emotion that’s far stronger than any negative emotion combined. Writing a few things you’re grateful for gives you the right mindset for the day or the week. Journaling is such an underrated but peaceful experience because, for that moment, it’s just you and your thoughts. This is one of the journaling prompts that are so important because you focus on contentment and gratitude instead of focusing on everything you lack. Gratitude also encourages you to see the positive side of things rather than the negative side, especially in a world where it’s easy to complain rather than be grateful. Write down a few things, such as being glad about being around family or being productive for the day.

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2. Write down a few memories that made your week

Journals are also about compiling memories and reminiscing those memories when you look back at everything you’ve written. It’s a great idea to write down the memories you’re specifically fond of for the week, whether it’s having coffee with a friend, being promoted, or going on that beach trip over the weekend. Whatever memories made you smile, write it down and remember how each detail made you smile. Use your journal as an opportunity to be more positive. We often don’t remember how precious memory is until it’s already gone, so you can keep the memories close to your heart by writing them down.

3. What challenges have you overcome recently?

One of the great things about journaling is you can make reflections of the simple accomplishments you’re proud of. Write down the challenges that you’ve overcome for the week, even if it’s as simple as doing great on a presentation for work or closing a deal at a meeting. These accomplishments make you realize how far you’ve grown and how you’re continuing to grow as the days progress. Writing down your challenges will set your mindset that you accomplished something to be personally proud of, even if it was hard for the moment.

4. What would you tell someone about how you feel?

Journals are about expressing intentions and emotions, so it’s great to say what you truly feel. There’s no reason to hesitate about your deepest feelings since the only person who’s ever going to read everything you write is you. Especially when you’re feeling down. Ask yourself whether you were given a chance to converse vulnerably with someone. Who would it be, and what would you tell them? You may be secretly in love with someone or a best friend who has hurt your feelings, and they don’t know about it. Whatever it is, write everything you would tell them and write as if you’re having a conversation with them.

5. How do you feel when you push your body to your best potential?

Working out and yoga isn’t just to get your dream body, but it’s also about how you feel when you’re physically active and the mental benefits it gives. Reflect on each time you’ve worked out or if you aren’t active, think back on what your body felt. Did you feel proud of yourself after every exercise? Does it feel good when you push your body to its best capacity? Do you feel motivated when you give your body the health and nutrients it needs to perform at its best? It’s these questions that determine journaling prompts such as this one.

6. How would you describe your dream life?

Your dream life is within your grasp, and it is possible to get the life you’ve always wanted for yourself. When describing your dream life in your journal, don’t hesitate to get into the precise details. Describe your dream career, relationship, family, home, finances – basically every aspect that you want to be living. This is an excellent prompt as it keeps you motivated to keep going after your goals until your dream life becomes a reality. There is nothing too absurd about making your dream life into a reality. For instance, if you want to be married by 30, have kids, and a home of your own, put that into detail under this prompt.

7. If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?

Our teenage selves aren’t the wisest, at least not as smart as we are now. Look back and think of what you could have said to yourself to prevent heartbreaks and devastating events that happened along the way. Would you have told yourself not to rush growing up as much and enjoy youth? Would you have told yourself not to believe everything someone says? Whatever it is that you wish you could tell your teenage self, write it down. Don’t be afraid to get real and vulnerable in your journal. This prompt makes you reflect on the significant resentments and guilt that you’ve felt over the years in your life.

8. How do you define unconditional love?

Many things define love, and it’s up to you to write down how you view love to be. This is one of the journaling prompts that help you define powerful emotions like love. Do you think that love is selfless, patient, and kind? Do you think love is supposed to make you feel overwhelmed with different kinds of emotions? Do you think love is someone you can’t live without? Do you think unconditional love is the ultimate sacrifice of putting someone else first above yourself? Define unconditional love in your distinct way and write it all down. It’s okay to have a different definition of unconditional love, especially as everyone has different experiences and relationship expectations.

9. Write about your passions and everything you love doing, and figure out how to earn from that.

This is one of the journaling prompts that acts both as a reflection and strategy. List down the things you consider as your passion, whether it’s writing, creating songs, playing an instrument, teaching, traveling, absolutely anything that makes you fall in love with being alive. You don’t have to be good at your passion, so list down even those you aren’t necessarily good at. Once you’ve listed down everything, list down the significant ways you can earn from them. For instance, if your passion is photography, you can earn by taking photography classes or selling your photos. This part of your journal lets you reflect and analyze how to make your passion into your career, so you don’t have to force yourself to do something you don’t like every day.

10. What was the most painful moment in your life that changed you forever?

Unlike the contrary, journals aren’t always about the good and encouraging moments – but also about the moments that broke you. Reflect on your life and think back on that moment that destroyed you so much that it changed you forever. Was it the moment you found out that your parents’ marriage wasn’t working out? Was it in an emotionally abusive and toxic relationship? Was it losing someone you loved? Write down your pain and release your devastation in this prompt. Go into detail everything that happened, everything you felt, and how exactly it changed you.

11. Write down the moments you feel most confident and secure in your self-worth.

Think back on the moments you were insecure and compare this to the moments you feel like you can rule the world and feel absolutely no fear in your body. Is it every time you’ve finished a challenging workout? Is it the moment you picked a good outfit and dressed fashionably? Is it the time you socialize with people? Is it after a job interview? Is it after your meditation period? Write down the activities that make you feel good about yourself where you don’t feel even an ounce of insecurity with your skin. This prompt helps you remember the things you usually do to fight off insecurity and fears. Give yourself encouraging words to uplift you.

Start Journaling

Man writing in his journal, outside on a bench

In conclusion, I hope this article could shed insight into journaling prompts you can choose from to benefit your journaling life. Having a journal is beneficial for both your emotional and mental health. However, there are times when you’re at a loss about what to write about, precisely why journaling prompts can be helpful. By making use of these prompts, you can have a more purposeful journaling life, writing down about a wide array of aspects of your everyday life. Most importantly, it gives you something to reflect on.

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