108 Reflective Journaling Prompts To Help You Get Out Of Your Own Way

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108 Reflective Journaling Prompts To Help You Get Out Of Your Own Way

Writing in a journal every day is a great way of reflecting on what's going on in your life. The right journaling prompts are a great way to help you manage your anxiety, reduce your stress, and cope with depression.

When you are writing in a journal, no one is going to see what you are writing, so you can be as open and honest as possible. You are writing for your eyes only, so don’t sugarcoat anything you have to say.

RELATED: Why Journaling Is The Best Form Of Self-Care + 10 Writing Prompts To Spark Creativity

Here are some different categories of journaling prompts you can use when you need to reflect on your life so you don't get bogged down in the past.

Journaling Prompts for Yourself

1. "Who inspires you? Why?"

2. "What is something you are proud of?"

3. "Write a letter to your high school self."

4. "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

5. "What is your ideal life? How can you achieve it?"

6. "What is going well in your life right now?"

7. "Describe in detail what you want your life to be like 5 years from now."

8. "If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on and why?"

9. "Are you living to your full potential? If not, why?"

10. "Are you holding grudges? Write them down and let them go."

11. "What makes you feel the most confident?"

12. "My favorite way to spend the day is…"

13. "If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is…"

14. "The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable."

15. "Make a list of 30 things that make you smile."

16. “Write about a moment experienced through your body. Making love, making breakfast, going to a party, having a fight, an experience you’ve had or you imagine for your character. Leave out thought and emotion, and let all information be conveyed through the body and senses.” — Barbara Abercrombie, Kicking In The Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts and Quotes To Help You Break Through Your Blocks And Reach Your Writing Goals.

17. "The words I’d like to live by are…"

18. "I couldn’t imagine living without…"

19. "When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…"

20. "Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust."

21. "What does unconditional love look like for you?"

22. "What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things whether you do or don’t?"

23. "I really wish others knew this about me…"

24. "Name what is enough for you."

25. "If my body could talk, it would say…"

26. "Name a compassionate way you’ve supported a friend recently. Then write down how you can do the same for yourself."

27. "What do you love about life?"

28. "What always brings tears to your eyes?"

29. “Write about a time when work felt real to you, necessary and satisfying. Paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.” — Abercrombie

30. "Write about your first love — whether a person, place or thing."

31. "Using 10 words, describe yourself."

32. "What’s surprised you the most about your life or life in general?"

33. "What can you learn from your biggest mistakes?"

34. "I feel most energized when…"

35. “Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.” — Abercrombie

36. "Make a list of everything that inspires you — from books to websites to quotes to people to paintings to stores to the stars."

37. "What’s one topic you need to learn more about to help you live a more fulfilling life?"

38. "I feel happiest in my skin when…"

39. "Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to."

40. "Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to."

41. "Write the words you need to hear."

42. "Write a thank you letter to your biggest supporter."

43. "What was your biggest learning moment this week?"

44. "Write a thank you letter to your body."

45. "What do you wish more people knew about you and why?"

46. "What was your most embarrassing moment and why?"

47. "If you could change anything about yourself what would it be and why?"

48. "Describe your biggest accomplishment and why it means so much to you."

49. "How would you describe yourself to a stranger?"

50. "If you could achieve anything in your life what would it be?"

Journaling Prompts for Stress Relief

51. "What areas of your life could be more organized? How can you accomplish this?"

52. "What steps have you taken towards a goal of yours?"

53. "What was one problem you had today, and what was your solution to this problem?"

54. "Right now, I feel challenged by ________. I feel supported when ________."

55. "I have been paying a lot of attention to ________. I would like to pay more attention to ________; I can devote more energy to the better-feeling alternatives by ________."

56. "The things that help me the most right now are…"

57. "What can I do in this moment to get myself some nourishment and self-care?"

58. "I am thankful that I…"

59. "How might this stressful experience transform me into a more loving (compassionate, forgiving, patient, helpful, or faithful) person?"

60. "What past challenge has turned out to be a gift in disguise (even if it’s still painful)? Why? What was the silver lining?"

61. "What’s not wrong in my life?"

62. "If I knew that anything I asked for would be answered, I would ask for ________."

63. "What do I want my life to feel like?"

64. "Write out a list of the things that are causing you stress at the moment. Looking at them on paper may help you realize that you can do it all."

65. "What past challenge has turned out to be a blessing in disguise? Why?"

66. "What are some things you can look forward to after this stress subsides?"

67. "How do you usually handle stress? Are you using these strategies now?"

Journaling Prompts for Anxiety.

68. "Today, I choose to let go of the things I can’t control, including…"

69. "Write down three things that cause you anxiety. Brainstorm 1–2 ways you can combat these triggers when they come up."

70. "I recognize that I don’t need to have all the answers right now. Today, I give myself permission not to know…"

71. "Create a Brainstorm list of activities to reduce your stress and anxiety. Make a plan to add at least 3 activities to your schedule this week."

72. "Dear inner critic: You always focus on everything I’m doing wrong, but I know I’m doing a lot right, including…"

73. "I know I’m strong enough to handle whatever comes at me, because I’ve survived a lot, including…"

74. "Instead of worrying about making the 'wrong' choices, I trust that no matter what I choose…"

75. "What fear would you like to overcome? What steps can you take to start overcoming it?"

76. "What would you do if you did not have any fears?"

77. "I am anxious when…."

78. "What is holding you back from going after the life you want?"

79. "What are 3 of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from having anxiety?"

80." What are three things you can do to enhance your mental well-being?"

81. "Write about a difficult time in your life and how you overcame it."

82. "Get something off your chest. What is something you may be over-thinking?"

RELATED: Why You Should Keep A Daily Journal

Journaling Prompts for Business Owners

83. "How can you best serve your tribe today?"

84. "What are your favorite topics to blog about?"

85. "Who do you want to serve?"

86. "How do I want people to feel when they first encounter my brand?"

87. "What was the best thing that happened last week?"

88. "What milestones did you reach last week?"

89. "How do you want people to feel when they first encounter your brand?"

90. "What makes you feel most successful?"

91. "What’s a challenge you struggled with last week?"

92. "A big step I’ve been thinking about for far too long…"

93. "How I recently stretched beyond my comfort zone & what I learned."

94. "What do you want your legacy to be?"

95. "Does your website look the way you want it to?"

96. "List 10 things you want to improve in your business."

97. "List 3 non-negotiable daily actions that will move you closer to your goals."

98. "If you could do anything you wanted to do today, what would it be?"

99. "How can your struggles help your audience?"

Journal Prompts for Depression Relief

100. "What are 10 things that always make you feel better, no matter what?"

101. "What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from having depression?"

102. "If I didn’t have depression I would have never …"

103. "Write down the lyrics to a song that makes you happy."

104. "I felt sad when..."

105. "Reply to your inner critic’s opinions about your actions and decisions."

106. "What is something I need to let go of? Why am I holding onto it?"

107. "Are you taking the time to care for yourself? Do you allow yourself time to relax and breathe? If the answer is no, what can you do to give yourself this time?"

108. "Make a list of the compliments you’ve received from others."

The Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is a great, physical way for you to prioritize facing problems, fears, and concerns that you have in life.

This gives you a way to track any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers before they set you off and it will give you a chance to learn ways to better control them.

Journaling also provides an opportunity for positive self-talk and it gives you the chance to identify your negative thoughts and behaviors.

How to Incorporate Journaling Into Your Life

It can take some time to incorporate journaling into your life. The quickest way to make time for journaling is to bring your journal with you when you travel because you can have some downtime in between airplanes, or activities so you can sit down and write for a little bit.

Another way to incorporate journaling into your life is to set reminders on your phone. It can be hard to adjust your daily routine to include writing. Therefore, having a reminder on your phone will help you make a habit of writing in your journal on a daily basis.

Remember, if you are not a big fan of writing, you can make your journal your own. Journaling does not limit you to just writing. You can always add pictures or drawings to tell your story.

Find a way to incorporate journaling into your daily routine, such as waking up and journaling while you are drinking your morning coffee or recount the day you have had by journaling right before you go to sleep.

You just have to find what works best for you and then journaling will become something natural for you to do on a daily basis.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Why Journaling And Keeping A Diary Is So Important

Emily Francos is a writer who covers relationships, pop culture, and news topics.