Journaling is a uniquely introspective activity. Writing in a journal provides time to think, process your day and answer thought-provoking questions about life and the world around you. When you think about journaling as making space for much-needed deep thought, it’s no wonder that journaling can benefit mental health.
Though journaling has many benefits, it can sometimes still be hard to sit down and write. The demands of daily life can eat into your quiet time, and your worries, fears and insecurities can crowd out creative thought.
When writer’s block strikes, journaling can feel impossible and even pointless. But before you put down your pen for good, remember that there are many thought-provoking questions and writing prompts available to help you get started.
Prompts Are Journaling Lifesavers
Even if you don’t struggle with writer’s block, prompts could still be a valuable tool for your journaling practice. Prompts can help ease you into the flow of writing. They can make writing feel more natural, like how it might feel to have a conversation with a good friend.
Prompts can also help change your perspective because they can provide topics you may never have thought of yourself. For example, here are 33 thought-provoking questions to try in your journal:
1. What purpose do you assign to your life?
2. What object do you treasure most?
3. What do you fear the most?
4. What do you love the most?
5. How could you be nicer to yourself?
6. How would you describe your day in one sentence?
7. What do you wish you could spend less time doing?
8. What do you wish you could spend more time doing?
9. What song always makes you cry? Why?
10. What would your ideal world look like?
11. What are you grateful for?
12. What is the best day you remember?
13. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Why?
14. Is it more comforting to believe or not to believe in an afterlife?
15. If you could change one decision you’ve made in your life, what would it be?
16. If someone offered you three wishes, what would you wish for?
17. How do you define happiness?
18. How do you define suffering?
19. Who is an important person in your life?
20. Who was your most important role model?
21. If yu taught a class on life, what would be the textbook?
22. Do you think it’s more important to be practical or imaginative?
23. What is the best number and why?
24. What do you wish other people knew about you?
25. What do you wish you knew about someone else?
26. What do we have a responsibility to do?
27. How would you define morality?
28. What do you most want to do in your life?
29. What have you built?
30. What was a time when you needed support from someone else?
31. What do you think the future will be like?
32. When do you feel most confident?
33. What makes you smile?
Your Journal Is for You
Using prompts like these can help you broaden your mind and write even when no ideas come to you immediately. Try a few out, but don’t feel pressure to like every prompt you try. There are many types of people, so people naturally keep many types of journals.
One of the best things about journaling is how easy it is to customize. Ultimately, you should choose prompts that connect with you, even if they’re not the ones everyone else is writing. If none of these prompts catch your eye, ask around for other ideas — there are so many prompts available, it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out.
On the flip side, if you love these prompts and can’t get enough, share them with others! If a prompt helped you, it is likely to help others as well. Exchanging notes or opinions on a question can help you better understand yourself and others.
Prompts can be a great way to start journaling and broaden your horizons. If a mood strikes you as you write, feel free to stray down unexpected paths. You might just find something amazing. Hopefully, these prompts help you remember that your journal is yours and there is no wrong way to answer a question.
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