Decades of research on journaling has shown that it helps to relieve stress, which is why journaling prompts for stress relief are so powerful. In a society that values nonstop productivity to the point where burnout is now an official medical diagnosis, self-care and stress relief practices have never been more important.
So as you work to reduce stress, here are 30 journal prompts for when you're feeling overwhelmed or want to make sure you keep your stress in check.
1. Name one or two anxious thoughts you've had over the past few days
2. List 3 things you're grateful for
3. When you're feeling down, what helps you feel better?
4. When do you feel most supported and safe?
5. Write about a challenging time in your life. How did you get through it?
6. Name 5 things that tend to cause the most stress in your life
7. Where do you currently feel tension in your body?
8. What natural setting — the beach, the mountains, your own backyard — do you feel most relaxed in?
9. What's something you can do today that your future self will thank you for?
10. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
11. What does your ideal morning routine look like?
12. What does your typical reaction to stress look like? Is it helpful or destructive?
13. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
14. Describe your perfect relaxing evening
15. What does self-care look like for you?
16. If you work outside the home, do you find your job stressful? Why or why not?
17. If you're a stay at home parent, what about your situation do you find to be the most stressful?
18. Describe what your dream life looks like
19. What does your ideal vacation look like?
20. Describe one activity that embodies the word "relaxation" for you
21. When you have a bad day, what or who helps you feel better?
22. Name a positive thing that's happened in the past week
23. What fears are holding you back?
24. What does intentional living look like for you?
25. What song or song lyrics helps you feeling calmer and more grounded?
26. What phrase or inspirational quote always makes you feel better?
27. Do a "worry dump" and write down everything that's causing you anxiety and stress. If it helps, tear the page up when you're done.
28. Write through what your stress levels are like on the weekend versus during the week. If they're a lot lower on the weekends, how can you bring some of that energy into the workweek?
29. Name something you can do today that's a step in the right direction in terms of how you want to change or improve your life
30. What do you feel challenged by right now?
How Does Journaling Help With Stress?
Journaling helps with stress by acting as an emotional release. Think about how you feel after talking through a problem or venting to a close friend: Journaling is a lot like that, except because you know no one will read your journal, you can express your thoughts and feelings in a more unfiltered way.
Journaling can also help you organize your thoughts, and bring the important things in life into stronger focus. A really good journaling session (or series of journaling sessions) can help you realize you need to leave a job that's burning you out, or need to have a conversation with someone who is bringing you down.
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