Journaling is a healthy way to gain perspective on life and feelings. The process of writing something down helps you wrap your head around almost any problem you try to solve. If the goal is to reduce stress and anxiety, a journal can help with that too. In fact, studies have shown that journaling helps people deal with depression and anxiety.
There is something about writing your feelings in a journal and expressing all your fears, anxiety, and loneliness that brings comfort. If you’re new to journaling and don’t know how to start, you can use these 101+ journaling prompts to guide you in writing about how you feel and reducing anxiety each day. Don’t overthink this process. Write down the feelings that immediately come to mind with each prompt.
Journaling Prompts for General Anxiety
- What causes my anxiety?
- What is the reason I feel this way?
- What can I do to feel better this week? Be specific.
- Who do you want to talk to when you’re feeling anxious?
- What do you want to tell yourself when you’re feeling anxious?
- What is one thing you want to change this week? This month?
- Do you know why this situation is causing you anxiety?
- What do you want to do to calm down?
- What makes me truly happy?
- What is something I enjoy doing on a weekly basis?
- What place do you go to that gives you joy?
- Who is the person you enjoy being with that doesn’t give you anxiety?
- How do you want to deal with your anxiety?
- What are the things that trigger your anxiety?
- How do you want to overcome your anxiety?
- What are the activities you enjoy doing?
- What gives you hope and happiness in life?
- What can I do to love myself?
- Have you spent time alone discovering more about yourself?
- When was the last time you overcame your anxiety?
- Do you feel like you need to talk to someone when you have anxiety?
- Would you rather be alone when you have anxiety?
- What do you do when you’re having an anxiety attack?
- How do you calm yourself when you have anxiety?
- What things help you deal with anxiety?
- How does your family help in dealing with your anxiety?
- How do I calm myself when I have anxiety attacks?
- How do I see myself when I’m anxious about everything?
Start seeing the benefits of regular journaling.
Journaling Prompts for Depression
- Does going back to certain places trigger your depression?
- How do you deal with your depression?
- I feel sad when I see…
- What do you love about yourself?
- What are the things that make you happy?
- If you would go on a date with yourself, how will it go?
- What are the things that make you feel good?
- What inspires you to wake up and get moving every day?
- Do you have hobbies you get to enjoy?
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- What are the things you look forward to on a daily basis?
- How has your depression held you back in life?
- Were there times when you wished you didn’t have depression?
- Do you think you can get over your depression?
- Are you doing baby steps to get over your depression?
- Does a certain season or weather trigger your depression?
- When you’re feeling depressed, do you want to be alone or be surrounded by people you love?
- What do you do when you’re feeling depressed?
- List down the things that make you happy and try to do them every week.
- Who are the people that have always been there for me?
- When was the last time I was happy with life?
- Where are the places that remind me of happiness in life?
Journaling Prompts for Social Anxiety
- What about people that give you anxiety?
- Do you prefer to meet with a small group of people?
- Why do you think you have anxiety when socializing with people?
- Are you more comfortable if you’re meeting girls?
- Are you scared to talk to strangers?
- Will you be more comfortable if people talked to you first?
- Do you prefer talking to people one by one instead of in a large group?
- Do you feel like you need to share everything immediately when meeting new people?
- What exactly about socializing with people that give you anxiety?
- Do you not find joy in making new friends?
- Do you feel like you have enough friends in your life?
- Do you not find happiness in meeting new people?
- Are you scared that people will judge you even when they don’t know who you are?
- Do loud people scare you off?
- Are you more comfortable meeting people in the same age range as you are?
- Are you scared of greeting people?
- Are you shy and not comfortable putting yourself out there to strangers?
- Does saying no to people give you anxiety?
- Why am I not comfortable talking to strangers?
- Why do I care about what people think about me?
- Do I not think I can meet new friends?
- What is it about social gatherings that give me anxiety?
- Am I not comfortable being with strangers?
Try journaling at least twice a week to get results.
Journaling Prompts for Relationship Anxiety
- What are the traits you want in your partner?
- What activities do you want to enjoy when your partner?
- What are the things you look forward to when being in a relationship?
- Who are the people you trust the most?
- What attracts you most in a person?
- Do you think you can sacrifice some things when you’re in a relationship?
- What do you think is the downside when being in a relationship?
- What about being in a relationship makes you happy?
- What do you feel about sharing your life with somebody?
- Do you see yourself being in a committed relationship with a person that has all the qualities you are looking for?
- Do you have a lot of friends who are in a relationship?
- For you, what is it about relationships that give you anxiety?
- Is it difficult for you to trust somebody?
- Do you trust people easily?
- Do you enjoy spending time with people?
- Do you prefer being alone?
- What are the activities you want to do with somebody?
- What does your friends say about being in a relationship?
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- What do you like about people being in a relationship?
- Do you think you can be happier when you’re in a relationship?
- Do you think you don’t deserve love and affection?
- Do you have trust issues?
- Does your past have anything to do with you having relationship anxiety?
- Do you enjoy being alone?
- Are you scared to get hurt?
- What happened to your last relationship?
- Are you worried your relationship will not last?
- Do you unconsciously think that every relationship you have will never last?
- Are you scared to be ghosted by the person you love?
- Where does your relationship anxiety come from?
- Do you not think you deserve to be loved by someone?
- Are you scared of making the same mistakes in your past relationships?
Journaling Prompts for Work Anxiety
- What is something you know you can do well?
- Does being evaluated make you feel scared?
- Do you not like being stuck in an office all day long?
- What are the qualities you want for people you work with?
- Are you scared about not getting a promotion?
- Are you scared of failure at work?
- Do you think you cannot do good at work?
- List down the things you think are the reasons why you have work anxiety.
- Do you have a bad experience with your previous work?
- Do you think you cannot learn from your mistakes?
- What are the things that trigger your work anxiety?
- What happened in the past that gives you work anxiety?
- Were there instances when you were fired from work?
- Do you not believe you can do your job well?
- Do you not want to give yourself a chance to work?
- Do you not trust the people at your workplace?
- Do you feel like people at your workplace will judge you for your mistakes?
- Have you been scolded by your officemates and boss?
When you journal, you understand thinking.
Journaling Prompts that Reduce Worry
- Are you scared that there are a lot of things you can’t control?
- Do you need to plan everything so that it goes well?
- Write down the things that are in your control when it comes to the workplace?
- What would make the workplace less stressful?
- What are the things you worry about?
- Do you worry about things you cannot control?
- Do you feel like you need to be in control of everything so you don’t have to worry about them?
- Are you scared about what people say about your choices in life?
- Write about what a perfect day to you looks like.
- When was the last time you worried about something that turned out to be nothing you had to worry about?
- Are you too focused on the future that you forget to enjoy the present and worry about it?
Be creative with your journal.
Journaling Topics to Help Reduce Anxiety
Hobbies – What are your hobbies? What are the activities that make you feel good? Writing about hobbies can trigger happiness because it’s generally an interest or passion of yours. Writing down how they feel about enjoying a hobby reminds them there are things in life they can do to be happy.
Happy memories – Whether it’s a childhood memory, a nice date with a good person, or a promotion at work, writing down happy memories is a good thing to reduce anxiety. These happy memories are in line with positivity and are remembered by your brain to be good times. Going back to these good times can remind you there are many positive things that happen transpire in your life.
Big or small achievements – Did you achieve something recently? These don’t need to be major life milestones. Were you able to finally talk to a stranger? Maybe finish a chore you’ve been dreading? Whether big or small, writing down achievements is a reminder of accomplishments. This can help remind you of examples you overcame anxiety or hesitancy.
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Plan it out – Some people have anxiety about not planning out their day, week, or month. If you need a plan to keep things organized and give you more assurance of what the day will bring, feel free to do so. This is a good practice that will help you stay on track with goals.
Things/people you’re thankful for – Being grateful for the things and people in your life help bring a sense of calmness. Write down the names of all the people in your life: friends, family members, parents. You could be grateful for health, friendship, food, and shelter. This helps remind us that despite the bad stuff, there are good people and good things around us. You just keep your eyes and heart open to seeing them.
How can you get started with Journaling?
You can consider journaling like writing in your diary. You can share your thoughts and emotions and maybe get to your know yourself better. It doesn’t take much time, money, or materials to get started either. If you want to start journaling, buy a notebook you like and a pen that feels good in your hands.
You can start by writing about your day. What you did, the people you spent time with, and so on. You can also write about your plans for the whole week. Are you meeting friends for dinner? Going back to your town on the weekend? Write those plans and also write about what you feel about these plans. Do they make you happy? Excited? Does it cause anxiety?
You can also write about your workplace anxiety. Are there certain people that trigger you? Are there projects that are stressing you out? Are long hours making you exhausted? Feel like there’s no way out of your current role and obligations?
Journaling helps identify and classify emotions. It’s a safe place, especially for people who are not comfortable opening up to others. With journaling, you are talking to yourself. By writing what you feel, your emotions, and everything, you can get to know yourself. Behind all these words and letters, you can discover what triggers your sadness, happiness, and anxiety.
You can look at your journal and read back about your past entries. Discover what it feels like to read about experience after you’re done dealing with it.