30 Daily Journaling Prompts for Adults

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Want to start your 2018 in high gear? Journaling just might be the way to do it. A lot of what goes on in our life begins in the brain, so sharpening it can be very beneficial.

Don’t know where to start? Here are writing prompts you can use every month to guide and center you. These questions and exercises tackle stress relief, self-reflection, and self-improvement.

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Try these 30 daily journaling prompts for adults:

Stress relief journaling prompts

There are questions you can ask yourself daily to be able to deal with and relieve stress. When you’re not sure where to start, here are some questions to ponder on.

  1. What upset me today and why? Be as specific as possible. Nothing is off limits. Do not dismiss anything as petty. If it bothered you, it should go to the page. It doesn’t matter how mildly.
  2. Who upset me today and why? Again, no offense done is too small to make it onto your journal. Use as many words to describe the person. Take this opportunity to vent and say things that you’d never utter to the person. It is better to get it out of your system than to bottle it up, only to blurt out things you might end up regretting.
  3. What part may I have played in the matter? In this one, write the narrative in the third person to distance yourself from the situation. That will be able to give you an objective response to the question.
  4. What can I do on my part to make it better? It doesn’t have to be a ‘Mother Teresa’ moment, though those are encouraged. Your answer could be as simple as forgiving the person. Forgiveness doesn’t always happen in one fell swoop, it takes time, so repetition is crucial.
  5. How has this situation affected other areas of my life? Note how the spillover effect is running your life. Did tripping over the dog make you yell at a stranger? By writing this down, you’ll be more mindful not to let things that happen in one area of your life affect other parts.
  6. How has this person affected other areas of my life? The same principle applies here; are you mad at your dog or your boss?
  7. List the things that make you stressed and anxious. Why do they?
  8. List all how allowing these things enrich your life. Hint: they probably aren’t.
  9. Outline how, in an ideal world, you’d go about tackling these problems. Be as practical as possible. Wishing the ground would swallow you isn’t one. However, seeing a therapist or adopting positive thinking is a more applicable approach.
  10. What ten things made me happy today? It will help shift your focus and give you a more positive outlook.

Self-Reflection journaling prompts

These set of questions and tasks will help you look beyond the surface. Answering them honestly will give you a clearer understanding of who you are and, what matters to you. Be warned; it may be difficult, but well worth it in the end.

  1. Where have I let myself down today?
  2. List the reasons why it happened.
  3. What hurt me today? You will know it by the dull pain in your heart.
  4. Who hurt my feelings today? It’s easy to let people off the hook by saying ‘but they didn’t mean to.’ If their words left a sting, write their name down.
  5. Does this remind you of something similar that happened? This question should address both the situation and the person that caused the hurt. Think of it this way; you’re only aware a wound exists when salt gets into it.
  6. In what areas of my life do I need healing?
  7. What actions of self-love can I show myself today? Whether it’s tidying your room, taking a scented bath or going out to shoot some hoops, they all count.
  8. Where am I in life at the moment? Here, talk about your career, finances, family, friends, relationships, health, vision, purpose, spirituality, hobbies and personal growth.
  9. Following up on the above, where do you want to be?
  10. What is stopping me from getting there? What fears do I fear most, succeeding or failing? State why.

Self-improvement journaling prompts

The last self-reflection question ties perfectly into what you can do to improve yourself, your life and your outlook. The responses should be goal oriented- make 2018 your year of massive growth.

  1. Referencing your answer from 18, what steps can I take to improve each of these areas? Fleshing out the details may require intense reflection. You can work on each point for a day or more. Do not feel rushed to formulate a self-improvement plan in less than 30 days.
  2. List five areas of your life you’d like to improve.
  3. How can you improve these areas? Do you need to see a professional? Take a class? Practice it?
  4. What is your life’s purpose and how are you living it today? It can be a tough question, but luckily there are some online quizzes to help you narrow down your interests.
  5. Let’s talk health. Set goals to exercises and eat and sleep better. Ask yourself daily, ‘if my body could speak what would it say?
  6. Spirituality plays a vital role in your life’s longevity. Once you embark on the journey, reflect on how you’ve nurtured your spiritual journey daily.
  7. Name at least one thing you learned today. Make an effort to gain new knowledge or skill. You never know when it might come in handy.
  8. What is the one thing you want to do differently tomorrow?
  9. Who can help me on my journey? Be open-minded; sometimes the people you overlook might be your greatest allies in your life’s journey.
  10. Who can I help? Cultivate a giving heart for a happier and wealthier life.

Working through these prompts may spark new journaling ideas in you. When this happens, integrate or edit this list to make it your own and use it throughout 2018.

Additional Resources

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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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