Journal prompts for stress relief are great for calming the mind and easing anxiety.
Not only do journal prompts help you vent your stress onto the page more efficiently and effectively, they also help you look back and learn what else works to calm your nerves.
When you journal about what’s causing you stress, you help build the tools you need to deal with other causes in the future.
Journal prompts also help to cultivate emotional intelligence, while journaling in general can boost mood and improve your mindset dramatically over time.
Some great journal prompts for relieving stress and calming your mind are:
- What’s causing you to feel nervous or stressed right now? Why is it so stressful?
- What steps can you take right now to overcome what’s causing you stress? Write out a clear, realistic plan of action for tackling this particular problem.
- What steps can you take in the long-run to overcome causes of stress?
- What are five self-care activities that make you feel calm?
- What are three songs that calm your nerves? Why not give them a listen now?
- What are your comfort movies and TV shows?
- What’s something that’s helped relieve your stress in the past?
- What’s something you can do to help you feel less stressed overall?
- What are five things you feel grateful or thankful for today?
- What are you excited for in the near future?
- How does it feel to overcome hurdles?
- What are three awesome things that have happened to you recently?
- If my mood today was a colour, what would it be and why?
- How would a life without stress look to you?
- What does your dream life look like?
- What’s one huge life lesson you’ve learned?
- What’s one visualisation that helps calm you down?
- How do you react to stress? How can you change this?
- What does ‘stress’ mean to you? What connotations does the word carry? How does it make you feel?
- Write about a time where stress lead to success.
- How does saying ‘no’ to people make you feel?
- What’s one task you can delegate or make easier for yourself today?
- What are three massive boundaries that you simply won’t allow others to cross?
- List 10 things that make you happy.
- What are some of your limiting beliefs? Where do these come from and how can you overcome them?
- What are three areas of your life you can improve upon? How do you plan to do this?
- What’s one quality about yourself that you want to change? How can you do this?
- What’s something that you routinely beat yourself up for? Does this warrant such a response, or are you simply a human being who makes mistakes and isn’t perfect? I invite you to rationalise with the negative thought and replace it with a positive one.
- What is something that you’re holding onto that would benefit you to let go of?
- What’s your favourite thing about nature?
- Write a checklist of tasks for today, starting with the most important at the top.
- How do you feel about asking for help? Why is this? Can you do this with your current particular cause of stress?
- How do you feel when you see other people stressed?
- What are five things you love about yourself?
- What are five qualities you like in other people?
- When was the last time you did something kind for someone? Let’s write about this. How did it make you feel?
- When was the last time you felt truly, totally, and utterly relaxed? Why was this, do you think?
- What situations or people tend to make you feel uneasy, stressed or anxious? Is there a pattern?
- How do you differentiate between anxiety and your ‘gut feeling’?
- How stressed do you feel on a scale of 1-10?
- What are the first signs of burn out for you?
- How do you overcome burn out or feeling mentally checked out?
- How positive is your mindset? What can you do to improve your mindset overall?
- What are three affirmations you can focus on for this week?
- Do you tend to find yourself catastrophising? If you do, when do you tend to catastrophise? Why do you think this might be?
- What are three things you want to forgive yourself for?
- How long do you spend on social media? How do you feel about this, and social media in general? Is it possible to cut down?
- Who do you look up to? What does their life look like? Do they deal with stress? If so, how?
- What are three things do you tend to overthink about?
- What can you do to help stop overthinking and negative self-talk?
Why are journal prompts a great way to relieve stress?
Journal prompts for stress relief are beneficial for two main reasons:
#1. Journal prompts help instantly relieve stress through venting
Journal prompts are prompts, questions, exercises, or (usually) written activities you can do in your journal.
They aim to gently encourage you in a certain direction with your journal practise and often have an aim or theme. For example, stress relief journal prompts will aim to help calm your nerves and ease stress, while journal prompts for self-love aim to improve confidence and self-esteem.
Journaling prompts quite literally prompt you to vent your feelings from out of your head and into your journal.
When your thoughts and worries are down on paper, you often feel a sense of instant relief, as if they’ve been physically removed from your mind and put onto the page.
This relief can feel amazing when you’re stressed.
#2. Journal prompts teach you how to deal with future stress
Getting your worries down on paper not only helps relief stress instantly, it also teaches you self-awareness and mindfulness.
You can look back on what was causing you stress, analyse why, and figure out what helps relieve said stress.
While you can’t and shouldn’t attempt to avoid all causes of stress since that’s pretty unrealistic (life can suck, after all), journaling can help provide you with the tools you need to deal with it when it inevitably arises in the future.
Journal prompts make you better equipped to handle whatever stressors life might throw at you.
How do you start a journal for stress relief?
Journal prompts are a great addition to your journaling routine when it comes to relieving stress, but what else do you need to journal about and how do you even get started?
Firstly, when it comes to starting a journal for stress relief, you need to figure out what journaling techniques are best.
Some of my favourite journal practises to help relieve stress are:
- Gratitude lists: I write down five things I’m grateful for every single morning. This puts me in a positive mindset going into the rest of the day. Studies have shown that practising gratitude relieves stress and improves mood.
- Goal-setting: Setting goals and intentions is amazing for motivation and giving you a clear direction in life, or even just with your day. This is great for easing worry as you feel like you have a plan and purpose. I invite you to not just set lofty, long-term goals (although obviously this is cool), but smaller, daily goals as well.
- Affirmations: Writing out your affirmations aimed at calming your mind can be really helpful if you find it hard to say them out loud. Simply write them in your journal and then repeat them in your head.
- Mood tracker: Tracking your daily mood can be really handy when it comes to improving your mindset overall. It can help you see patterns and hone in on the causes of stress so that you can become better equipped at dealing with it.
- Free-writing: Simply writing down whatever’s on your mind can feel really cathartic. No one else ever has to see what you write – you can basically vent about whatever (or whoever) you like without the added worry of upsetting someone or being judged. Simply vent onto the page for as long as you need.
- Planning: Planning my days in advance, while not a traditional journaling technique, is something I find really helpful for relieving stress. It takes the guesswork out of my days and ensures I don’t forget anything important, which is a huge worry of mine. I don’t plan out every tiny detail because I like to exercise flexibility and I don’t want to become obsessive; I simply write out a rough schedule of the week to come.
In my Master Your Mindset with Journaling course and workbook, I teach a number of these techniques, as well as others, in detail to help you transform your mindset through journaling.
Over the years, journaling has not only helped to ease my stress, but manage it as well.
It’s become an integral part of my self-care routine and it keeps my mind (and life) in a balanced, positive place.
Master Your Mindset with Journaling is currently open for enrolment, if you want to improve your mindset simply through daily journaling.
How else can you relieve stress?
In addition to journaling, you can also take other steps in your life to help relieve and deal with stress.
A few that have personally really worked for me include:
- Practising self-care
- Nourishing my body with food I enjoy
- Yoga and stretching
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Breath work
- Going for a walk in nature
- Talking to friends and loved ones
- Learning to say ‘no’, delegate, and protect your own energy
- Setting and enforcing boundaries
While ultimate stress relief comes in many forms, journal prompts for stress relief are a great place to start.