I’ve always loved journaling, but I don’t do it the way I thought I had to anymore.
When I was growing up, it was always Dear Diary, and then off I went in an unstructured tangent, outlining all of my day-to-day activities and feelings. Whew, it was a lot!!
Now that I’m older and have less time for that, I tend to lean into what I call “intentional journaling.”
What is that you may be wondering?
Well, it’s just what it sounds like. I basically write down things in a notebook that are intentional, specific, and focused. It could just be writing to get my feelings out about something I’m struggling with. Or, I do a lot of writing about areas I want to improve on in my life.
I will often ask my clients to do the same thing, but I will give them a journal prompt which is a question that they can take their time answering. We then review their thoughts at the next session to see what came up for them. Some of these prompts may not be my original thoughts as I am a voracious reader, so I pick up tips and tricks from the many books I read.
So, I thought it would be fun and helpful to give you some common journal prompts that I’ve given out over the years and ones that I ask myself as well.
Intentional Journaling: 5 Mindful Journal Prompts
1. How do you want your week to feel like?
Ok, that may seem silly, but if you’re someone who is struggling with unhappiness and discontent around your life or your work, even having the courage to dream bigger and imagine what your ideal week would look like, is thought provoking. Give those dreams some space babe!
2. Who used to talk to you that way (insert whatever negative thought you have that is prevalent – i.e. I’m a loser, no one will ever love me, etc…)?
This is a heavy one but one that is necessary, helpful, and healing. If we can figure out where we got some of our negative thoughts, we can begin to recognize and manage them.
3. Are you the person you thought you would be, that you desire to be?
I know this is philosophical but it truly can be a game changer if answered thoughtfully and honestly. Are you the person you want to be?? ‘Nuff said.
4. What was the most special time of your life? Do you remember who you were with, what you did, what made it so sweet?
This is a good prompt to help remind you that in spite of the bad shit you’re currently in the middle of, you have had good times in the past, good memories to hold on to. It’s a gentle reminder that this too shall pass.
5. What can you do this week to help you feel fulfilled and nourished?
Again, a seemingly benign prompt, right? But truthfully, how many of us let weeks go by before we look up and realize we haven’t done anything we love for ourselves? Too busy to read, to walk outside, to take a break, to laugh, to connect with others. This lack of doing the things we love consistently, contributes negatively our mental and physical health.
If you’d like more intentional journaling inspo, Hello Beautiful is Oprah’s book of the month pick and it’s all about journal prompts.
So there you have it! These are just 5 examples of some prompts that may help you move the needle on your life. Myself and our therapists here at Empowered Connections have tons more to give you if you’re interested in doing some introspective work on why your life isn’t feeling the way you thought it would. We’ve got you! Our expert therapists are ready when you are, you can click here to self-schedule any time or send us an email.
We look forward to seeing you soon!