There’s nothing like cracking open a new journal, grabbing your favorite pen, and sitting down for a writing sesh.

It’s a tried-and-true form of self-care. Research shows that journaling can help you achieve your goals, increase your emotional intelligence, boost your confidence, and even heal from difficult experiences.

But a common challenge people run into when they want to start a journaling habit: What do I write about?

That’s where guided self-reflection prompts and questions can help you out. When you're feeling overwhelmed or do not know what to do, taking a moment to pause and reflect is one way you can ensure you're checking in with your needs and moving forward with your journey.

'Facing your front' is the mantra that emboides this—and it's the mantra behind actor Ncuti Gatwa, star of the Netflix show "Sex Education."

"Don't look right and don't look left, because these are other people's journeys and if you're looking at their journeys, you're going to get lost. So face your front and worry about what you're doing," Gatwa shared in Teen Vogue. "You don't need to compare yourself. Your journey is fine."

Here are 32 of our favorites to help you kick off your next journaling session and reflect on your personal journey. They’re inspired by our Daily Discussion feature in the Shine app—a safe space where you can reflect on a new self-care question daily with a global community of supportive people.

Pick one or a few of these questions, and give yourself permission to free write your answers without any judgment or pressure. The goal: Simply see what you can learn about yourself and the way you take care of yourself.

1. What makes you feel powerful?

2. What makes you feel calm?

3. What makes you feel in control?

4. How do you encourage yourself when you're trying something new?

5. What's a choice you can make this week based on your needs?

6. How do you shift your mindset if it isn't working for you?

7. How do you recharge?

8. How can you celebrate yourself today?

9. What does your situational best look like today?

10. What helps you slow down and feel more present?

11. What can you do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?

12. What's a goal you want to accomplish and why?

13. How do you put yourself first without feeling guilty?

14. How do you practice self-acceptance?

15. How do you stay focused and steer clear of distractions?

16. How do you trust yourself to make big decisions?

17. How do you set boundaries and avoid absorbing someone else's emotions and stress?

18. How do you savor the time you get alone?

19. How do you notice when you're nearing burnout?

20. How do you share your feelings with the people who care about you?

21. How do you swap envy for joy when other people accomplish things?

22. How do you advocate for yourself?

23. How do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?

24. How do you ask for help or support when you need it?

25. How do you practice self-love and self-kindness?

26. How do you calm your nerves in a difficult situation?

27. How do you make the time you spend with people more intentional?

28. How do you embrace your authentic self, even if it looks different from what others expect?

29. How do you set and protect your boundaries?

30. What new opportunities have come out of challenges you’ve faced?

31. How can you step outside your comfort zone to grow?

32. How do you remind yourself that you're enough?


Read next: 25 Best Journals and Planners for a New Chapter

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