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Wellness > Mental Health

10 Uncomfortable Journal Prompts to Get to Know Yourself Better

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

In the hustle and bustle of college life, we can sometimes forget that college is not just about getting our assignments in and preparing for our careers; it’s also about having the opportunity to assess our values and working toward who we want to become. College is a time of self-realization and is an important mark in our transformation into adulthood. A great way to improve our well-being in multiple areas of life is through the simple act of introspection. 

Introspection is the examination of one’s own mental and emotional processes. It is imperative to practice introspection as it is crucial for maturing and strengthening our relationships with others and ourselves. Through self-awareness, we become less likely to veer off track when difficult emotions arise. 

Journaling is one of the best methods of practicing introspection. Writing out difficult or confusing thoughts and emotions helps us identify the source of what’s bothering us. Journaling provides a safe space to express emotions, thoughts, and experiences freely. It can help reduce stress and promote emotional well-being. Additionally, journaling aids in problem-solving, creativity, stress reduction, gratitude, and self-expression. This process can lead to greater self-awareness and personal growth. 

I’m diving in with 10 of my favorite journal prompts that go right for the heart, inspired by one of my favorite health and wellness influencers @casey.mind.body. 

@casey.mind.body on Instagram

Now that we’ve established the importance of introspection and journaling, let’s dive into some prompts that can guide you on a journey of self-discovery. Responding to each of these prompts all at once may be overwhelming, as introspection is not easy. So go through these prompts at your own pace, and it’s okay to not have all the answers! Discovering them as you go is part of the process. So pull out your journal and get started!

  1. What is a characteristic that bothers you in others? Is it a quality you possess? Do you think it may bother you in others because you inwardly dislike it about yourself? 
  1. Do your goals truly reflect your desires? Or do they reflect what someone else (a parent, partner, friend, etc.) wants for you?
  1. Are you really accomplishing your goals and/or working toward your dreams? What doubtful thoughts are preventing you from doing so? 
  1. What are some personal beliefs that you’re willing to reconsider or further explore? 
  1. What are some negative coping mechanisms you engage in? What are the underlying feelings that cause you to engage in these negative behaviors? 
  1. What’s an emotion you’d like to have more control of? How can you accomplish that? 
  1.  Is there something you feel guilty about? What are some reasons why you deserve forgiveness? 
  1. What are your strengths in relationships (platonic and romantic)? What are your weaknesses? 
  1. Are you confident in who you are? Do you speak with conviction about your thoughts and the things you do? If not, what thoughts are preventing you from doing so? 
  1.  What are some changes you could make to live according to your personal values?

It is important to embrace the opportunity that college offers: the chance to understand ourselves better and align our actions with our values before we go out into the real world.  By approaching these introspective journal prompts, we take a proactive step toward personal growth and fulfillment. Remember, it’s okay to take this process one step at a time, allowing yourself the space to explore and approach it with curiosity and openness. Embrace the discomfort and allow your journal to be a tool. 

Gracie a freshman Professional Writing major from Grand Canyon University. When she is not spending her evening watching glee with her roommate and eating chocolate covered frozen fruit, she's working on her writing. Gracie also enjoys exploring new places, thrifting, basking in the sun, and listening to music.