80 Best Journal Prompts for Stress Relief and Overthinking

You are so wise to reach for self-care tools during times of stress. Today I’m sharing powerful journal prompts for stress relief to help you find inner peace. If you’re overthinking, anxious, or feeling burnt out, these journaling prompts will gently guide you back to a state of calm. 

Journaling For Stress Relief

Journaling has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. When writing, your brain is better able to organize thoughts and make sense of uncomfortable emotions. 

Journaling also provides a welcome distraction from worrisome thoughts and gives you a way to express yourself in a more positive manner. 

In addition, journaling can help you track your progress through challenging times, so you can reflect on and celebrate your accomplishments later. 

How Journaling Can Relieve Stress

Journaling is a powerful tool with many benefits. Journaling during times of stress will:

  • help you relax
  • focus your thoughts
  • strengthen mindfulness (which reduces anxiety)
  • offer clarity and perspective

By expressing emotions through writing, you can better understand your thoughts and feelings, assess progress in areas of life that bring stress, and identify ways to cope with tough emotions.

It’s also a great way to express gratitude for everything in your life that’s going well, which makes you a magnet for more positive experiences. All in all, journaling for stress relief is a powerful addition to your spiritual self-care toolbox.

Journal Prompts for Stress Relief

  1. What are my biggest sources of stress in life?
  2. What aspects of my stressors can I control? 
  3. Take 3 deep breaths, and then journal the differences you feel in your body.
  4. What am I most worried about at this time?
  5. Explore the phrase ‘everything is always working out for me’. 
  6. Choose an affirmation for letting go and write about what it brings to mind.  
  7. Three things I am grateful for at this moment are… 
  8. How can I make my physical body more comfortable right now? 
  9. Make a list of top priorities (3 or less) and then list everything else that can wait.  
  10. What’s one small thing I can do to bring myself joy today?  
list of journal prompts for stress relief
  1. What am I looking forward to most? 
  2. How can I plan/prepare myself for those things? 
  3. Three of my greatest strengths are… 
  4. What is my body asking for right now?
  5. Next time I feel worried, I can remind myself that…
  6. Did I agree to anything I didn’t really want to? 
  7. How can I set healthier boundaries for myself going forward? 
  8. Write yourself a letter saying exactly what you need to hear to feel calm and soothed.
  9. When this stressful situation passes, I will feel…
  10. Who does my inner critic remind me of? 
  11. Create a new inner voice for yourself using encouraging and kinds words. 
  12. Do a scripting exercise and write about a situation as if your happy outcome has already come true.
list of journal prompts for stress relief

Journal Prompts for Overthinking

Journaling is a powerful tool for managing overthinking. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you gain clarity and perspective, and can also serve as a way to release pent-up emotions.

Plus, journaling can help you identify patterns in your thinking and behavior, which can lead to greater self-awareness and the ability to make positive changes.

  1. Look around, then write down 5 things you see that you appreciate.  
  2. Sit quietly and list 3 things you can hear.
  3. Take a deep inhale and list 3 things you can smell.  
  4. Tap into your sense of touch and describe how the objects in contact with your body feel.
  5. Focus on your sense of taste and describe the taste of your favorite drink or snack.  
  6. What emotions are behind my nagging thoughts and how can I soothe them? 
  7. What actions can I take right now to set my mind at ease?
  8. Draw a sketch or sketch something that’s pleasing to you, without overthinking or judging.
  9. What can I do to remind myself that the universe is always working on my behalf?
  10. How likely is it that my worst worries will actually come true?
list of stress relief journal prompts for overthinking

  1. What would I like the outcome of this situation to be?
  2. Which activities, animals or people away make me happiest? 
  3. When I have nervous energy, my favorite physical activity to release it is… 
  4. How can I reshape negative thoughts to be more optimistic? 
  5. Do a focus wheel to build momentum behind your positive thoughts. 
  6. Look up where you currently are on the emotional guidance scale and write it down. Then consider the next two questions.
  7. Where would I ultimately like to be? 
  8. What thoughts can I reach for right now to move up one step on the emotional guidance scale? Make a list of your worries and break them into two columns: valid and unrealistic. 
  9. Is my self-talk aligned with my desires? 
  10. Reply to your inner critic with loving words of encouragement.
list of stress relief journal prompts for overthinking

Journal Prompts for Burnout

  1. Three things I can easily remove from my plate are…
  2. What actions can I take to delegate or remove unnecessary tasks? 
  3. How can I make more room in my schedule for self-care?
  4. Write yourself a letter describing your worthiness and goodness.  
  5. What would happen if I followed my joy?
  6. What are my favorite ways to pamper myself?  
  7. How can I create more balance in my life?
  8. What areas of my life are working well for me? 
  9. Which areas of my life would I like to change?
  10. What immediate steps can I take toward positive change? 
  11. List additional milestones to work toward over the coming weeks/months/year.
  12. What activities help me to feel the most relaxed?
  13. What can I do today to make tomorrow easier for myself?  
list of stress relief journal prompts for burnout

  1. What types of music soothe my energy?
  2. What aromas make me feel tranquil and relaxed?
  3. How can I better honor my body’s requests for nourishment, replenishment, movement and rest?
  4. How can I simplify my daily routine? 
  5. Are there any things I do out of habit that no longer serve me? 
  6. If I could do anything differently in my life, what would it be?
  7. What emotions would those changes make me feel? 
  8. What can I do today to experience more of those positive feelings?
list of stress relief journal prompts for burnout

Journal Prompts for Inner Peace

  1. How can I make my physical surroundings more tranquil?
  2. 3 activities that bring me inner peace are…
  3. Choose a self love affirmation and write it 33 times.  
  4. Describe a perfect day.
  5. Does my morning routine set me up for a peaceful day?
  6. What TV, music, and social media uplifts me?
  7. When I’m with these people, I feel most like myself…
  8. What areas of my life make me feel unsettled?
  9. How can I gently move toward positive change in those areas?
  10. I would like to express myself more authentically by…
  11. 3 ways I can be more mindful today are…
  12. I notice when these foods/drinks help me feel my best…
  13. Are there any people or situations that trigger anxiety for me?
  14. Where does anxiety show up in my body and how can I soothe it?
  15. Do I need to forgive myself for anything?
  16. How can I bring myself comfort and healing today?
  17. Pick a quote about being at peace with yourself and write about what it means to you.
list of stress relief journal prompts for inner peace

How Often to Journal for Stress Relief

You should reach for these journal prompts for stress relief whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, worried, or burnout.

Ideally, I’d love for you to carve out 15 minutes or so every day to check in with yourself and focus on gratitude, mindfulness, and self-care. That’s why I provided so many prompts above, so you always have something to choose from that matches your mood.

You deserve this time!


I hope these journal prompts for stress relief bring you as much comfort as they bring me. If you found them helpful, please let me know in the replies below, and share this post so others can find it, too.

XO, Andrea

80 stress relief journal prompts for moments of stress, anxiety, overthinking and burnout.
See the stress relief journal prompts web story for more images.
Andrea Scalisi headshot

Andrea Scalisi

Andrea has been practicing Astrology, Numerology, and Tarot for many years. She is a certified Aromatherapist and Reiki Master in Central NY, and also holds a Masters Degree from Syracuse University. Andrea loves helping her readers bring more spiritual self-care into their lives.

Self-care starts here!

Align with the unique energy of the season. Get positive affirmations, moon cycle dates, and a free card reading each month, sent straight to your inbox.✨

Success! You're on the list.

The Haven Shoppe LLC proudly participates in Amazon and Share A Sale affiliate programs. This means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, when you buy a product from this page. Thank you for supporting my small business!

Image Credit

Share your love!

Leave a Reply!

%d bloggers like this: