Self care reflection questions

87 Self-Reflection Questions for Introspection [+Exercises]

Have you ever thought about your own thoughts or questioned your mental processes?

Do you sometimes take time to clarify your values in a moment of doubt or uncertainty?

If you answered “yes,” you are no stranger to self-reflection and introspection (terms that will be used more or less interchangeably in this article), an important psychological exercise that can help you grow, develop your mind, and extract value from your mistakes.

Read on if you’d like to learn the meaning of self-reflection and introspection, reasons why it’s important, and tools and techniques for practicing it yourself.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Self-Compassion Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will not only help you increase the compassion and kindness you show yourself but will also give you the tools to help your clients, students, or employees show more compassion to themselves.

This Article Contains:

  • What Is Introspection? A Definition
  • What Is the Importance of Introspection?
  • 70 Self-Reflective Questions to Ask Yourself
  • 10 Self-Reflection Exercises, Activities, and Techniques for Adults and Students
  • 4 Self-Reflection Worksheets and Tools
  • The 3 Best Books on Self-Reflection and Introspection
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What Is Introspection? A Definition

Introspection can be practiced both as an informal reflection process and a formal experimental approach, and the two have different definitions. Still, both processes can be undertaken by anyone with curiosity and determination (Cherry, 2016).

The informal reflection process can be defined as examining one’s own internal thoughts and feelings and reflecting on what they mean. The process can be focused on either one’s current mental experience or mental experiences from the very recent past.

The formal experimental technique is a more objective and standardized version of this, in which people train themselves to carefully analyze the contents of their own thoughts in a way that’s as unbiased as possible.

The original idea of introspection was developed by Wilhelm Wundt in the late 1800s (McLeod, 2008). Wundt focused on three areas of mental functioning: thoughts, images, and feelings. Wundt’s work eventually led to the current work on perceptual processes and the establishment of the field of cognitive psychology.

What Is the Importance of Introspection?

So, why is introspection important?

Researchers have shown that we think more than 50,000 thoughts per day, of which more than half are negative and more than 90% are just repeats from the day before (Wood, 2013).

If you don’t make the time and effort to refocus your mind on the positive through introspection, you won’t give yourself the opportunity to grow and develop.

Enhancing our ability to understand ourselves and our motivations and to learn more about our own values helps us take the power away from the distractions of our modern, fast-paced lives and instead refocus on fulfillment (Wood, 2013).

The importance of doing it right

Reflecting on ourselves and our environments is a healthy and adaptive practice, but it should be undertaken with some care—there is, in fact, a wrong way to do it.

When your focus on introspection has morphed from a dedication to an obsession, you have taken it too far. In fact, those who take self-reflection too far can end up feeling more stressed, depressed, and anxious than ever (Eurich, 2017).

In addition, it is all too easy for us to fool ourselves into thinking we have found some deep insight that may or may not be accurate. We are surprisingly good at coming up with rational explanations for the irrational behaviors we engage in (Dahl, 2017).

To help stay on the right path with your self-reflection, consider asking more “what” questions than “why” questions. “Why” questions can highlight our limitations and stir up negative emotions, while “what” questions help keep us curious and positive about the future (Eurich, 2017).

With this important point in mind, let’s move on to the questions, exercises, and worksheets that you can use to work on your own self-reflection.

70 Self-Reflective Questions to Ask Yourself

There are nearly endless questions, prompts, and ideas you can use to take a self-reflection break. Some of these can be asked, answered, and addressed every day, while others may best be saved for occasional self-reflection.

Read through the following three lists to get some ideas for introspective questions. Answering them can take you from feeling like you don’t understand yourself to knowing yourself like the back of your hand.

These 10 questions are great ways to jumpstart self-reflection (Woronko, n.d.):

  1. Am I using my time wisely?
  2. Am I taking anything for granted?
  3. Am I employing a healthy perspective?
  4. Am I living true to myself?
  5. Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day?
  6. Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep?
  7. Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
  8. Am I taking care of myself physically?
  9. Am I letting matters that are out of my control stress me out?
  10. Am I achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself?

The following 30 questions are questions you can ask yourself every day to get to know yourself better (William, n. d.):

  1. Who am I, really?
  2. What worries me most about the future?
  3. If this were the last day of my life, would I have the same plans for today?
  4. What am I really scared of?
  5. Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?
  6. If not now, then when?
  7. What matters most in my life?
  8. What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life?
  9. Why do I matter?
  10. Have I done anything lately that’s worth remembering?
  11. Have I made someone smile today?
  12. What have I given up on?
  13. When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?
  14. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby, what advice would I give?
  15. What small act of kindness was I once shown that I will never forget?
  16. How will I live, knowing I will die?
  17. What do I need to change about myself?
  18. Is it more important to love or be loved?
  19. How many of my friends would I trust with my life?
  20. Who has had the greatest impact on my life?
  21. Would I break the law to save a loved one?
  22. Would I steal to feed a starving child?
  23. What do I want most in life?
  24. What is life asking of me?
  25. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
  26. If I try to fail and succeed, what have I done?
  27. What’s the one thing I’d like others to remember about me at the end of my life?
  28. Does it really matter what others think about me?
  29. To what degree have I actually controlled the course of my life?
  30. When all is said and done, what will I have said more than I’ve done?

Finally, the following 30 prompts and questions are great ways to put your journal to use (Tartakovsky, 2014):

  1. My favorite way to spend the day is . . .
  2. If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is . . .
  3. The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are . . . (Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.)
  4. Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
  5. “Write about a moment experienced through your body. Making love, making breakfast, going to a party, having a fight, an experience you’ve had or you imagine for your character. Leave out thought and emotion, and let all information be conveyed through the body and senses.”
  6. The words I’d like to live by are . . .
  7. I couldn’t imagine living without . . .
  8. When I’m in pain—physical or emotional—the kindest thing I can do for myself is . . .
  9. Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and whom you can genuinely trust. Then, make time to hang out with them.
  10. What does unconditional love look like for you?
  11. What things would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things, even if you’re not yet able to love yourself unconditionally?
  12. I really wish others knew this about me . . .
  13. Name what is enough for you.
  14. If my body could talk, it would say . . .
  15. Name a compassionate way you’ve supported a friend recently. Then, write down how you can do the same for yourself.
  16. What do you love about life?
  17. What always brings tears to your eyes? (As Paulo Coelho has said, “Tears are words that need to be written.”)
  18. Write about a time when your work felt real, necessary and satisfying to you, whether the work was paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.
  19. Write about your first love—whether it’s a person, place or thing.
  20. Using 10 words, describe yourself.
  21. What’s surprised you the most about your life or life in general?
  22. What can you learn from your biggest mistakes?
  23. I feel most energized when . . .
  24. “Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.”
  25. Make a list of everything that inspires you—whether books, websites, quotes, people, paintings, stores, or stars in the sky.
  26. What’s one topic you need to learn more about to help you live a more fulfilling life? (Then, follow through and learn more about that topic.)
  27. I feel happiest in my skin when . . .
  28. Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to.
  29. Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to.
  30. Write the words you need to hear.

10 Self-Reflection Exercises, Activities, and Techniques for Adults and Students

Aside from the questions and prompts listed above, there are many exercises and activities that can open you up to valuable self-reflection.

For example, the five self-examination exercises listed below (Bates, 2012) are a good way to get started with self-reflection. They’re simple and easy to do, but they can familiarize you with the process for more in-depth reflection in the future.

Self-Examination Exercise 1

Consider whether or not you tend to analyze people or diagnose their problems for them without their encouragement or request.

Often when we hold information that has helped us to make sense of the world, we want to share it. This information, when unprompted and delivered to another person, sometimes doesn’t feel so good. They may feel like you are telling them that something about them is wrong, something that they might not necessarily agree with.

Remind yourself that this information needs to be asked for and not prescribed by you, no matter how valid it feels to pass it on (Bates, 2012).

Self-Examination Exercise 2

This is a good exercise if you tend to expend a lot of energy trying to understand what upsets you about another person’s actions. You may also spend a lot of energy thinking of ways to address that person about what upsets you.

Not only does this burn a lot of your energy, but it also can have an unintended effect on the person who has upset you. When you place a clear emphasis or focus on what is wrong when speaking with someone, it implies that you are dissatisfied and unhappy.

Usually, the issue you have is not something that is making you terribly unhappy, just an annoyance or irritation, so this doom and gloom is not the message you want to deliver. It’s just a single issue that needs attention, but it can seem much bigger and more pervasive to the person you are planning to discuss it with.

Try to remind yourself that this problem, no matter how valid an issue it is or how important it is to you, is not the whole of your feelings. When you deliver this information, remember that a person who loves you does not want to be the cause of your unhappiness—do not make them feel an unnecessary amount of pain as a result of the unhappiness they’ve caused you.

Keep your focus on the big picture when you bring up issues, or you risk turning a small issue into a much broader problem (Bates, 2012).

Self-Examination Exercise 3

Do you frequently interrupt people or constantly think of your own stories to share while they are talking? If you’re like a lot of social people, the answer is probably yes.

In order to relate to others, we have to share a little bit of ourselves with them—your stories can help you establish common ground with others or make you closer with them. However, if you’re only focused on sharing your stories, it can distract you from the greater purpose of a conversation.

In our eagerness to relate, please, entertain, and share, we often remove ourselves from the present, reducing our ability to be sensitive and engaged listeners. Even if we spend our whole lives trying to be good listeners, sometimes we slip out of practice in empathizing or identifying with the person we’re talking to, or we lose an opportunity to comfort or entertain the other person.

Next time you have a conversation with a loved one and you find yourself thinking ahead of them, take a moment to pause and truly listen. Don’t think about how you can personally identify with what they are talking about, and don’t search your memory bank for a relevant story of your own—just listen.

It’s a rewarding experience to truly soak in what another person is saying, both for you and the other person (Bates, 2012).

Self-Examination Exercise 4

Sometimes when we work very hard to do good things, we get to a level of comfort with that fact, and we begin to talk about it to others. That can be a great thing in that it allows us to own our efforts and our actions and, with that, acknowledge our goodness to ourselves.

But for this exercise, consider how you might feel if you were to do things that are good, but only for your own knowledge. The next time you do something really wonderful, try keeping that wonderful thing to yourself and not sharing it with anyone.

Often when a person is good and loving, they don’t have to tell anyone; it’s a truth that shines from every angle of their person. As an experiment, keep some knowledge to yourself, as a gift to you (Bates, 2012).

Self-Examination Exercise 5

For this exercise, you need only to do one thing: Consider what you don’t know.

When we get to a place of comfort in our skin and in the world, we tend to lose the ability to see things from a different perspective. Things make sense to us in our own point of view, so what’s left to know?

Everything, it turns out.

By this, we mean to try and remind yourself of these facts: You cannot know or understand everything, and you are not the judge of what is right for another person.

You can neither read minds nor know what the future holds. You can only exist in one moment at a time, and you are changing every day.

Trust that sometimes others know themselves and their lives better than you ever could. Listen with the awareness that you might learn something new.

Be open to the fact that you might one day feel totally different about something that you believe to be fixed—and that includes your sticking points, the “unchangeables” you thought were forever set in stone. Let what you don’t know and can’t know be a comfort rather than something to fear, because it means that anything is possible (Bates, 2012).

Once you have found your footing with these self-examination exercises, the following introspective exercises are a great next step.


Creating affirmations is a helpful way to clear your mind and put things in perspective. Affirmations can be defined as positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts.

For this exercise, write a list of at least 50 affirmations. They should address what you want to embrace, improve, and achieve in your life.

Follow these instructions when composing and practicing your affirmations:

  1. Write the affirmations in the present tense and be sure to use the word “I” throughout the affirmations;
  2. Focus on the things that are occurring now that will lead to your future success. You may have negative thoughts pop up, but do your best to let go of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking;
  3. Repeat your affirmations aloud to help reprogram your mind with more positive thoughts.

Following these steps can help you open yourself up to the positive in your life and take steps that will lead you to the future you want (Holothink, n.d.).

Subconscious Mind Exercise

In this exercise, you will dive into your subconscious. Don’t worry, it’s not as painful or scary as it sounds!

Your subconscious mind is where your self-image is stored. All of your attitudes, experiences, beliefs, and values are stored deep in your subconscious, driving your behavior and forming the core of who you are.

We don’t often take time to think about ourselves on this level. So in this exercise, take some time and put a concerted effort into thinking about your attitudes, experiences, beliefs, and values. It may take a few sessions of self-reflection to really uncover your core beliefs, but it’s worth the effort it takes to learn about yourself.

Reflecting on this core component of yourself will help you gain greater self-awareness. Much like meditation, it will help you achieve a new, higher level of consciousness, and it may just help you find valuable information and answers about yourself and your beliefs (Holothink, n. d.).

Visualization Exercise

This exercise offers you an opportunity to put your creativity to use.

Create a box, a vision board, or some other medium to store and display who you are and what your hopes and dreams are for the future. You can create or decorate your box or board however you’d like. Use whatever you feel represents yourself and what’s important to you.

Place pictures, words, drawings, poems, or small items of personal significance on your board or in your box. The more details you include, the better.

The end result is a visual representation of yourself and what you love. Come back to the box or board when you’re having a dilemma or trying to figure out the best course of action, and draw from this visual representation of yourself to help you make decisions (Holothink, n.d.).

For this exercise, feel free to put your imagination to good use—the sky’s the limit when it comes to visualization.

Questions About Yourself

This exercise is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. All you need to do is ask yourself some questions.

Ask yourself questions about yourself. Write down the questions, then write down your answers to the questions. Ask yourself about your past, present, and future, and compose answers to the questions that are positive, insightful, and motivating to you.

Don’t worry about coming up with the “right” answers—there aren’t any right answers, and your answers will likely change over time. And be as creative as you’d like with the questions and answers since no one else needs to answer or read them but you.

Be sure to structure your questions to include details about your hopes and dreams. The more detailed your questions and answers, the more opportunity you have to dig into some valuable self-reflection (Holothink, n.d.).

Write and Reflect

Journaling is great for many reasons, and it can be used in several applications for introspection.

For this exercise, get a journal, diary, or notebook with plenty of pages to write in.

Every day, write down three things in your journal:

  1. At least one positive thing that happened to or around you today;
  2. A question for yourself (you can use one of the questions from the previous exercise, a question from the lists we covered earlier, or something entirely new), but don’t answer it yet;
  3. A reflection on the question you wrote the previous day for yourself and an answer to it.

Following these steps, you will write only the first two components on the first day but will write three components every day thereafter (Holothink, n.d.).

4 Self-Reflection Worksheets and Tools

In addition to the questions, prompts, writing ideas, and exercises included above, here are some worksheets and tools that can help get you started with introspection.

Self-Awareness Worksheet

This worksheet is a treasure trove of exercises and ideas to help you think about yourself, including your talents, qualities, values, and perceptions.

The point of this worksheet is to help you know and understand:

  • Your beliefs and principles;
  • What you value and what is important to you;
  • What motivates you;
  • Your own emotions;
  • Your thinking patterns;
  • Your tendencies to react to certain situations;
  • What you want out of life.

There are several sections to this worksheet, each of which has its own set of questions and prompts:

– Talents
  • What are your greatest talents or skills?
  • Which of your talents or skills gives you the greatest sense of pride or satisfaction?
– Traits/Qualities
  • What are your five greatest strengths?
  • What do you feel are your two biggest weaknesses?
  • What qualities or traits do you most admire in others?
– Values
  • What are ten things that are really important to you?
  • What are the three most important things to you?
  • What are the values that you hold nearest to your heart?
– Perception
  • How is the “public you” different from the “private you”?
  • What do you want people to think and say about you?
  • Is it more important to be liked by others or to be yourself? Why?
– Accomplishments
  • What three things are you most proud of in your life to date?
  • What do you hope to achieve in life?
  • If you could accomplish only one thing before you died, what would it be?
– Reflection
  • What is something that represents you (e. g., song, animal, flower, poem, symbol, jewelry, etc.)? Why?
  • What three things would you like to change most about yourself?
  • List three things that you are.
– Finish the Sentence

In the final section, you will be shown several prompts to complete:

  • I do my best when . . .
  • I struggle when . . .
  • I am comfortable when . . .
  • I feel stress when . . .
  • I am courageous when . . .
  • One of the most important things I learned was . . .
  • I missed a great opportunity when . . .
  • One of my favorite memories is . . .
  • My toughest decisions involve . . .
  • Being myself is hard because . . .
  • I can be myself when . . .
  • I wish I were more . . .
  • I wish I could . . .
  • I wish I would regularly . . .
  • I wish I had . . .
  • I wish I knew . . .
  • I wish I felt . . .
  • I wish I saw . . .
  • I wish I thought . . .
  • Life should be about . . .
  • I am going to make my life about . . .

Once you finish this worksheet, you should have plenty of insight into who you really are and what is most important to you. Use your answers to inform your decisions about what goals you choose to strive toward, what you would like to do in the future, and what moves to make next.

You can view, download, or print this worksheet for yourself.

Tool 1: Persona

Before moving on to the empathy map below, first create a “persona,” or a clear character representation of your actual self, your ideal self, and your “ought” self (Kos, n.d.).

In order to create this persona, you will need to thoroughly analyze who you are, who you want to become, and what the social expectations connected to your feelings and behaviors are like in different situations.

Answering questions like the following can help you define these three important selves:

  1. Why do I want to become [enter a characteristic important to you]? Who in my life was or is like that?
  2. Who would I be proud if I were [enter a characteristic important to you]? Why?
  3. How are my feelings in certain situations connected with my actual, ideal, and ought self?
  4. Am I pushing myself to be something I’m actually not?
  5. Am I being something I’m not just because others expect it of me?

Use your answers to these questions to help you get an idea of who you are, who you want to be, and who you feel you ought to be. Once this preparation has been completed, move on to creating an empathy map.

Tool 2: Empathy Map

An empathy map can help you engage in a valuable and informative process of self-reflection, using all of your senses to help you identify your needs and the disconnections between what you say and what you do (Kos, n.d.). Don’t worry—we all have a disconnect between what we say and what we do.

This exercise can help you figure out where you have these disconnects and how you can best address them to become the person you want to be.

To create your empathy map, simply draw four quadrants on a piece of paper. Each quadrant represents a different aspect of yourself:

  • Seeing;
  • Doing;
  • Thinking;
  • Feeling.

Next, consider a situation that evokes a specific strong emotion in you, like having a fight with your spouse or significant other. In each quadrant, write down the relevant aspects of each perspective.

For example, for the fight scenario, you could write down something like the following:

  • Seeing: What are some of the things you saw during the situation?
  • Doing: What actions did you do and which behaviors did you notice in yourself? What is the behavioral pattern you can identify?
  • Thinking: What were you thinking in that situation? What does this tell you about your beliefs?
  • Feeling: What emotions were you feeling? Why? Which past situation do they most remind you of?

On the backside of your piece of paper, on another piece of paper, or next to your four quadrants, create a fifth section. Here, you will write down your insights and ideas based on your empathy map.

The following questions can help you with the self-reflection process while you’re working on your map:

  • How is the situation connected to your fears and hopes? What are your fears? What are your hopes? Which of your needs are met or not met in that situation?
  • What was the environment in which you encountered the situation? What do you remember from the environment? How did you find yourself in that environment and why? What was your sight focused on?
  • What hurts you most in the situation or makes you feel good about the situation?
  • What was the feedback you gathered from your environment or other people?
  • What are all the positives about the situation? What can you learn about yourself, others, and the world by experiencing that kind of a situation?

Do your best to avoid falling prey to cognitive distortions or reinforcing negative feelings while answering these questions. Go deep, and identify why you feel like you do. Observe, but don’t judge (Kos, n.d.).

Tool 3: Life Satisfaction Chart

A life satisfaction chart is a great way to assess how well you are meeting your goals and furthering your hopes for the future. You can complete this chart periodically to track your progress toward your goals and see what needs to be revised, improved, reduced, or eliminated to help you strive toward them.

Draw a scale from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied) horizontally, and list the following ten areas of life vertically:

  • You;
  • Health;
  • Relationships;
  • Money;
  • Career;
  • Emotions;
  • Competencies;
  • Fun;
  • Spirituality;
  • Technology.

Assess your satisfaction in each of the 10 areas using the scale you created.

Next, take a second look at all the areas where you are only somewhat satisfied (where you used a rating between 4 and 7). It can be hard to effectively reflect when you don’t have a clear idea of whether you are satisfied with a specific area or not.

Go back through these “somewhat satisfied” areas and rate your satisfaction again, but use only ratings between 1 and 3 or 8 and 10. Limiting your options to either “very satisfied” or “not very satisfied” will help you to make a more decisive judgment about your satisfaction in each area.

Highlight every section rated with a 1, 2, or 3 with red, and highlight every section rated with an 8, 9, or 10 with green. Finally, for all ten areas of life, ask yourself, Why did you rate each area how you did? What would make you change your rating?

Repeat this exercise as often as you’d like to help you keep track of your satisfaction with the way your life is going (Kos, n.d.).

The 3 Best Books on Self-Reflection and Introspection

There are many books out there on self-reflection, self-awareness, and introspection, but we recommend the books below as resources to help you start your journey.


Question Your Life: Naikan Self-Reflection and the Transformation of Our Stories – Gregg Krech

This book will introduce the reader to Naikan, a method of quiet self-reflection that originated in Japan.

Like the physical bags we carry when we go on a journey, our hearts and our minds only have so much room—but instead of carrying luggage, they carry stories. Some stories inform our lives and help us understand ourselves, while others don’t serve a purpose and can weigh us down.

In this book, Krech will guide the reader through several powerful examples of people who had an important change of heart or mind as a result of quiet self-reflection, including a woman who hated her mother, a man estranged from his father, a pregnant woman hit by a train, a couple who was struggling with their marriage, and a rabbi who neglected his shoes.

Read this book to open yourself up to seeing the world differently, and finding a better path forward.

You can find it on Amazon.


Being Present: A Book of Daily Reflections – David Kundtz

This simple book will help the reader create a life that is more peaceful, rewarding, and awakened.

Being present can be defined as:

  • Paying full attention to what is going on right now;
  • Staying in the moment;
  • Observing what is, without criticism or judgment;
  • Having a balanced concern for things exactly as they are;
  • Accepting whatever experience one is having;
  • Having an awake participation in ongoing life.

You can use this book as a reminder to be more present through every season of the year and every season of life. The book draws inspiration from poets, scientists, spiritual teachers, children, butterflies, and big cities, and teaches you to accept each day as one full of possibilities and potential surprises.

You can find it on Amazon.


52 Weeks of Self Reflection – Erika R. Dawkins

This simple but powerful book will guide the reader through a full year of self-reflection through writing. Each week, the book will introduce you to a new topic that you will either reflect on immediately or incorporate into your life and reflect on at the end of the week.

You can use this book to guide you through self-reflection. No matter your goal, this guidebook will help you clear your head, see the world from a new perspective, and build a greater understanding of yourself.

You can find it on Amazon.

A Take-Home Message

In this piece, we defined introspection, described the importance of self-reflection (especially healthy self-reflection), and provided many example exercises, activities, and worksheets for you to enhance your understanding of yourself.

Keep in mind that self-reflection is an intensely personal process. If you find other activities that work better for you, feel free to focus on those—but we’d love for you to come back here and share with us what works.

Do you have any other techniques for self-reflection that you like to use? How important do you think introspection is for the average person, or for yourself? Let us know in the comments.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Self Compassion Exercises for free.

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  • Woronko, M. (n.d.). The power of self-reflection: Ten questions you should ask yourself. Lifehack. Retrieved from

32 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Care

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?


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?


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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10 questions about self-care in the summer

1 How to reduce the damage that the sun's rays cause to the body?

“Redness, hyperpigmentation, burns are the consequences of skin hypersensitivity to sun exposure. In order to avoid such problems, doctors do not recommend sunbathing for those who take antibiotics, hormonal contraceptives, as well as preparations containing vitamin A or St. - Some household detergents and cosmetics can also cause a negative reaction. For example, using lip gloss or perfume on the beach can lead to serious burns.”
Excessive exposure to UV rays reduces immunity and leads to an exacerbation of chronic diseases and acne. With caution, you need to be in the sun and people suffering from psoriasis. It all depends on the form in which the disease occurs: in some cases, the sun is useful, in some it is contraindicated. Therefore, before going to the resort, be sure to consult a doctor.

2 Is it necessary to specially prepare the skin for a beach holiday?

Generally not required. The main thing is that in your suitcase there is a sunscreen with a suitable SPF factor (determined by phototype). A month before the trip, you can go to the solarium several times - this adapts the skin to meeting the sun. The main thing is not to overdo it. You can sunbathe no more than twice a week for 3-5 minutes.
If you want to get the most beautiful and long-lasting tan, start actively using face and body scrubs 10 days before departure.

3 Can self-tanning creams be used regularly?

“Any self-tanner contains chemicals and dyes that accumulate in the skin with constant use,” warns cosmetologist at the German Medical Technologies Clinic GMTClinic Irina Kulakova. “It is impossible to predict how she will react to a large amount of these ingredients. Yes, a negative impact on the body cannot be ruled out either.” In addition, bronzing creams stimulate the production of melanin in skin cells, but at the same time do not protect it from exposure to sunlight, so do not neglect protective equipment in any case. And a couple of words in defense of self-tanners. The harm that they can hypothetically cause you is incomparable to what ultraviolet radiation brings.

4 Is it possible to minimize the risk of melanoma?

The sun's rays stimulate the production of melanin, and it begins to accumulate in the skin. This can provoke the growth of moles, a change in their structure and, as a result, degeneration into a malignant formation. While sunbathing, many try to protect their moles by covering them with adhesive tape. But this is not a panacea. Irina Kulakova, cosmetologist at the GMTClinic Clinic of German Medical Technologies, warns: “The patch does protect the mole a little from direct rays, but under it it will inevitably fade, and this is also an unprofitable and traumatic process. There are two ways out - either apply sunscreen to moles and renew it there as often as possible, or simply cover them with clothes.
If you notice that the birthmark changes color, shape and increases in size, immediately stop sunbathing and consult a doctor as soon as possible.

5 How to prevent the appearance of age spots?

Summer pigmentation is the result of a phototoxic reaction of the skin to the components of some cosmetics. They can be a variety of substances: from vitamins B2 and B6 to vegetable oils. They are called photosensitizers. Once in the skin (inside or on the surface), they absorb the energy of UV radiation and transfer it to neighboring cells, damaging and then killing them. As a result, a spot appears at the place where such a reaction occurred. If the skin is prone to pigmentation, it is important to ensure that there are enough vitamins C, B9 in the summer diet.(folic acid) and PP. The lack of these substances leads to increased production of melanin. Before going outside, be sure to apply a product with an SPF of at least 30 to exposed skin and, if possible, refrain from using decorative cosmetics and perfumes.

! Read labels on sunscreen products carefully. Some of the filters included in their composition, scientists consider dangerous and oncogenic. Examples of these are oxybenzone and retinol palmitate.

6 Do I need to change my facial care products during this period?

In summer, beauticians recommend using creams with lighter textures. It is desirable that the SPF factor is included in the composition of day creams. Owners of dry, mature skin, it makes sense to switch to moisturizing fluids and emulsions
with hyaluronic acid, plant extracts and antioxidant vitamins C and E (they fight photoaging of the skin).
Experts do not recommend using products with acids and retinol (vitamin A) in day care. They increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight. However, in the evenings it is quite possible (and even useful) to apply peels, which include these "harmful" components in the morning.
As for facial care at sea, Irina Kulakova, cosmetologist at the German Medical Technology Clinic GMTClinic, advises: “For more delicate care
for the skin during the period of active sun, I recommend wiping your face with an azulene tonic or lotion before applying sunscreen - it will moisturize the skin and accelerate regeneration processes. In general, morning and evening spa care is no different from home care.”

7 How to take care of your hair in summer?

The top layer of any hair consists of scales that adhere tightly to the shaft, thanks to the adhesive protein keratin. The sun's rays destroy it, the scales begin to disintegrate, and the hair becomes like a dry bump, becomes brittle and dull. That is why products with keratin and natural fats - ceramides are so important for summer care. Masks and sprays with these substances penetrate the hair structure and "cement" it, and the hair becomes soft, elastic and shiny again. In summer, it is better to give preference to moisturizing shampoos and, in the same way as in the case of skin, use products with SPF. Also, before going outside or going to the beach, it is recommended to apply a special protective spray to your hair.

! In summer, the temptation is very great to dry the hair that is wet after washing directly in the sun. This cannot be done! Wet hair is very vulnerable to sunlight.

8 What should I do if I get sunburn?

Rinse the burnt area with clean water (sea and river are not suitable), then apply repairing "Panthenol" or "Bipanthen" on it. And update regularly. The burn must be covered with the remedy at all times.
Even if there is no burn, after prolonged exposure to the sun, the skin should always be moisturized and "cooled" with a special lotion or cream-gel after sunburn (for example, containing menthol). By the way, some cosmetologists believe that products containing panthenol are ideal for “resort care”.

9 Which color cosmetics can be used in summer?

Again, choose products with UV protection. Foundations, powders, correctors or lipsticks should include moisturizing plant extracts, vitamin E and SPF factor.
It is better to completely abandon waterproof mascara for the summer. It often contains paraffin resins, which, under the influence of the sun, begin to irritate the skin of the eyelids and can lead to serious inflammation. Do not trust long-lasting lipsticks either: as a rule, they all dry out the lips and thus greatly increase the harmful effects of the sun. In summer it is better to use cream lipsticks. Perhaps they are not so persistent, but due to the soft texture, the skin of the lips will be smooth and sufficiently moisturized.

10 What do you need to know about nail care?

Today, some brands offer nail polishes with UV filters. This is not just a marketing ploy. Nails and cuticles also suffer from the sun. The nail plate becomes brittle and dull, and the skin around it becomes dry and noticeably stiff. Therefore, when leaving the house, apply hand cream with SPF not only on the skin, but also rub it into the nails and cuticles. In the morning, use products with a light texture, and in the evening - more dense and oily products.

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Photo: ShutterStock/, Alexander Platonov/burda media, PR

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Face Care - NIVEA


Skin needs water to stay healthy. The water content in the stratum corneum ranges from 10 to 30%, and even more in the lower layers. Perfectly hydrated skin is smooth and elastic, and its protective functions are not impaired. Dehydrated skin becomes sluggish and rough. In addition, dry skin can lose elasticity, resulting in the appearance of microcracks on it, which can lead to a violation of the barrier function. Therefore, for healthy and balanced skin, hydration is of paramount importance. NIVEA facials will hydrate and nourish your skin.

The best care for dry facial skin - the optimal balance between gentle cleansing, hydration and nutrition. NIVEA's dry skin products are specifically designed to support this balance. Recommendations for the care of each skin type can be found on the product packaging. NIVEA Dry Skin Cleansers gently and thoroughly remove make-up and impurities from the surface of the skin. They gently care for your skin without disturbing its water balance. NIVEA care products saturate the skin with moisture and compensate for the lack of lipids. They support its protective barrier and help prevent moisture loss. Moreover, they nourish the skin, make it smooth and give a healthy look. For dry skin, NIVEA offers special products such as *NIVEA Nourishing Day Care*, *NIVEA Indulging Cleansing Milk* or *NIVEA Gentle Cleansing Cream*.


The stratum corneum of the skin (Stratum Corneum) is covered with a hydrolipidic film . Together they form a protective barrier that is responsible for protecting the body from bacterial infections, as well as maintaining the water balance of the skin. Destruction of the skin's natural barrier can lead to dehydration. The causes of dry skin can be both external and internal. External factors are climatic conditions such as wind, low air humidity, high and low ambient temperatures, UV - radiation, as well as dry air in heated rooms. Bad habits also play a significant role, such as the abuse of harsh cleansers, certain medications, stress, insufficient fluid intake, and certain eating habits. In addition, the causes of dry skin can be internal factors such as hormonal changes, diseases or skin aging.


Cleansing is the first step in maintaining the natural beauty and health of your skin. NIVEA cleansers gently but thoroughly remove makeup, sebum and impurities without drying out the skin or damaging its protective acid layer. In addition, NIVEA cleansers work according to the needs of a particular skin type. Thus, the skin is optimally prepared for the subsequent stages of care.


The first step in caring for this type of skin is to cleanse it daily of excess sebum with a facial cleanser followed by a tonic that matches your skin type. In addition, it is recommended to use a scrub or mask for deep cleansing of the skin of the face 1-2 times a week. For such skin, NIVEA facial care products with a slight moisturizing effect are recommended.


For normal, combination and problematic skin, it is recommended to use a facial scrub 1-2 times a week in addition to regular cleansers. NIVEA peels gently but thoroughly remove impurities and excess sebum from the skin surface, as well as gently exfoliate dead skin cells with light mechanical action. NIVEA offers special exfoliation products such as *NIVEA Skin Refining Scrub* or *NIVEA Anti-Blemish 3-in-1 Cleanser*.

People with sensitive skin should not use exfoliating products too often and should check that the product is suitable for their skin type before using them.


Cleansers gently but thoroughly cleanse the skin of makeup, sebum and impurities. Plus, our new micellar water helps gently remove water-soluble mascara residue. Tonic completes the process of cleansing your skin. It removes residual traces of makeup and refreshes and hydrates the skin. *NIVEA Toner* for dry or sensitive skin has a soothing effect, while *NIVEA Aqua Effect Toner* for combination skin has a mattifying effect. Using a tonic gives your skin a feeling of deep cleansing and extraordinary freshness.


The properties of the skin around the eyes are very different from the skin on other parts of the face. The skin around the eyes and under them is very thin and has poorly developed subcutaneous adipose tissue. This skin is very sensitive, so it is the first to react to all changes in the body, especially those related to the retention or distribution of water. The manifestation of such changes are dark circles or fine wrinkles around the eyes. NIVEA eye care products, such as *NIVEA Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Eye Care*, are very gentle on the skin and are fragrance-free. By smoothing wrinkles and making dark circles under the eyes less noticeable, they will give your skin smoothness and radiance.


In the evening and at night, when our skin is most relaxed, the process of regeneration of skin cells is accelerated. That is why night skin care products should first of all support the regeneration process, while providing it with the necessary nutrition and hydration. In this regard, it is recommended to apply specially adapted creams to the skin at night. Night skin care products not only have a stronger regenerative effect than day products, but also differ from them in their composition - they do not provide additional UV protection, since it is not needed at night.


Premature aging of the skin occurs for many reasons. The most significant of these is UV radiation from the sun, but there are other external influences, such as unhealthy lifestyle or psychological stress, which also contribute to premature aging. These factors provoke an increased formation of free radicals, which are the main cause of premature skin aging. NIVEA has been offering special facial skin care products since SPF protection such as *NIVEA Moisturizing Day Care* with SPF 15 or *Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Day Care* with SPF 15 or SPF 30.


The main cause of premature skin aging is UV radiation from the sun, so NIVEA has developed facials containing UV filters that protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. The main effect of a moisturizer is to increase the level of moisture in the skin to make it look fresher and healthier. Moisturizing cream containing UV filters provides the skin with additional protection against UV-A and UV-B solar radiation. The level of SPF protection in NIVEA face care products varies, so always check the UV filter information on the packaging. NIVEA facial skin care products with SPF protection, such as *NIVEA Moisturizing Day Care* with SPF 15, protect the skin from daily sunlight. If you need special skin care products during extended sun exposure, such as when you are sunbathing or swimming, our specially developed NIVEA Sun Protection range is the right choice for you.


The condition of the facial skin may change depending on the season. In winter, the skin is usually drier than in summer. Although skin type may change throughout the year, changes in skin behavior appear to varying degrees. If you have found a line of skin care products that optimally care for your face throughout the year, then there is no need to switch to any other line. If, however, you feel that your skin is not getting enough care or hydration during the winter, then it makes sense to use richer and more moisturizing products, such as *NIVEA Moisturizing Day Care* or *NIVEA Nourishing Day Care*.

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