Deep Thoughts to Think About and Deep Writing Prompts for Teens – We’ve long loved journaling as a tool for creative expression and reflection, but did you know that a journal can also be a powerful way to improve mental health?
When paired with appropriate deep writing prompts, journaling can be a cathartic form of stress relief for teens. As they write, they’ll have the opportunity to explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe, judgment-free zone.
In some cases, writing things down can also make them feel more grounded and real—which can be especially effective in helping students identify subconscious thoughts and beliefs they might not have realized they were holding onto.
To help get your students in the right mood and frame of mind for some serious, reflective journaling, encourage them to think about deep thoughts like:
- Their personal origin stories
- The beliefs they hold about who they are
- How others see them
- The expectations they have of people in their lives
- Their goals for the future
- Their wildest dreams and desires for the future
- Their regrets, secrets, and fears
- The core beliefs they hold about the world
Journaling about deep thoughts is a fantastic way for teens to process their feelings and become more comfortable with expressing their innermost thoughts. Over time, a journal also serves as a time capsule of memories and emotions—as well as a reminder that your feelings and ideas can change over time.
Use the 31 deep writing prompts and topics below to help your students get into conversation with themselves!
31 Deep Writing Prompts to Promote Reflection and Exploration
- Write about the most important life lesson you’ve learned thus far.
- Do you tend to make decisions from your head or your heart? Do you believe one method is better than the other? Why or why not?
- What is the best way for you to practice self-care when you are feeling tense, anxious, or depressed? Are you good at identifying when you need self-care?
- What is something you are insecure about? Where do you think this insecurity originates from? Why does this particular quality matter to you?
- Do you consider yourself to be a risk-taker? Why or why not?
- When someone makes you angry, how do you typically react? Do you think this is a healthy response? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when your perspective completely changed. What impact did this event have on you?
- Write about something that would make your life easier.
- What is the most important quality to have in a friend? Do any of your friends possess this quality?
- What does it mean to be truly happy? Do you consider yourself to be happy? Is happiness a positive goal to strive toward?
- Write about a time when you faced a fear.
- Make a list of things that make you who you are. Try to be as specific as possible and try to list at least one or two items that you don’t have in common with many people.
- Write about something that is going well in your life right now and how it affects you.
- Do you believe in soulmates? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when you told a lie for a good reason. Was it the right choice? Did lying improve or help the situation?
- Write about a time when you told a lie for a poor reason. How did you feel afterward? Did the other person find out you were lying?
- Write about something you regret or an experience that you wish you could go back and change. Why is this event so significant to you?
- What do you hope to learn or experience in the next five years? What do you need to do to attain those goals?
- If your house was on fire and you could only save two personal possessions (don’t worry, all people and animals are already out safe!), what would you grab? Why are those items so important to you?
- If you had to choose a fictional character or celebrity to represent who you are, who would you choose? Why? Try to think of someone who shares similar qualities, interests, or aesthetics with you.
- Write a thank you letter to someone who has made a big difference in your life without knowing it. Explain how they have affected you and what they mean to you.
- Make a list of little things that bring you joy. Try to be as specific as possible and aim to identify as many items as you can.
- If you could choose to forget one thing that you’ve learned or experienced, what would it be? Why?
- Write about something that makes you anxious. Describe how it affects you and what types of feelings you experience.
- How does personal identity shape who we are and how we see the world? What are some important aspects of your identity?
- Do you feel like you had a happy childhood? Why or why not?
- What is something about you that other people are surprised to learn? Why do you think it surprises them?
- What quality do you admire most in other people? Do you think it’s a quality you could possess? Why or why not?
- Are you comfortable being by yourself or do you prefer to have people around you? Why?
- Write about something that you’ve never really gotten over. How does the experience continue to impact you?
- Do you believe it is important to be remembered or to leave a legacy behind you? Why or why not?
Journal writing is a wonderful resource in self-discovery and self-reflection. Encourage the young people in your life to make journaling a habit to find clarity, reduce anxiety, and explore new ideas.
More Prompts to Dig Deeper
- Reflective Journaling Prompts
- Money Journal Writing Prompts
- Self Discovery Questions
- Self Love Challenge & Journal Prompts
- Feeling or expressing deep emotion
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