A 30-Day Journal Challenge to Banish Negative Thoughts

  • 9 min read
drawing pencils and pens laying on a dotted journal with a hand writing

How often do negative thoughts cross your mind?

If you’re like most people, chances are, you might be unaware of how deep negative thoughts linger in your mind and urge you to say and think toxic things.

Journaling might not seem like a way of overcoming these thoughts. However, it is a great tool that can be used to release negative thoughts and emotions.

If you’re new to journaling and don’t know where or how to start, this journal challenge might be the best place to start. Get to the root of your thoughts and journal about whatever it is that’s on your mind.

It takes time, but journaling will show you the root of any issue, so approach these 30 days as an opportunity for positive change!

I challenge you to a 30-day journal challenge that will help banish those negative thoughts for good!

What Is a Journal Challenge?

a figure writing in a journal in a park

A journaling challenge is a journaling exercise that can be done over a consecutive amount of days. The challenge included here spans over a 30-day period.

I urge you to stick with the challenge for the entire 30 days to get the most benefits from this challenge.

Do not start until you’re ready to commit fully to the 30 days.

What Can Journaling Do for You?

an open journal notebook with a reading glasses and polaroid photos laying around

Journaling is an excellent way of getting to the root of your thoughts and emotions. It’s an outlet that allows you to release negative things from your mind and help clear space for more positive thoughts.

It also helps with stress relief, anxiety relief, and depression relief, just to name a few benefits!

If journaling feels daunting at first, try a few journal prompts to start your journey into making journaling a healthy habit.

Journal writing has no limits. The only limits you face are the ones you assign yourself.

What Should You Write About?

You can journal anything from personal goals, frustrations, memories, or what’s been on your mind lately.

However, the goal of this journal challenge is to bring you face-to-face or “face-to-thoughts” with what that little voice in your head is telling you about yourself and others.

Negative thoughts will always try to control and break you, but journaling is a way of breaking them, so they don’t have the power over you anymore.

Whenever you journal, it’s important to write about what’s going well in your life and what you’re grateful for. Don’t shy away from the difficult things though, that’s where the real change from journaling can happen.

What If You Don’t Have Time?

It only takes 15 minutes out of your day or even less. Chances are, when you put your mind to something, you usually find ways to make time for it.

 

30 Journal Challenge Prompts

a table set up for a journal writing session with pens, pencils and a clock

The 30-day journaling challenge is meant to help you explore your thoughts.

For this challenge, I want you to focus on what the little voice in your head is telling you about yourself, others, or situations, and then, evaluate its credibility.

Tips/Rules of This Challenge:

– Simply answer one prompt per day at any time of the day. If you’re a morning person, then write first thing in the mornings. But if you’re an evening person, don’t force yourself to write first thing in the morning.

– Write using a pen and paper. Your journal is a great place to start practicing your handwriting skills again.

– No editing of what is written! Once it’s on paper, let it be and allow the words to flow without proper form!

– Write every day. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, schedule a time to write and stick with it.

– Allow your mind to go to the deepest levels of thinking, and don’t shy away from the grit. It’s what makes you, you!

– There’s no wrong or right way to write. Fill each page with your ideas and what’s currently happening in your mind. The more you’re unafraid of going deeper, the more helpful this challenge will be, so spend the time journaling.

– Journaling is for your eyes only, don’t show others what you’ve written unless it’s something that would be helpful to them on their journey too or if they’re a professional therapist and have the proper credentials. The words you write are yours and belong only to you.

Week 1 — Hopes and Dreams

  1. How do I imagine the future? Write a detailed story in present tense.
  2. What are three things that motivate me to pursue my goals? 
  3. Who do I look to when I need help with motivating myself and why?
  4. Write about the time I wish that I was more like someone else or wanted to be another person. Who did I want to be and why? 
  5. If money was no object, what would my dream vacation look like?
  6. What is my most significant hope for the future of humankind?
  7. Who are the people that have influenced the way I dream about the future? How did they do it?

Week 2 — Memory Dive

  1. Have there been any memorable moments in my life so far? What makes them memorable? 
  2. What song brings back memories of my childhood and why?
  3. What was the most significant thing about the house(s) where I grew up?
  4. What birthday was the most painful, why?
  5. What do I daydream about on a difficult day?
  6. How have I dealt with losing someone I cared about in the past? What makes my reaction toxic?
  7. When did I experience the worst day of my life? What made it so bad?

Week 3 — Self-Confidence

  1. How do I deal with criticism? 
  2. How would I rate my self-esteem and why? 
  3. What are some ways I’ve tried to boost my self-confidence? Why did they fail?
  4. What are my thoughts on the term “self-love?”
  5. What keeps me second-guessing myself? List the reasons.
  6. What do I admire about myself?
  7. What do I dislike about myself?

Week 4 — Reflection

  1. Has there been a time where I felt too overwhelmed and needed to get away? 
  2. What are some of my past regrets or mistakes? What is my reason for classifying them as regrets? 
  3. If the opportunity arose for a complete redo of my life with no limitations, would I consider it? If yes, what would I do differently?
  4. How did I handle the scariest thing that happened to me last year? What made it scary?
  5. What event or situation in my life has had the greatest impact on who I am today? 
  6. What goals did I stop believing and let them wither away? What happened?
  7. What valuable lessons have all my heartbreaks taught me?

Week 5 — Gratitude Journal

  1. When was the last time I genuinely said thank you to someone in person, whether it’s family, friend, or a stranger?
  2. How often do I feel grateful? Explain in detail.

Post-Journaling Process: Work Towards an Action Plan

Upon completion of the journal prompts above, reflect on what you’ve just experienced.

  • How have those questions changed your daily routine?
  • What did you realize about yourself when you were writing out your answers?
  • What did it feel like when you were telling the truth about your thoughts?
  • What did you learn from journaling that you can use to improve yourself for tomorrow and onwards?

The great thing about doing such a deep dive for thirty days is that you are able to experience fully and learn from yourself.

It’s okay not to be perfect. What really matters is taking the time to step back and realize what makes you special.

Ideally, after journaling for thirty days, you’ll feel a sense of peace or turmoil about your life, whatever it may look like at that point in time. It will give you a chance to notice what needs attention so you can work on improving them going forward!

Action Step:

Write a letter to yourself, talking about what you’ve learned about the moments that brought you happiness and the fears that you have about moving forward.

Analyze this letter. It has the answer, and the direction you need to venture in to start living a life that is truly authentic to you.

Create your plan, and feel free to include a new practice that could help change your world for the better.

Journaling Is Supposed to be Messy!

stacks of journals tied together in a closet

Listen to your feelings. They’re your guiding light on your search to find your authentic self and eliminate those negative thoughts that are haunting you.

The moment you take back your power and tackle those thoughts into nonexistence, the more your self-confidence will grow.

Every word you choose and every sentence you write gives you a deeper glimpse into your mind in order to identify the root of your thought patterns and change them from within.

It’s not about being perfect. Nothing ever is. It’s about discovering who you are, what makes you tick, and what your values are, all the while telling that negative voice in your head to be silent!

It’s important to remember that you are strong enough and capable of anything and everything.

You can do this!

This is your chance to take back what belongs to you for the betterment of yourself!

If you need extra support while doing this challenge, invite a few friends to join in with you.

Share your journey with those who care for you and want to see you grow as a person!

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” John C. Maxwell

 

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Jody

Jody is a creative writer, artist, graphic designer, and a digital nomad who also helps people live more fulfilling lives by finding creative solutions to their personal growth and development problems and lifestyle challenges.

7 thoughts on “A 30-Day Journal Challenge to Banish Negative Thoughts”

  1. This is a great post! I am an apathetic journal writer but want to be more excited and consistent with my writing. Thanks for the challenge to banish negative thoughts!

  2. I just wrote a blog post about how important it is to have a journal by your bedside. A challenge is a great way for you to fill I. Those blank pages and learn more about yourself.

    1. Jody

      Challenges are a great way to see your true potential!

    1. Jody

      Yes! Please let me know how it turns out

  3. Scout

    Journaling definitely helps give you more perspective on those negative thoughts, and it is a messy process! I love these journal and action plan prompts 🙂

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