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29 Journal Prompts for Highly Sensitive Persons

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Do you ever feel like you absorb every tiny detail in your environment, from the bird’s tweets and specific action scenes in the movie to the subtle emotions of others?

If so, you might be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

HSPs are more vigilant about themselves and their surroundings, processing information deeply and often feeling intense emotions. While this can sometimes be overwhelming, it’s also a powerful gift that allows for genuine empathy, creativity, and intuition.

Journaling is an excellent relaxation and self-discovery method for HSPs. It lets you dump your thoughts on paper and make sense of your ideas, which is critical for susceptible people who quickly become overwhelmed by their thoughts and external stimuli.

In this article, I share the best journal prompts I developed and used as an HSP. These prompts helped me initiate my journal sessions, better cope with being overwhelmed, and find a balanced lifestyle.

But before starting with the prompts, let’s briefly examine what an HSP is and why journaling benefits such a person.

Disclaimer : The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only, and doesn’t substitute professional advice. Results may vary. The article may contain affiliate links. See the full disclaimer for more details.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

Navigating life as a highly sensitive person isn’t easy. What seems straightforward for the average person can be ridiculously overwhelming for us – the sensitive souls.

For example, even participating in a home party can overwhelm HSPs as it involves numerous fleeting interactions with different strangers in a short period. HSPs are often deep divers and prefer few meaningful interactions over many superficial ones. They also prefer focusing on one project at a time instead of juggling several.

Such a tendency does not align very well with modern life experience. We are expected to handle different emails, messages, and tasks quickly at work while being with a handful of others in the same room.

Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) are susceptible to their environment. They process information deeply, pick up on subtle cues, and often experience emotions intensely.

While these sensitivities can be challenging in overstimulating environments, they also allow HSPs to be highly empathetic, creative, and insightful, especially during alone time – home hobbies, side hustles, or artwork. This is why I became a blogger working from home after years of cubicle employee work.

Dr. Elen N. Aron coined the term HSP in the 1990s with her preliminary book about the highly sensitive person (Amazon). She elaborated on her conceptual framework and gave invaluable advice to HSPs to better navigate the overwhelming modern life. Since then, several studies have been conducted to better understand the HSP nature 1, and scientific knowledge and public awareness of the term have gradually extended.

HSPs often deal with specific mundane challenges, like diving into a project at work and going above and beyond just because it interests them. While it seems great for the outcome, as they forget about time, they already find themselves burned out, and some of them even have several mind-body symptoms that call them to slow down.

Most HSPs adore nature, which recharges them with joy and meaning. That is about being in nature and the beauty of certain elements they notice. For example, I can highly appreciate a particular angle I capture in the camera of a viewpoint of a green valley.

Many HSPs feel different than their friends or coworkers but don’t attribute that to their susceptible nature. This is either because they haven’t heard about the HSP framework or they haven’t taken the time to understand their sensitivity and potential better.

This is where journaling comes into play. It can help HSPs know themselves better, find purpose, and reduce their daily overwhelm.

So, know you are not alone if you are highly sensitive. According to some estimations, about 20% of the population are HSPs 2. There is a way to find balance and stillness along the stimuli surrounding us. It’s called journaling – that common, beneficial teenage practice we abounded when we grew up.

Benefits of Journaling for HSPs

Journaling provides a safe space for HSPs to explore their inner world, understand their triggers, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. It allows them to process emotions, identify patterns, find meaning in life, and celebrate their unique gifts.

Journaling is my pill to this overwhelming world. That isn’t just a big statement. It literally changed my life as an HSP. After discovering this fantastic practice four years ago, I gradually got to know myself better regarding the routines that better serve my body and the opportunities the sensitivity brings me.

By journaling regularly, HSPs can learn to better handle their life challenges, strengthen their self-care practices, and thrive in a world that may not always cater to their unique needs.

Journaling involves dumping everything on paper, which can help reduce worries and let go of unhelpful thoughts. It has been proven to help reduce stress and improve mental health 3.

Substantially, journaling can help you solve your problems, self-reflect on what works for you and what doesn’t, define your purpose so you can feel motivated moving forward, and set goals to improve your life.

Remember, your journal is private and designed for your eyes only. So, as long as you keep it safe from the reach of others, you can set yourself free to dump all your thoughts there. Write your thoughts and organize them on paper to make sense of your life.

While journaling spontaneously on a blank page can be beneficial occasionally, it can be overwhelming this way. Thus, using prompts – guiding questions or statements – can help you start more quickly and stay productive without going off track.

29 Journal Prompts for Highly Sensitive People

Below are 29 journaling prompts that helped me get to know myself better, find my path, and balance the stimuli in my life. I gathered the prompts by sections for a better journaling experience.

Understanding Your Sensitivity

  • The first thing to journal about is your sensitivity itself – where was the first time you noticed you are highly sensitive? What insights did you get about yourself back then?
  • How did you react to the idea that you are a highly sensitive person? Did you see the benefits of that, too?
  • What social dynamics and environments are you most susceptible to? What foods and beverages make you feel anxious?
  • How many work hours lead you to feelings of burnout? What kind of project lead you to that feeling?
  • What have you done when faced with criticism from a co-worker, manager, friend, or family member?
  • Imagine your ideal environment. What sights, sounds, smells, and textures create a space where you feel calm and centered?
  • Describe a time when your sensitivity enriched your life. How did it allow you to connect with someone or appreciate a situation more deeply?
  • What are some positive aspects of being highly sensitive? How can you use this strength to benefit yourself and others? List some examples of your near past.

Managing Overstimulation

  • What are some signs your senses are feeling overwhelmed? (e.g., headaches, fatigue, irritability)
  • What kind of stimuli makes you feel most overwhelmed? Social, office work, relationships, conflict management, or maybe entering crowded places?
  • What do you do when you feel overstimulated? Address the techniques that helped you relieve that feeling and return to normal.
  • Write down situations in which you were stressed out but haven’t actively tried to relax yet for some reason – you found relief. Where were you at, what happened?
  • List three conscious positive actions you haven’t tried yet but can potentially help you ground yourself and regain control better.
  • How can you create a calming environment in your home or workspace?

Cultivating Self-Care

  • List three daily activities that make you feel refreshed and recharged. How can you incorporate them into your routine?
  • What healthy boundaries can you set with yourself and your workload to better preserve your energy?
  • Imagine your most stilling self-care ritual. What is it, and how can you make time for it daily?

Celebrating Your Gifts

  • What are you most grateful for about your sensitivity?
  • Write a letter to your inner critic, reminding yourself of the beauty and strength of your sensitivity.
  • How can you use your empathy and intuition to impact the world positively?
  • Write down several rewarding applications of your ability to better deep dive, for example, undertaking data analysis projects, doing artwork, starting a side hustle, etc. Get as concrete as possible through your journaling session.

Finding Your Purpose

  • What activities leave you feeling energized and fulfilled? What skills and talents come naturally to you?
  • Imagine your ideal work environment. What kinds of vibes allow you to thrive and contribute your unique perspective?
  • What are you most afraid of regarding taking action to fulfill yourself professionally or personally?
  • Name potential careers, creative side hustles, or volunteer opportunities you read about that align with your values and sensitivities. How do you feel about each of them?

Setting Goals

  • What goals align with your superpower as a deep-dive, creative, sensitive person? List five goals.
  • Now, consider a goal you’ve hesitated to pursue because of your sensitivity. What are the specific challenges you anticipate?
  • What are your most important goals right now overall? List one or two goals and describe how to break them into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • List concrete resources to help you achieve your goals, such as recommended online articles, videos, or courses, speaking to a graduate student in your desired field, consulting with a life coach or therapist, or joining a community program.

Final words

Being a highly sensitive person comes with unique challenges and benefits. From my experience as an HSP, keeping track of your professional and personal progress is essential. It’s important to anyone, especially those who are more overwhelmed than the average person.

Embracing the daily journaling habit can help you better manage your fears, rage, thoughts, and overwhelming creative ideas, which would have gone nowhere.

Journaling has helped me understand what I do in life and what next steps I need to take to achieve my goals, solve a problem, or manage a conflict about the disturbing noise my neighbors produce.

Journaling is not a magic wand but an effective tool for navigating the stimuli around you and crafting a solid plan to improve your life.

  1. Acevedo B, Aron E, Pospos S,Jessen D. (2018). The functional highly sensitive brain: a review of the brain circuits underlying sensory processing sensitivity and seemingly related disorders. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B373:20170161[]
  2. Pluess, M., Assary, E., Lionetti, F., Lester, K. J., Krapohl, E., Aron, E. N., & Aron, A. (2018). Environmental sensitivity in children: Development of the Highly Sensitive Child Scale and identification of sensitivity groupsDevelopmental Psychology, 54(1), 51–70.[]
  3. Journaling for Emotional Wellness, University of Rochester Medical Center[]

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