Keeping a Mindfulness Journal
Mindfulness is a simple but powerful practice that boosts mental and physical health, and there are many ways to do it. Of all the mindfulness techniques, journaling is the most accessible. Meditation can be intimidating, for instance, but anyone can pick up a pen and write down their thoughts.
Mindfulness and Its Benefits
Mindfulness is simply a focus on and awareness of the present moment. This includes what is around you, what your senses perceive, and your thoughts, mood, and emotions. The benefits of intentional and regular mindfulness practice are far-reaching and important:
- Improves overall well-being and life satisfaction
- Relieves stress
- Improves physical health, including lowering blood pressure and reducing chronic pain
- Improves sleep
- Reduces mental health symptoms, like depression and anxiety
Why Keep a Mindfulness Journal?
Once you understand the benefits of mindfulness, you might be motivated to try it, but how? Many people enjoy journaling because it is a concrete action, a task to be done. If breathing exercises and meditation seem too abstract, start with a journal.
Getting into the habit of mindful writing will provide all the benefits of mindfulness practice. The specific benefits of a journal include ease of access, but it’s also a quick way to get in a few minutes of mindfulness daily. Writing is a great way to consolidate your thoughts, reflect, process, and learn from experiences.
You will also begin to see patterns emerge helping you identify negative and destructive thoughts and behavior patterns. Journaling is a powerful way to increase self-awareness and make positive changes in your life.
Mindfulness Journal Prompts
There are many mindfulness products on the market, including journals full of prompts, suggestions, and ideas. You don’t need an expensive journal to start a mindfulness writing practice; any old notebook will do. If you need writing ideas, try these prompts and find more with a quick online search:
- What can you see around you right now?
- Describe what you can smell and hear right now.
- Sit quietly at your writing station and let yourself think any thoughts that come into your mind without judgment for a couple of minutes. Now write them down.
- Spend a minute feeling your body. Describe all the sensations you have in this moment.
- What scares you right now? Gives you anxiety? Triggers stress?
- What is your mood right now? How do you feel at this moment, and what do you think has impacted your mood today?
- What are you grateful for in your life today?
- Describe a time today that you felt most alive and most present in the moment. What were the circumstances?
- Go for a walk with no distractions, like your phone. Journal what it felt like and what you experienced on that walk.
Journaling is one of many ways to approach mindfulness. For the best results, make it a part of every aspect of your life. Try these tips to make mindfulness a habit. The more you devote to mindfulness practice, the greater the benefits.
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