How to Begin Mindful Journaling

How to Begin Mindful Journaling

Back to blog

There are many different ways your can use your diary or journal and a process that I want to explore with you today is mindful journaling. As you will see below, this process can be especially therapeutic, help your emotional state, and allow you to connect with your mental landscape.

What is Mindful Journaling?

Typical journal entries concentrate on an event or a factual account of your day. You might write about a trip you went on for example, or how your day at work progressed.

Mindful journals are different. Mindfulness journaling is the process of writing down your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, typically in a non-judgemental way. The aim is to connect with your mind and inner self, improve your self-awareness, and explore your mental landscape with the ultimate aim of self-improvement or attaining an improved mental state.

Why is Mindful Journaling Beneficial?

With a clearer understanding of mindful journaling, you should already have some idea of the benefits. It’s a potentially incredible process that can reduce stress, stimulate creativity, and improve your self-awareness for example.

It can help reduce anxiety and stress

Studies have shown that creative writing can help reduce anxiety and stress. The writing process itself is therapeutic and you have to engage your mind in a positive manner. This is enhanced by the quiet space you create for your mindful journaling, and the way you prepare yourself beforehand.

Not only that, but during the process you write about your feelings and emotions which can help you process stressful situations or talk about why you are feeling anxious for example.

It helps stimulate creativity

Our minds are bursting with creativity but with how busy many people’s lives are it can be difficult to find outlets for it. As a result, creativity can become stifled, and our minds can stagnate. 

A mindful journal is an amazing creative outlet as you are simply writing down whatever springs into your mind. You may be surprised at what you write, and you could find new ideas to incorporate into your life.

It boosts your self-awareness

How often do you actually consider how you are feeling or your emotional state? I’d wager hardly at all! Most of us go through life reacting and simply doing without thinking about how our actions and interactions with others are affecting our well-being.

By creating a mindful journal, you can improve your self-awareness. It’s a space where you can actually analyze your emotions and get in touch with your mental state which is something many people lack the ability to do.

It can help you process difficult experiences

Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience at work, an argument with someone, or experienced something you found upsetting. 

We often find instances like these difficult to process or come to terms with or we can simply brush them aside without dedicating time to resolve the issue and think properly about why it occurred and how it could have been avoided.

A mindful journal gives you time and space to reflect on these occurrences and help the healing process if necessary.

3 Tips to Begin Mindful Journaling

There is no set walkthrough for mindful journaling as everyone can approach this practice differently and it’s a very personal thing. However, there are some simple things you can do to enhance the process and make sure you get the most out of it.

Write your entries in a quiet space free from distractions

If you’ve ever tried to write a diary entry in the middle of a busy room or with distractions you know how difficult it can be. Your mind wanders, people talk to you, and you won’t get the most out of the process. Therefore, I advise creating a dedicated space for your mindful journaling – a quiet retreat where you can concentrate fully and allow your thoughts to flow.

Think of a goal you want to achieve from the practice

Our time is precious and limited so it’s up to us to use it wisely which is why I recommend having a clear goal in mind that you want to achieve from your mindful journals. You are doing this process as a form of self-improvement, but that’s quite generic.

Instead, think about what you want to get out of the process. Do you want to improve your creative writing? Or improve your emotional state? Maybe you want to clear your mind and try to reduce your stress after work? With a clear goal in mind, you can work towards something and review your journaling as time progresses.

Practice some breathing exercises before to calm your mind

Don’t rush into the process of writing your mindful journal entry. This can lessen the advantages of the process. Instead, go to your quiet area, take out your journal, and sit for a few minutes.

Take deep breaths in and out or if you have any experience with breathing exercises, do them. The aim is to calm yourself and relax. Get yourself in the right state of mind and you will find that the writing is easier, and your mind opens quicker.

What to Write in Your Mindful Journal Entries

Ok, I’ve given you a lot of food for thought, but you may still have no clear idea of what you actually write in your mindful journal. That’s fine! There is no set layout for a mindful journal or any specific subjects.

A great starting point is to simply think about your day and write down the emotions you felt. This can often spur further subjects and in no time you could find that your pen is flowing.

If you are struggling, you can create a series of mindful prompts. A mindful prompt is essentially the starting point of a sentence or a proposition that you answer. The prompt should ideally include some sort of emotion or propose something to do with your mental. I have listed a few basic examples below to get you started:

  • I am proud of myself for…
  • I can be kind to myself by…
  • I am grateful because…
  • I feel the most beautiful when…
  • I am inspired when…
  • I want to try to…

On a separate piece of paper, you could spend a little time drafting a series of mindful prompts like this – try to create a list of 20 for example. Each day you could then pick one as the starting point of your mindful journal.

Final words..

If you are looking to improve your mental wellbeing and become more self-aware, starting a mindful journal is the perfect thing to do. Once you get into the routine you will find that your creativity improves, your mind opens, and you really get in touch with your emotions. Hopefully with this guide you should have an idea of how these journals work, what you can gain from starting one, and some subject ideas.