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Mindfulness has the potential to transform your life. It can help you become more productive, more content, and less stressed. Journaling is a great way to practice mindfulness, and you just need a notebook and a pen to get started. Here’s how you can become more mindful through journaling.
Dig Into Sensory Details
Mindfulness is all about paying attention to the physical world around you. If you’re stuck on what to write about, focus on something you saw, heard, tasted, smelled, or felt recently. Try to pin down the sensory details of the experience. Descriptive words will help you relive the experience. It can make you feel like you are there again.
Focus on Gratitude
What are you thankful for? Write about it in your mindfulness journal. Gratitude and mindfulness go hand-in-hand – they’re both about slowing down and appreciating what you’ve got in the here and now.Try listing just 3 items a day either in the morning or before you go to bed at night.
If you don’t feel like writing a traditional journal entry, then don’t. It’s fine to draw pictures, make lists, or write poems in your mindfulness journal. Do what works for you.
Avoid Putting Pressure on Yourself
If you’re a perfectionist about your journal, stop! There’s no right or wrong way to keep a journal. No one else has to read it. It’s okay to write boring entries, spell things wrong, and use messy handwriting. Your journal is for you and no one else. It does not have to be perfect and the same each day. Do what feels best that day.
Use Your Memories
Reflecting on a memory can be a good exercise in mindfulness. Pick a memory and try writing down all the sensory details you can remember about it – for instance, the way the sun felt on your skin during your vacation last year. If you have lingering emotions surrounding the memory, explore those in your journal too. You can do this exercise with big memories, but reflecting on your small memories can be valuable as well.
Notice Your Self Talk
Are you in the habit of noticing the dialogue inside your head? If not, your mindfulness journal is a good place to capture your self-talk. Negative self-talk, like “I’ll never get this right,” can cripple your self-esteem and make you less productive, even if you’re not aware you’re doing it. On the other hand, positive self-talk – such as “I work really hard” – can help you feel more confident and get more done over the course of a day. When you notice the negative self talk, pause and turn it around.
Make Journaling Part of Your Routine
Like any other healthy habit, you’ll get more out of journaling if you do it regularly. Set aside a regular time every day for week to write in your mindfulness journal. If that feels like too much to start, start small. Choose 2 or 3 days that you can put it into your your routine. Starting small means you are more likely to accomplish it. You can add more days as time goes on.
Journaling is a simple, accessible way to get in touch with yourself and live in the present moment. If you want to boost your mood and your productivity, you can take the first step by starting a mindfulness journal today.
What time of day works best for you to start your new habit?