Starting a Mindful Journal

There is a lot of uncertainty around the concept of mindful and meditative journaling and most people struggle to understand what it really means. It doesn’t mean sitting in exotic or luxurious settings on a window seat with the ocean in the background. Meditative journaling is something you can do wherever you are under most conditions, as long as you have the basic skills and knowledge needed.

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness, in short, is when a person becomes self-aware. So, by extension, mindful journaling means that you’re finding inspiration for your writing from the everyday details that surround you.

Here are some suggestions to help you learn to pay attention to details and write about them.

  1. Allow yourself to be creative

Mindfulness is important when you want to create art that is powerful and meaningful. A poet or writer who starts meditating regularly may find that it’s easier to include details in their writing of a tangible and sensory nature because they’re simply noticing these things more. It’s also a great cycle because when mindfulness enhances creativity, creativity strengthens mindfulness.

  1. Observe your surroundings

As previously stated, you can’t become a mindful writer without noticing what’s happening around you. Make objective and critical observations that are completely separate from your thoughts and feelings.

  1. Go for a walk

It may seem strange to suggest doing something other than writing in this list, but going for a walk is a great way to get your mind framed in a meditative state. Pay attention to your five senses and what they’re taking in, and be aware of each step you take as your foot leaves the ground and then presses back down again.

Don’t take notes at this time, but just allow yourself to be in the moment and to feel your surroundings. When you’ve finished your walk, take out your notebook and write down your observations. Let yourself write about your experiences in a creative way, without over thinking it or worrying about your sentence structure or grammar. You can consult online tools and edit your work later, if necessary.

  1. Reflect

Tania Goodman, a psychologist says that “Self-reflection is important when you’re meditative journaling. Think back to the day’s events and you’ll find that your journal helps you think about how each moment has impacted your daily life.”

  1. Use your memories

Meditative journaling doesn’t need to be only about the present moment. You can also use observation when thinking about the past. Writing down your comments about memories can be very therapeutic and may actually help you sleep and feel less pain. If you feel a memory come to the surface of your consciousness, don’t fight it – just write it down, whether you feel it’s important or not.

  1. Visualize your writing

You should have an idea of what your final text will look like as well as your desired outcomes. Knowing this will help you find better and more creative ways to translate your thoughts into words.

  1. Make it a regular habit

William Heel, a health writer, suggests that you “Set some time aside for journaling every week or maybe even every day. It doesn’t need to be more than 10 minutes to jot down your thoughts or observations.”

  1. Think of key questions to ask yourself

If you have writer’s block and you’re not sure what to write about, think about the following 3 questions. They may help you feel inspired:

  • What did your bedroom look like when you were a child? Describe it using all your senses.
  • How does going for a meditative walk make you feel? How do you perceive the world when you’re paying attention?
  • What’s a small detail you noticed today that captured your attention?
  1. Be aware of your thoughts

Pay particular attention to any repetitive thoughts that you’re having that keep drawing your attention. Is there something in your life making you stressed, anxious or excited? Is there a reason you’re struggling to be mindful?

I hope these ideas will help you on your path to mindful journaling.

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