Mindfully journaling

How to Start Mindfulness Journaling

What is Mindfulness Journaling?

Mindfulness journaling may sound like a weird mash-up of two self-help buzzwords, but it's actually a very helpful practice you can start today! It's a little different from regular journaling. In regular journaling, you might try remembering every detail of your day. You may analyze your feelings. You might write down your goals.

On the other hand, mindfulness journaling focuses on being present with every thought and feeling that arises. It's about holding your thoughts and emotions with loving attention.

Sound like something you'd like to try? Read on to find out how!

Related: 8 Mindfulness Practices to Reduce Stress

The Benefits of Mindfulness Journaling

A simple way to think of mindfulness is lovingly listening to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judging or analyzing them. One of the best things about mindfulness is it gives you an awareness of your thoughts and feelings. This awareness means you'll recognize if certain people, events, or thought patterns trigger a negative mental state.

Mindfulness journaling can also help you to develop greater compassion for yourself and others. When you write about your experiences non-judgmentally, you start to see yourself and others with more kindness and understanding.

Related: How to Practice a Loving-Kindness Meditation

How it Works

The most important part of mindfulness journaling is how you approach the practice. Remember, the goal is not to judge or analyze but to bring loving attention to everything you put on the page.

For example, when writing angry thoughts, you don't stop and tell yourself, "This really isn't a good thing to be mad about." Or if you're writing about something that makes you sad, you don't shame yourself by comparing yourself to others who "have it worse."

Instead, you hold all of those feelings in loving attention. After the exercise, you may take action because of those feelings. But at this moment, all you need to do is to feel them and accept them. 

Related:3 Ways Meditation Helps Your Mental Health

How to Get Started with Mindfulness Journaling

Start nice and easy. You only need a pen and a paper (or a notes app!). Get to a place where you won't be interrupted, and set aside just 5-10 minutes to write each day (or a couple of times a week). Let your thoughts flow freely onto the page.

As you write, you may notice thoughts that disturb, frustrate, or sadden you. A rush of feelings may come up. That's okay! Take it as it comes. Accept each thought and feeling with kindness. That's what mindfulness journaling is all about!

Related: 3 Writing Practices for Your Mental Health

How to Stick With It

The key to making this practice work for you is to be consistent and nonjudgmental. Consistent doesn't have to mean daily, either! You can journal once a week or three times. Whatever works for you!

However, if the habit falls away, don't beat yourself. Just pick up where you left off! Mindfulness is all about being compassionate and nonjudgmental, after all.

Mindfulness journaling is a simple but effective tool for improving your mental and emotional well-being. If you're looking for a way to reduce stress, improve your mood, and become more self-aware, consider giving this a try!

Related: How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

A Word from Nystrom & Associates

Although mindfulness journaling helps your mental health, it’s not a cure-all. If anxiety, depression, or stress is impacting your day, reach out for help. There are many other tools that can be used to improve your mental health, and talking to a therapist in a non-judgmental environment can be useful. To make an appointment, call 1-844-NYSTROM or request an appointment online. 

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