Mindfulness is big news right now. But what exactly is it? How can it help us and how can we use it as part of the journaling process? Well, mindfulness as a concept actually fits in really well with journaling as it is about stopping, being present in the moment and taking time to allow ourselves to just be.
How often do we do that? The most common answer among most of us would be occasionally or never! What with jobs, family, bills to pay, shopping to do, not to mention keeping ourselves physically fit, we so often neglect our minds.
What I have noticed since I became interested in wellness and journaling is that if we begin by looking after our minds, everything else gets a little easier…just a little, but a little goes a long way. Many of us are enjoying the benefits of mediation these days; taking 10 minutes out of our busy schedule to clear our mind and relax has a hugely positive impact on our mental health.
Combining our daily meditation practice with a short mindfulness-focussed journal entry is a wonderful way to start the day before the business begins. The calm before the storm if you like.
How to Make and Use a Mindfulness Journal
Mindfulness is a complete body, mind, and spirit practice. Through meditation and contemplation, you begin to remove negative energy from your life. You also begin to see what is triggering you and how your body reacts to that triggering.
One way to help with this is to have a mindfulness journal. Here is some information on how to make a mindfulness journal and how to put it to effective use in your daily routine.
The Set-Up of a Mindfulness Journal
A mindfulness journal strongly resembles what most would call a devotional journal. In many cases, people use a small blurb or quote to push their journal along. This blurb, quote, or statement gives you something to reflect on about your own life. For example, you may choose to have a reflective quote from the Dali Lama or Edgar Cayce to start off each day.
As you use your journal you will be reflecting on the quote and giving your thoughts on that quote and how it applies to you. Many mindfulness journals are prompt based to get your mind thinking and focusing on you and your feelings about your day or stress in your life.
When to Use a Mindfulness Journal
The ideal time to use a mindfulness journal is in the morning. This allows you to bringthe focus to you and keep that focus for the day. It is usually part of a meditation routine that allows you to meditate for several minutes, write about your thoughts, and take those thoughts with you throughout the day. It is a form of written meditation that can help you focus and de-clutter your mind and thoughts.
If you’re stuck for ideas on a journal to use for your mind-decluttering, there are so many options, but choose a journal that has plenty of lined notes to allow you to write freely such as the ‘I’m actually a Mermaid’ journal, from Under the Sea.
How the Mindfulness Journal Helps You
The overall method that mindfulness journaling uses to help you is to give you a de-cluttering method for your thoughts. You can look at it as taking out the trash of your life.
You use meditation to take out the garbage that clutters your soul and spirit while journaling allows you to take out the trash that clutters up your mind so that you can refocus your mind on you and your well-being. It is a way of getting to know yourself again.
The best way to put a mindfulness journal to use is to use it as a tool. You don’t use it to simply filter out your thoughts and get them out of your head. You use your entries to find peace, to find the issues, and to help you remove them from your life so that you can be more peaceful in and of yourself. This means reflecting on your entries and learning from them. You can use any type of journal you like fo this type of journaling. Why not incorporate it into your bullet journal routine with a multi-functional bullet journal like the simple banner planner.
I have found that the great thing about journaling right after I meditate is that the thoughts and feelings that come during my meditation have somewhere to go. Any of us who have tried meditation know that it seems like as soon as we sit down and try to NOT focus on our thoughts, suddenly we want to think about everything all at once!
Of course, our mind is always like this, we just don’t usually stop to notice so it’s not surprising if we get stressed out. Making a quick note of anything that keeps sneaking into our mind as we are trying to be the picture of zen and bliss (ha!) can be a really helpful way of gaining some insight into what issues we may need to work on during our day and in our lives in general.