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Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life, Mindful, Mindful You

Start a Mindful Journal

January 15, 2015

Keeping a diary or journal is a great mindful practice. While lots of children write in diaries or journals, most adults don’t have the time. Here are four tips to make mindful journaling easier.

Mindful journaling is slightly different from your typical journal. When writing in a diary people typically record and reflect on the events they experienced that day. Mindful journaling is specifically used as a tool for reflection and growth. Many people write with a goal in mind such as reducing stress, increasing motivation, or gaining greater self-awareness.

Want to learn more about mindful journaling in order to improve your life? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Consider different writing methods: Writing in journals and diaries is traditional for mindful journaling. It also has health benefits. Writing with pen and paper keeps you from becoming distracted by the Internet. It also helps keep your mind sharp by improving motor-skills and memory. It can also help you further connect with your words and feelings. Still, if you prefer electronic means of journaling consider keeping a journal through Microsoft Office or Evernote. If you prefer sharing your writings with others consider online platforms like Blogger, LiveJournal, WordPress or Tumblr. You’ll be joining a community of writers and bloggers who may help inspire and encourage your mindful journaling.
  2. Make it routine: Writing doesn’t always come easy, especially in this fast-paced world. That’s why it’s important to stick with it no matter how busy you are. Studies show that it takes between 21 to 66 days to form a habit, so it can take a while for writing in your journal to feel like a natural part of your day. That’s why it’s important write consistently. Consider scheduling a daily time for which you will write. Consider setting a time limit as well. And don’t worry about your grammar or punctuation, instead focus on the emotions you are trying to describe.
  3. Set a goal: What are you hoping to gain through your mindful journaling? Are you hoping to reflect on past experiences and grow? Are you looking for a way to reduce stress? Are you looking for emotional or spiritual clarity? Or do you want to motivate and encourage yourself? Once you’ve set a goal for your journal make sure to write it prominently in your journal, in a place that you will see every time you write. It could be the front cover, the front page, or the homepage. This will serve as a daily reminder of your goals.
  4. Try mindful writing prompts: Not sure what to write about? Consider mindful writing prompts like:
  • The happiest (or saddest) moment today was…
  • My life is blessed because…
  • I aspire to…

Or consider:

  • Writing an encouraging letter to yourself
  • Or describing your latest dream

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