I’ve been reading ”Effortless Journaling.” I decided that if I am going to be facilitating creative journaling classes, perhaps I should update and expand my skills. I was pleased to discover that there is much discussion, in this book, of mindfulness and journaling. The ideas in this post were inspired by what Scott and Davenport have to say. (They are also authors of The Mindfulness Journal.)
Journaling, in itself, is a mindful activity. As you are writing, your mind can be entirely engaged in what you are doing. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, says that “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” As the ink flows onto the paper (or the dark pixels form on the screen), you are aware only of the motion of writing, the thoughts that drive it, and the words that communicate them.
You can make mindfulness a conscious part of your journal by slowing down and making mindful breathing a part of your writing. If you have a meditation practice, end it with some journal writing. (For years, I used Susan Piver’s 10-10-10 suggestion: 10 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of journal writing, and 10 minutes spent considering my calendar. I have adjusted the amounts of time, but kept the sequence.)
You might also:
Take a few mindful breaths and write about what you hear in this moment.
Write about the physical sensations you are experiencing as you write.
Engage in a mindful activity (take a walk in nature, eat a bite of delicious food, wash the dishes) and write about it. Do the activity slowly, paying attention to the movements you make and the sensations you experience. Take time to notice what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
Here are some prompts from The Mindful Journal:
- In this moment, I am…
- I reflect on the people in my life with made me feel loved and supported. I feel grateful for…
- mind. I don’t judge them, I just watch and notice. What does observation reveal to me about my thoughts?
- I spent time today being fully present and engaged with someone I care about. This is how I spent my time with him/her, and how this time together made me feel …
Mindfulness is an inherent part of journaling. Making it a conscious practice enriches your journal and your life.