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Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice

An Observant's Point Of View

Writing down your situation, event or problem provides us with a different perspective, while mapping it for us to see from an observant point of view. 

When we see it penned in front of us, we discover new details that were not visible when the problem was just in our minds.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice

Why You Need a Mindful Journaling Practice

https://www.dumblittleman.com/mindful-journaling/

dumblittleman.com

7

Key Ideas

Journaling: A Time To Reflect

We need time to grasp and internalize what is happening to us in our daily lives. Even if we cannot get over something bad or negative, we would be able to successfully soothe our minds by journaling.

Journaling comes at our rescue, as spending time alone penning down your thoughts with complete awareness is also a form of self-reflection.

Choosing Paper Is Better

Having a physical ‘thought notebook’ is many times better than using a PC or iPad to pen your thoughts. Words take longer to form in paper, making us process them, and understand ourselves in a better way. Written thoughts ground us, make us come to the present moment, and take us out of the world-bubble for a while. Having an appealing notebook also makes us open it daily.

An Observant's Point Of View

Writing down your situation, event or problem provides us with a different perspective, while mapping it for us to see from an observant point of view. 

When we see it penned in front of us, we discover new details that were not visible when the problem was just in our minds.

The Importance Of The Date

Writing a date while penning one’s thoughts makes us subconsciously process that it is an event in the past, providing a certain detachment from the problem, especially if one is trying to get over something.

Our negative experiences and things we regret are neatly tagged as the past, removed from our present selves, making our mind sound and decluttered.

Write Honestly

Writing without any self-censoring, or hiding is a great way to heal ourselves. 

We don’t have to worry about filtering our stream of thoughts in this ‘safe zone’. Our thoughts need to be laid bare as they are. It is the only way we understand ourselves, which is priceless.

Be Positive

Write about the good stuff, not just any negative thing that you face in your day. 

As you put your words down of the things that make you happy, it starts to rub off on you. 

Start Small

So that you don’t find journaling overwhelming, just start by penning a few lines on the thoughts that have occurred in your mind, with no details. 

You will pick yourself up from there if you are regular. Write using lists and bullets so that your thoughts are organized and start to become meaningful.

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Stop And Breathe

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  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose.
  • Exhale deeply.
  • Continue to breathe deeply and fully. Allow your breath to be a guide to the present.
  • With each breath in, think to yourself “be” and with each breath out, focus on the word “present. ”
Figure Out What's Bothering You

The physical symptoms of panic and anxiety, such as trembling, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat, are more obvious than the reason you are anxious. But, to get to the root of your anxiety, you need to stop and think about your thoughts and feelings.

Writing all that bothers you or talking with a friend can help you understand your anxious feelings.

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Integrating journaling in your daily life
Integrating journaling in your daily life

The biggest mistake is to journal only in reaction to something that is going on, instead of letting it be part of a system.

Make writing in your personal journal part of your every...

Benefits of a journal
  • When you keep a journal, you can look back on important life events to read about how you felt at the time. You may also be able to learn from these past experiences.
  • Writing about traumatic events results in physical and psychological health benefits. Journaling focuses on understanding traumatic events and makes people see these events with an extra level of clarity.
Schedule journaling time

Start your daily journal off on the right foot by scheduling your writing for a set time every day.

  • If you find your mind is most active in the morning, wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier and jot down your thoughts then.
  • If you prefer to record everything after the day is over, then make it an evening activity before you go to bed.

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Mindful learning

It means cultivates insightful knowing rather than just a brain overloaded with information

Mindfulness creates space to let new information in and to allow us to see how it rel...

Mindful Reading

It is a process of quiet reflection that requires mindful attentiveness, letting go of distracting thoughts and opinions to be fully in the moment with the text. 

It slows down the reader and the reading—that alone changes the experience. It moves the reader into a calm awareness, allowing for a more profound experience and understanding.

Mindful Writing

Writing benefits from the capacities that mindfulness cultivates: being in the moment, even when remembering the past or imagining the future; not judging others and oneself while still exercising discriminating wisdom; holding multiple perspectives; being open to the new; and practicing kindness, compassion, and patience. 

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Journaling Before You Get Out of Bed
Journaling Before You Get Out of Bed

Try grabbing your notebook as soon as your alarm goes off and writing for a few minutes before your feet even hit the ground.

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Use a Journaling App

While many people recommend journaling in a physical notebook to give your brain a break from screens, if you’re having a hard time keeping up that practice, you can try using an app that you can whip out when you have an extra moment in the day.

Don’t Use Full Sentences

Feel free to have your journal as disjointed as you want.

Leo Babatua of ZenHabits says he only writes his journal in bullet points; just three to six per day. By making it this easy, he says it’s much more attainable for him to keep it up.

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Keystone habits
Keystone habits

They lock all of your other habits in place.

A person might start exercising once per week, and unknowing begins eating better and being more productive at work. All because she starte...

Stephen R. Covey
Stephen R. Covey

"Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them."

Benefits of Journaling
  • Increases focus;
  • Deeper level of learning, order, action, and release;
  • Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated;
  • Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions;
  • Empowerment;
  • Bridging inner thinking with outer events;
  • Detaching and letting go of the past;
  • Allowing you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind.
Benefits of journaling
Benefits of journaling

Journaling can help with personal growth and development. By regularly recording your thoughts, you will gain insight into your behaviors and moods.

Journaling can ...

Journaling: An effective tool
  • Journaling can be used to sort through turbulent emotions and to discover hidden lessons from your experience.
  • Art journaling: using mixed media can help you express yourself in refreshing and unusual ways.
  • Journals can help you reflect. Journaling is a method of allowing the light of understanding and compassion to shine on your past.
Tips to get started with journaling
  • Start writing about where you are in your life at this moment. Describe your living situation, your work, and your relationships.
  • Don’t edit your thoughts or feelings and don’t correct your grammar. Don’t censor your thoughts.
  • If there’s something you are struggling with or an event that’s disturbing you, write about it in the third person.

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Learning from old experiences
Learning from old experiences

When looking back on her previous journal entries, Virginia Woolf remarked that she often found the significance to lie where she never saw it at the time.

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Journaling sharpens your memory

Our beliefs change slowly as we gain experience. Journal entries remind you of how you once thought.

Time will change your face without you noticing, but it will also change your thoughts without you realizing it.

Journaling motivates you

There is something about knowing that your day will be recorded that makes you want to make at least one good choice before the sun sets.

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Workplace Anxiety

It happens when you feel restless and stuck, and you have a sense of vague fear which leads to unproductiveness. It is an existential feeling that is hard to articulate. A constant sens...

Anxiety Vs Negative Emotion

Negative emotions (lack of confidence, toxic energy, fear) can also cause anxiety. The difference between the two is the feeling of being unsafe that comes with anxiety.

When you are anxious, the ability to think clearly is lost, and so is the perspective. Breathing exercises and making space in your mind by slowing down is the first step towards remaining calm in this general state of anxiety.

Objectify The Problem

Start journaling, asking specific questions to bring the main issue in focus, to get organized and gain clarity. Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What feels wrong?
  2. How can the problem be defined?
  3. What are the fears with regards to making changes?
  4. What actions can be taken that would improve the situation?

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Getting Through the Hard Stuff with Journaling
  • Journaling is the act of processing the past (and even the future) in the here and now.
  • Writing is and of itself **cathartic.
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What you write, you learn

The key to learning is to stop passively consuming information and start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.

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What you write, you control
  • Recording your thoughts in a medium outside your own head helps your mind to become quieter: It stops returning to the same worn-out mental loops over and over. 
  • When you recount and reflect upon your thoughts and experiences you are, in effect, telling your own story. Journaling helps us clarify, edit, and find new meaning in these narratives.
Journaling and personal goals
Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how not just the what

It serves as a tool for identifying what you should prioritize on a daily basis, and what you should let go of. And it also gives you a record of the progress you’ve made toward your goals to keep you motivated.

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