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Mindful Journaling

Mindfulness is a state of increased awareness and can be developed by various activities. As you go about noting down your thoughts and observations through journaling, leverage it to improve your mindfulness

Mindfulness can strengthen your creativity and vice versa. Performing a creative activity like writing down your observations can help you become more aware of your thoughts and surroundings. As you start journaling mindfully, you will find yourself living more in the ‘now’. Thus, journaling can be utilised as a tool for improving mindfulness; with the benefit of developing writing skills and creativity as pleasant by-products.

The technique of mindful journaling involves:

Step 1
Stay rooted in the present

Find your writing zone, the kind of setting that ignites the writer in you. Get your favourite book and pen or your tablet. As you go through this experiment, you may get distracted at times. Accept the distractions gracefully and lovingly return to the present moment and refocus on the technique.

Step 2
Breathe before writing

Focus on your breath before you start to write. This will allow your mind to become attentive and your body to become relaxed. It will reduce random thoughts and get you into the writing mode. Awareness of the breath will help you become grounded and gain mental clarity.

Step 3
Make mindful observations

Carefully observe what is going on around you. Perceive things as they are without making any judgments. Make an effort to prevent your storytelling mind from taking over. Try to see your current situation as if you were an outsider looking upon the scene. Think about how someone else would describe it along with all the small details that can be noticed.

Step 4
Begin writing

Give yourself a short phrase or writing prompt. It could be something like ‘In this moment,’ or ‘I am feeling,’ or ‘I wish I could’ etc. Write in a continuous flow as far as possible. If you find that you have run out of things to write, return to the original prompt and begin again.

Another way that you can journal mindfully is by writing minute details of the things that you observe around you. Describe the colours, write about the sounds, pen down what nature is speaking to you. This detailing will bring to life all your senses and will increase your awareness.

Step 5
Read over your journal entry

Reading out the journal entry loud will help you better understand your thoughts. It will give you clarity about yourself and how you perceive the world around you. At the end of your writing close your eyes and take a few mindful breaths. Relax yourself completely and feel rejuvenated.

Step 6
Develop a scheduled time for writing

Routines and habits require purposefulness, persistence and time to become consistent. With some trial and error find a schedule that works best for you and set aside a specific time slot for journaling each day. The more you stick to your routine, the easier it will become. You can have some trigger action before you start to write. For example, if you decide your writing time to be 10 in the morning, perhaps at 9.30 you can make a cup of tea to help prepare your mind to write.

A mindful journaling practice can be done in many ways. Find what works best for you and go ahead with it. As you gain experience and depth you will find an enhancement in your mindfulness as well as in the quality of your writings. Continue with the experiment to achieve greater stillness and improved creativity in all that you do.


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