Being mindful is when we allow ourselves to pay attention to the present moment. This simple technique can have a major impact on our overall well being. It has been known to be especially helpful for reducing anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness isn’t what most people are accustomed to, especially in today’s world, where everyone is always moving from one thing to the next and forgetting to appreciate the present moment; forgetting to value the process that create the outcome. Think about it: Are most of your anxieties based in the present moment or attached to something from the past or the future? Most likely your worries and anxieties attach themselves to past experiences and our anxious thoughts cause us to overanalyze every action and word said. Our anxious minds can also make up stories and outcomes in our minds so that all we think about is what could go wrong in the future. Our brains are very creative at coming up with pretty impressive worst-case scenarios and unfair criticisms.
So, how can we help slow down our minds and focus on the present moment and feel the beneficial effects of mindfulness?
Some people prefer writing over talking or meditation and feel that writing down their thoughts and feelings gives them more clarity and direction. Others may just want to deepen their mindfulness practice with some journaling exercises. Whatever your reason may be, mindful journaling can be a terrific way to slow down your thoughts, connect with your innate bodily and mental sensations and practice the art of gratitude.
It is also a wonderful way to set positive intentions for the future. Like any mindfulness practice, to get the full effects one must turn it into a habit. Even just giving yourself five to ten minutes every day to write down what you are feeling and thinking can help create a release or help you discover inner wisdom.
Mindful journaling prompts:
- Who am I grateful for in my life who has made me feel loved and supported?
- Today, I completed a routine chore (like washing dishes or folding clothes) and I gave my full attention and awareness to every element of the chore and I noticed…
- I visualize a positive outcome in a particular situation; what are the required steps to attain this desired outcome?
- What was the most peaceful part of my day? What did I experience during this moment? Describe the moment by reflecting on all 5 senses.
- If my body could talk… what would it say?
Try out some of these prompts and see what comes to mind. You might just be surprised with what you write down!
Journaling can help us figure out our needs, wants, and the essence of who we are. It can help clarify situations and therefore aid us in making better decisions. When we become present through the art of writing we can focus on the elements that support us in loving ourselves and others with compassion.