Start A Mindfulness Journal For Your Mental Health

When the chronic stress of my career and everyday life started significantly impacting my mental health several years ago, I looked for any reasonable solution for stress reduction I could possibly find. Eventually, I discovered the practice of mindfulness and learned about all the benefits it provides.

While there are many different ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day, mindful journaling is a particularly helpful mindfulness practice that doesn’t require you to sit completely still and meditate. In fact, keeping a mindfulness journal is fairly simple, yet highly beneficial to your mental health.

Things to know

  • Mindful journaling is a form of journaling that combines the benefits of mindfulness and journaling, which helps in stress reduction and mental health improvement.
  • Mindful journaling differs from traditional journaling as it focuses more on the present moment and helps in identifying true feelings and areas in life that need improvement.
  • The benefits of using a mindfulness journal include: lowering emotional intensity, boosting self-awareness, providing stress relief, helping in better sleep, and building self-esteem.

In this guide, you will learn the following:

What Is Mindfulness Journaling?

Most people know that journaling is the practice of writing down your inner thoughts and feelings on paper as a way to let them out. Some people use journals to simply write down the day's events so they can recall them later, while others almost use journaling as a form of stress relief.

Regardless of the details, journals can be a helpful tool, especially when it is done in a thoughtful way. Some people find starting with a notebook full of blank sheets too intimidating. And even people who use a traditional journal sometimes find themselves lost in their emotions.

This emotional intensity leaves them feeling even more anxious or depressed than they did before journaling. This is where mindful journaling comes in — it provides all the benefits of mindfulness and journaling together in one activity.

Mindfulness is a specific type of consciousness where you are fully present. It heightens your awareness of your surroundings as well as your own thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

A mindfulness journal is a tool that helps you achieve this state of consciousness, whether it is through the prompts themselves, or the activity.

How Mindful Journaling Differs From Traditional Journaling

People don’t always understand the difference between “mindful journaling” and traditional journaling. After all, aren’t you just writing down your thoughts either way?

Although you are writing down your thoughts and feelings in both types of journaling, the approach is different.

When people typically journal as a daily practice, they recall the day’s events or reflect on the past in some other way. Mindful journaling, on the other hand, focuses more on the present moment, not what happened beforehand.

When you mindfully journal, you release your inner state onto paper. This can help you identify your true feelings in the moment, plus it can help you identify areas in your life you may need to improve.

The same cannot always be said for traditional journaling, which is why it’s a great idea to start a mindful journal right away.

The Benefits of Using a Mindfulness Journal

As you may have gathered by now, mindfulness journals offer numerous benefits, especially in terms of mental health and life satisfaction. Here are just five of the key benefits of mindfulness journaling as a daily practice:

1. Mindful journaling lowers your emotional intensity.

Despite what we may believe, labeling our emotions and expressing them in a safe way actually helps lower the intensity of our emotions, especially feelings like anger, fear, and sadness.

A mindfulness journal allows you to explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe, non-judgmental way so you can get to the root of your emotions. The more often you put this journaling practice to use, the easier it becomes to lower your emotional intensity on the spot.

2. Using a mindful journal boosts your self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the skill that helps us understand how our actions and feelings align (or don’t align) with our personal values. Unfortunately, anxious thoughts and environmental factors often keep us from connecting with ourselves in this way.

Self-awareness is important for our overall emotional health and wellness, and using a mindfulness journal can help us become more self-aware because it forces us to focus inward.

3. Mindfulness journals provide stress relief.

Stress has become such a pervasive part of our everyday lives that we don’t even realize how much stress we’re under at a given moment. Thankfully, mindfulness journals provide a sort of natural stress relief.

When you make time for a consistent journaling practice in your daily life, it becomes cathartic.

4. Mindful journaling can help you sleep better.

Studies show that mindfulness meditation reduces insomnia and improves sleep quality for many adults. Since mindfulness journaling is a form of mindfulness practice, it too can help you sleep better at night, especially if negative thoughts typically hit you as you fall asleep.

To receive the most effective benefits, you can try completing the daily writing prompts in your mindfulness journal as part of your nighttime routine.

5. A mindfulness journal can help build your self-esteem.

Mindfulness journals can improve your self-awareness and help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, which in turn helps boost your confidence and self-esteem.

In fact, there are even mindfulness journals out there specifically designed to focus on self-esteem and confidence building. This isn’t surprising given that most people who experience depressive symptoms and anxious thoughts usually battle low self-worth too.

Selecting The Best Mindfulness Journal For You

It’s time to select the best mindfulness journal for you! Since mindfulness journaling has become so popular in recent years, there are options out there for everyone.

When looking at a mindfulness journal, consider the following:

  • How often do you want to write?
  • What types of activities would benefit you the most?
  • How much (or little) structure would you like?
  • What additional resources (if any) would you like to have in the journal?

Still not sure what kind of mindfulness journal you’d most enjoy? Here are several great suggestions for the best mindfulness journal for you:

1. The Mindfulness Journal by Barrie Davenport & S.J. Scott

If you’d like a very structured daily approach to mindful journaling for the entire year, then check out “The Mindfulness Journal.”

This journal includes mindful daily prompts for every single day of the year, along with weekly mindfulness topics so you can look at each week of the year in a mindful way.

Helping you to reflect, build self-awareness, and better appreciate the world around you, each page gives you plenty of space to write as much (or as little) as you'd like.

Buy on Amazon: $17.99

2. The Mindfulness Journal: Creative Prompts to Relax, Release, and Explore the Wisdom of You by Worthy Stokes

As much as you’d probably like to commit to mindfully journaling 365 days a year, the reality is you will probably drop the ball at least a few times as you do with many of your other daily activities.

Luckily, this journal is specifically designed for people who simply want to dip their toes into mindful journaling without making a major commitment.

It includes over 120 pages filled with reflective writing prompts, mindfulness meditations, and artistic exploration activities so you can pick and choose the type of mindfulness practice you’d like to do based on what speaks to you that day.

Buy on Amazon: $9.90

3. The Good Morning Journal by Molly Burford

If you’d prefer to start your day with mindful journaling, then “The Good Morning Journal” is a great choice.

This guided journal provides you with daily prompts to help you start your day on a positive note. The journal also helps you focus on your true passions and goals so you can start living a more purposeful life. Also, the inspirational messages and mindfulness exercises included are pretty handy, too.

Buy on Amazon: $12.99

4. LEUCHTTURM1917 - Medium A5 Dotted Hardcover Notebook

If you’d rather find your own journal prompts and inspiration online but simply need a blank journal to fill everything in, then consider this blank journal.

While many people love this notebook as a bullet journal, it also provides an amazing blank canvas for your mindful journaling practice or can even serve as a daily gratitude journal. It comes in more than 20 unique colors, so you can pick the journal that speaks to you the most.

Buy on Amazon: $21.95

Start A Mindfulness Journal Today

A mindfulness journal is a powerful tool that can help you acquire the benefits of meditation practice without sitting still in a silent room for hours.

In fact, journaling each day can help you look at the world (and yourself) in a more mindful way, which can help you overcome whatever you’re facing and live a more peaceful, balanced life.

So what are you waiting for? You don't have to wait until the new year to put this into practice... start mindfully journaling today and discover the emotional health you deserve!

You've successfully subscribed to Feel & Thrive - Growing Everyday
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully subscribed.
Error! Subscription unsucessful. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.