5 Ways Writing Helps you Stay Mindful
Updated: Jun 28, 2019
If I had to choose one mindfulness tool that's changed my life the most, it would be writing.
It's a big part of what pays my bills, but over the past decade, I've written just as much, if not more for personal reasons. I've kept both digital and paper journals, which have been my go-to for staying mindful when facing the uncertainty that comes with significant life changes. In the past, I was less inclined to write when things were going well, but now I pick up a pen to express gratitude and celebrate wins almost every day. Let me tell you - the law of attraction is real and getting in the habit of regularly acknowledging abundance in my life has, without a doubt attracted more of it.
It probably comes as no surprise that someone in my profession loves journaling, but I'll let you in on a secret. My journal isn't full of 'good' writing, by any means! My process when working with a client involves research, planning, thoughtfully choosing words, and carefully crafting sentences. Journaling, on the other hand, is thought, to pen, to paper. Trust me when I say, it's not pretty. And my chicken scratch only makes matters worse! With this in mind, you don't have to be a 'writer' to benefit from journaling regularly.
Here's how writing can help you stay mindful:
1. Keeping a journal gives you a record of your process and progress, which serves as motivation to keep going. You can look back and see everything you've been through and exactly how you overcame it all. You can learn from mistakes and begin to recognize cyclical thought patterns and limiting beliefs. One big caveat with this is that nobody's progress is linear – your journey and journal will reflect zig zags and ebbs and flows because that's life!
2. Writing provides you with an objective view of your thoughts and how they're associated with your emotions. Regularly recording what's on your mind and how you're feeling helps you make meaningful connections you didn't know existed. It is an absolute game-changer when it comes to getting to know yourself and realizing what's stopping you from living your best life.
3. It's a great form of release. Writing your thoughts helps you ground down and feel through overwhelming emotions, so you can let them go and move on. As someone who tends to get caught up in exhausting thought loops that can derail my mindfulness practice, I find this invaluable.
4. It serves as a connection to your soul. If the word soul doesn't resonate with you here, substitute it for 'subconscious.' There are important messages that we can't access, at the pace that many of us are living our lives. Writing as part of your mindfulness practice slows you down, bringing those messages to light.
5. Writing helps you work out the best way to take inspired action. Whether you're thinking through approaching a conflict, or setting goals and determining how to reach them, writing is the perfect place to start. As you take action, recording the next steps and outcomes will keep you accountable and on-track.
So, if you don't already, give journaling a shot. It can't hurt, and if you're anything like me, it will make a world of difference when it comes to consistency in your mindfulness practice.
When you give it a try, or if you already write regularly, let me know about your experience!