A Mindful Space
Journalling has always been a huge part of my life but I only started healing, gratitude journaling maybe, 2-3 years ago. It helped me though a really horrible, self-doubting, imposter-syndrome-filled period of my life. I started mindful journaling as an outlet when life got too overwhelming. I needed a safe space to reflect and evolve out of my current situation.
I realized with each step I took on this journey, the more my mindset changed for the better. Becoming a little more positive, being aware of my reactions, choosing a different way to communicate, setting better boundaries and I firsthand saw the results from the work I put in. The way I viewed myself and the love I have for myself improved and as a result, my relationship with myself and others improved significantly.
Journaling is a form of self-expression that can take any shape and size. You can choose to translate your thoughts in any way you want - a poem, beautiful; a Picasso drawing? Perfect! It allows you to let things out into a more tangible form and even just the act of seeing them irl can change perspective. Think of it as a conversation with your inner self and feel the earth plates shift beneath you as you find out more about yourself via journaling.
I wanted a more substantial guide for those of you who have purchased this journal and I hope this helps!
Firstly, I would suggest starting small. Very, very small. You are very likely to want to suggest multiple changes at once but pick one small area to work on at a time. For me personally, when I first started, I wanted to work on communication. I wanted to be more aware of how I communicate and the way it could come across towards others.
1. Chose a window of time in a day to consciously set your intentions
Finding a window of time where you have the most mental clarity has proven to be especially helpful for me. I work best when I wake up from a good night's rest and that 5-10 minutes with my cup of coffee, is when my mind is at its freshest and clearest. This could be entirely opposite for you and you might work best at 3am. That's fine too!
If this is a new habit you're forming, set an alarm to remind you and place your journal at a convenient place so it catches your eye. If you miss a day, don't be harsh on yourself. It's ok too. This is a learning path and as long as you show up the next day, I promise you'll be okay.
[Morning Gratitude] sets me in a right frame of mind and that is being grateful for what I have. It could be as simple as a walk with my dog the day before or a date night with my husband. It doesn't have to be grand or magical. I often have to remind myself - I have clean water to drink, I have food to eat and a roof over my head. I am grateful. This helps me to stay grounded and bring some sense of joy even in times of feeling shitty.
[Today's Intentions] is tricky. List down a bunch of stuff and you could easily be overwhelmed. Remember, start small. Even if you only have ONE item, that's 100% ok. Focus on that one item throughout the day consciously and it could bring you more benefit than being overwhelmed by 10. When I wanted to focus on communicating, I started by listing that and expanding on that one point.
- Be aware of how I communicate to myself (i.e inner thoughts - am I being kind to myself?)
- Be aware of how I communicate to my husband (was the way I responded dismissive? why did I respond that way? did something trigger that response?)
Slowly expand that list. It could be communication with your boss, a co-worker or even a family member. Build this up slowly - your progress can take weeks or even months and that's perfectly fine.
2. Celebrate your success!
I am a big believer of validation. Writing it down and seeing the wins for yourself is one way to make sure you're not minimizing or invalidating your own progress.
[Notes from Today] allow me to consciously reflect on my day. Aside from noting down the good stuff that happened, it also allow me to reflect back on the intentions I set for myself. If a particular encounter is eating at the back of my brain, I find that listing it out and reflecting back on how I can do better the next time, helps me alot. It could be 'being more firm when XXX asked for ABC'. This helps to cement the awareness I wanted to have when I am communicating with a particular person.
3. Self-empowerment can be motivating!
[Affirmation] is a helpful reminder to create the change I want to see. When I was working on communication, I like using 'I speak with confidence and clarity'. Seeing as how I can be one to speak without thinking and often get my words jumbled, I wanted to reaffirm myself to slow my thoughts down, be aware of what I want to put across, before speaking it out.
Above all, you want to set yourself up for success. A small promise to yourself might seemed pointless but with time, and a little bit of patience, it can help with your confidence and awareness. Studies have shown that it takes 4-6 weeks for a habit to form, so bear in mind that repetition is key! Repeating this over a period of 4 weeks or more can help your subconscious to rewire, and accept this new habit. Good luck and I hope you love this process as much as I did!
Mindful Space is made to acknowledge the crazy, the gratitude the ins and outs of your life; to be mindful of your own intentions and create more awareness in your life.