Journaling for Mindfulness.
expressing gratitude and practicing mindfulness is a super easy & effective way to boost your mood.
transforming our ability to think negative into an ability to think positive brings abundance of good things into our lives. our mind is where we spend the most time, whether alone or with people, right? so why should we allow it to be such a dark place? let us turn those not-so-good thoughts into empowering, motivating and beautiful thoughts.
it can be so easy to think one bad thing which leads into another and another and another, then before we know it we are so far down into this rabbit hole with absolutely no idea on how to get out of it.
suffering with my own mental health issues for the majority of my life I felt that there was no way out. one day something just clicked in me. I realised that my own thoughts were the cause of my feelings so it's about time that I changed them. when I changed my way of thinking, I really started to notice a change. a change in my moods, in my behaviour, in my overall karma of life. of course I still get bad days and that is okay. everyone has them. but how we deal with them has a great affect on getting through them.
what we think is what we get. "you reap what you sow" karma is true and karma is real. when we grasp the effect of karma on our daily lives it becomes so much easier for us to understand our minds and how to control our thoughts & feelings. when we put out negative energies to the world, we recieve negative outcomes. when we put out positive energies into the world, we recieve positive outcomes. so let us first start by giving our minds a break. giving our mind some gratitude, some peace, some joy. we must be kind to ourselves.
I have put together some little tips & tricks on what I do to practice mindfulness and gratitude on a daily basis and also some extra tips when having a bad episode (when nothing seems like it will be better & when we don't have the energy to do very much).
today I'm going to focus on journaling/ writing.
✨ wake up each morning and write 3 things you would like to achieve for the day. your intentions. this doesn't need to be great big tasks. it could be as simple as making your bed, smiling at a stranger, singing to your favourite song in the shower.
✨ write down how you're feeling at that very moment. bring your mind to the present. notice how it feels, notice how your body feels. and just write. this may be one word or it could be a paragraph or even a few pages. just let your mind do the writing, rather than your hand (or fingers if you're using a phone/laptop to journal)
✨ write 3 things you are grateful for. (or more if you can think) this doesn't have to be materialistic things. something like your favourite music. the simple fact that you have the opportunity to live another day. your best friend, or partner. your ability to work. your courage.
✨ come back to your journal throughout the day. if you feel your mood shifting or your feelings changing, put it in there. let the thoughts out. release them. whether good or bad. release and let go.
✨ at night time, before you sleep, reflect on your day. write down again how you feel at that very moment. write what you were able to achieve. if you didn't achieve anything, that's okay. remind yourself that this is okay. tomorrow is a new day. a fresh start. we can try again.
✨ make time for your journal, whether it be every day or every other day, or a good hour or two at the end of the week. allow yourself to see how your mood plays out and what things make you feel good and others that make you feel not so good. keeping track of our activities, our feelings and emotions is a great way to limit the amount of bad days. if we are aware of what makes us feel bad, we will be able to slowly remove those things from our life to make room for stuff that makes us feel good, or better.
✨ if you feel bad or sad or scared or angry. let it out. let it go. come back to your journal and just write exactly how things are coming to you in your mind. at the start, this may just be bullet points or random words scattered of the page. as sometimes we don't know why we feel these things but the feeling is still there. getting the feeling or emotion out on paper, even if it is just one word, allows us to tap into what the feeling is and be present in that moment. it allows us to be with our thoughts and maybe think deeper to the route of the issue.
one way I do this when i'm feeling something for an unknown reason is through a spider diagram or a flow chart. I write down the thought or feeling and around it I will place how it makes my body feel, physically. I will write (if I can remember) what it was that I was doing at the time the thought arose. I will put down who I was with, if anyone, the scenes around me, what I was listening to or watching. this gives a broader image of what was going on at the time of the thought, allowing me to examine more of each thing and try to find "the culprit". sometimes I just feel a thing because that's how I do and it's hard to figure out why or how because there just might not be a reason. more often than not, however, there is an underlying reason. this could be something that happened years ago which was triggered by a current environment, it could be anything.
journaling our thought processes and emotions allows us to see and notice any triggers and recognise how we can stop them from arising again. of course this is not always possible as there are surroundings and people and environments that we can't completely remove ourselves from at times. but if we can control how we react to these feelings arising, it can make it that much easier to deal with.
✨ if you're artistic or just generally enjoy creating - make your own bullet journal. lots of little designs, diagrams, charts - your very own way! this small act makes you feel like you have accomplished something already before even starting your to-do list!
✨ create a mood board in your journal. just jot down each day your mood, simply: happy, sad, frustrated, nervous, angry, excited, content - a simple way to keep track if you haven't quite grasped how to really understand your moods yet! gotta start somewhere 💜
✨ track how many glasses of water you have in a day (it's so important to stay hydrated!!💦) or if you drink in bottles, keep track of how many ml/litres you drink! try to aim for at least 8 glasses or 2 litres per day.
as we do spend the majority of our time using our devices I find it essential to have some apps related to mood tracking and journaling on my phone. it helps particularly when I'm out & about and don't have my journal to hand (which I normally do because it never leaves my side, it's my baby, but for efficiency....) the apps I use are:
Daylio - this is great as it gives you a monthly view of your moods, you can colour co-ordinate your very own way, add in your own moods & feelings, add your very own activities to go along with your moods, you can also write little notes in there too! you can set up notifications if you like, to remind you to take some time to record your mood!
Gratitude - colour co-ordinate your entries, date your entries, add pictures to your entries, there's also a little light bulb for inspiration if you feel like you want to write but not sure what about! passcode locked for privacy and daily affirmations! I'm sure there are a ton of other apps which better suit your own individual needs but those two are my all time favourites!
I appreciate this is quite a lengthy text & if you're just here for the tips, look for the ✨ and you'll find them there!
let me know if you have any other tips in terms of journaling that help you guys? or any apps that I should try out!