Writing as a meditative practice can be done in addition to, or in place of other forms of meditation. Journaling can be a particularly helpful meditation practice for times when you are struggling to quiet your mind. Instead of dismissing thoughts that arise in your mind, you write them down. You may find it easier to then let the thoughts go, since they will be there waiting for you when you have finished meditating.
Journaling as part of a meditation practice can also help to overcome self-judgment. Many people find when they sit down to write, they are hesitant to commit their thoughts to paper. Are my thoughts interesting? Is my writing any good? These and other doubts may have kept you from keeping a journal in the past. But when you journal as a meditation practice, mindfulness and meditation rather than the journal itself becomes the goal.
If you would like to try journaling as a meditation practice, here are a few steps you can follow:
- Choose a short phrase or writing prompt. You can use “In this moment,” or “I am feeling.”
- Begin with a short period of mindful breathing, just enough to help you settle into the position of your body and your writing utensils.
- Write continuously, in stream of consciousness style, using your chosen prompt for 10-15 minutes. You may want to set a timer to prevent the urge to look at the clock.
- If you feel as though you have run out of things to stay, return to original prompt and begin again.
- At the end of the time, close your eyes and take a few mindful breaths.
- Read over your journal entry, preferably out loud. Giving voice to your thoughts can help you better understand them.