What happens to us is sometimes not as important as the meaning we assign to it, and journaling is a practical and accessible way to help process emotions and sort it all out.
You don’t actually have to sit for hours writing pages of poetic language to journal effectively. All you need is a little quiet undistracted time and some space for reflection to think about what you are going through. Some days you may write pages and pages, and other days you may only write a few words. The key is to take a moment to stop and think about how things are going. The next step is find a routine that works for you.
Stop, Breathe & Think’s new journaling feature makes getting started with journaling easy. The feature is flexible, so you can let your thoughts flow freely or select from a list of guided prompts.
Why is Journaling an Effective Mindfulness Tool?
Writing is a creative and private way to process what you’re going through. When your thoughts and emotions are a jumble, journaling can help to clarify and sort them out.
Over time, you can become more aware of the narrative in your mind and identify patterns like self-criticism, thoughts that perpetuate anxiety, or specific situations that trigger your stress response. Once you identify these patterns, you can take practical steps to work with them.
Journaling can also help you identify and grow the positive sparks in your life. Regularly focusing on gratitude can increase your optimism, happiness and life satisfaction, and an easy way to do that is to write about the people and things in life you are grateful for.
How Do You Get Started with Journaling with Stop, Breathe & Think?
If you don’t know where to start, or you’ve got writer’s block, select one or more guided prompts to spark your inspiration. Your journals entries live in your Feed (along with your daily check-ins and all of the mindfulness activities you’ve practiced), where you can get a full picture of your emotional health in one place and in a format that’s easy to track over time.
Here are a few ways to journal you might want to experiment with:
- Add some color to your check-ins.
- Journal at the beginning or end of a meditation session.
- Whenever you open the app, write a few lines about anything that’s on your mind.
- First thing in the morning, use a journal to set your intention for the day, and make a plan for how you can mindfully navigate the ups and downs you might encounter.
- In the evening, reflect on the events of the day. If you find that you’re focusing just on the challenges, see what happens when you give equal focus to the things that went well.
- Free flow it. Get your thoughts and emotions down whenever and wherever feels right for you.
Journaling is one of the best ways to manage your ups and downs, give yourself some space for reflection, and gain a whole new perspective on what you’re going through.
Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help to lessen their intensity and has been shown to help tame stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help you recognize that you have thoughts and emotions, but you are not your thoughts and emotions!