Quick and Effective Mood Relief: Journaling

journaling blog post

“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.” – Mina Murray, Dracula

Hello, Dear Readers and Students.

I’m dropping in today to go deeper into the practice of journalingEvery person is different and unique, as are their needs and reasons for having a journaling practice. There are many benefits to journaling (which I go over here) and the reason why you journal will often determine the specific benefits.

I believe WHY you are choosing to practice is so much more important than HOW and WHAT you are writing.  Start by asking yourself, what are the benefits you are seeking? 

Additionally, I have mentioned journaling in a few recent articles in combination with mindful movement and meditation.  This power combination is what I call the 3M practice.  Although journaling is an effective tool on its own, the sum of the 3M practice is greater than its parts, in my opinion.  This combo work can build self-trust and self-awareness, qualities we could all probably use a bit more of in our lives. 

Here is a 35 minute 3M practice you can get started with that offers gentle movement, a meditation, and a journal prompt for you.

The Important Details: Why Combine these Practices?

Meditation can be even MORE effective when combined with movement.  When paired with gentle movement, the combination helps us “unstick” our embedded trauma, compulsive thinking, inner critic, and fight-flight-freeze response. Creating a moving meditation shows you It’s not at all required to sit still while you focus your thoughts and breathing.

So, let’s talk about adding JOURNALING to the mix.

This very simple tool is wonderful in your meditation journey because it beautifully combines your thoughts and your body in a singular action. Plus, you get to preserve the results of that action visibly for further reflection, inspiration, or self-acceptance later on.

Short and sweet or long and deep–the choice is yours

I love that journaling can be anything I want it to be on any given day. If I have a lot of time, I’ll write pages. If I have a few minutes, a couple of thoughts are enough to lighten my mood or shift my perspective.  I even have a section in the notes on my phone devoted to journaling when I’m on the go.  I’ll thank my daughter for this idea, who is a huge fan of journaling.  In fact, she told me last week, she woke up on a Saturday morning and journaled for FOUR hours!  This is likely not the typical length of time spent journaling, nor is it required to gain the benefits.

Journaling gets me IN MY BODY, with my feelings, which is how they can move through me more easily.  Anything goes–sometimes the words flow like a river and other times, I want to practice meditation, such as this one to move the emotions through you, to uncover a deeper self-awareness.

Where, When, and How to Get Started

I suggest you begin just as I advise you to approach your first meditation–slowly and manageably.  Let me also give you a bit of guidance to start.  Ultimately, do what serves you best and allow your journaling to evolve as you do.

Just like meditation can have significant benefits after just 10 minutes a few times per week, journaling follows the same markers. When you sit down to write, try noting down your immediate thoughts, or how your body feels right now at this moment. 

Or, if you’ve struggled today with a particular challenge, try writing about it. You could even begin by answering the question “what was hard and what was easy about this week?”

Then see where your brain and the pen take you.  Let it all flow.  No correcting.  No editing or filtering.  You can even throw it away when you are finished if you are worried about someone else reading it.  

Above all, the key is to let the words flow without judgment or criticism. Whatever you write needs to come out, even if it seems disorganized or awkward as you write it.

I know one person on social media who free-writes on his feed a few times per week about the things that float through his head. No censorship, full honesty, short and digestible. I find it refreshing and fascinating as well as an honor that he allows the public to witness this vulnerable part of himself.

Not that I advocate everyone doing this so publicly–but I use him as an example that you don’t have to be skilled at writing to enjoy the practice of journaling.

I hope that next time you’re at the store, you’ll pick up a new notebook and sit down to write out a few of your thoughts.  And then do it again the next day. And the next. For just a few minutes at a time. And then tell me how journaling feels to you.

If you’d like more help with combining your Movement and Meditation practices, consider becoming a Mindful Movement member of The Oasis.   Or start with our FREE 7-Day Foundations of Meditation Course.

I look forward to hearing about your journaling journey. Be well and happy,

–Sara


Additional Resources:

Members Oasis for: Unlimited access to all Mindful Movement Meditations and Hypnosis Practices; Exclusive Members Only Content added EVERY month; Practice anytime, anywhere.

Purchase your favorite Meditation and Hypnosis practices from the Mindful Movement. You can download an MP3 file to listen to anytime, anywhere with no internet access necessary.

A personalized hypnotherapy session can support you in making a change you desire.  It would be my honor to help you through the process of change that you are looking for.

Let us know how we can help.  Please feel to leave a comment with any other suggestions, comments, or questions for the community!

About the author, Sara

Sara is the founder of The Mindful Movement and the owner of Coreworks Fitness, a Pilates and Yoga studio in MD. Sara is also a Pilates and CoreAligh Master instructor with Balanced Body.

Sara is passionate about helping others grow and live mindful, fulfilled lives. She helps others move better, feel better, live with a deep awareness, gratitude and their whole heart. She strives to inspire others to live authentically and passionately in love and abundance.

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7-Day Meditation Course with The Mindful Movement

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here.  If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Whether this is your first time practicing meditation, or you have joined the journey with me to deepen or reignite your practice, I am grateful you are here now.

Know that this journey inward may not always be easy, but it can offer profound benefits when practiced regularly. And like any other skill, it takes practice and patience to experience progress.

Start, Deepen, or Re-ignite Your Meditation Practice With This FREE 7 Day Foundations of Meditation and Mindfulness Course

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7-Day Meditation Course with
The Mindful Movement

“The past is gone, the future is not yet here.  If we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Whether this is your first time practicing meditation, or you have joined the journey with me to deepen or reignite your practice, I am grateful you are here now.

Know that this journey inward may not always be easy, but it can offer profound benefits when practiced regularly. And like any other skill, it takes practice and patience to experience progress.

Start, Deepen, or Re-ignite Your Meditation Practice With This FREE 7-Day Foundations of Meditation and Mindfulness Course