Where to Start with Journaling and Mindfulness in a Daily Planner

You might have heard about the impact that journaling and mindfulness can have on your wellbeing - but where should you start? There are so many types of journaling, so many mindfulness techniques to practice. 

Practising journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner helps you to plan, record and evaluate your progress over time. If you’re just starting out, this can provide an extra level of direction as you work on your journaling and mindfulness goals.

Why journaling and mindfulness are healthy 

Using journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner as part of your routine has been shown to strengthen your mental and physical wellbeing. Journaling is a key stress relieving tool, and can also improve your immune function, blood pressure and memory. When you experience strong feelings of sadness, anxiety or anger, writing about your emotions and experiences also helps you to manage your emotional responses in a productive way. 

Mindfulness is also famous for its health benefits, including for the treatment of chronic pain, sleep problems, and mental health recovery. Mindfulness teaches you to relax through focusing on the present moment, and appreciating the world around you. 

We often spend our lives without awareness of what we’re doing. We write work reports, we sip our coffee, we print and edit and have lunch and talk on the phone. How much of life do we actually notice? Mindfulness gives us time to focus and enjoy the sensations of daily life. Working on both journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner can augment the benefits of both.

Where to start with journaling in a daily planner 2021

Understanding why you want to journal can help you discover where to start with journaling in a daily planner. Let’s say you’re journaling to reach goals. In this case, you can use your daily planner to structure a plan towards your goals, write about your progress, and motivate yourself. Daily planners showcase your planned goals on a micro and macro scale, so you know exactly what needs to be done in the short and long term.

You might also want to use a daily planner to express your emotions and improve your mental health. If so, you can build up towards experiences that make you feel anxious, question negative thinking patterns, express gratitude and repeat affirmations to boost your mental health. 

Start by practicing mindfulness to relax your mind and give yourself extra focus. Then, begin writing about what you want to improve in your mental health. Focus on how you will feel when your mental health is improved, and what you’ll be doing. Write freely, without constraint or judgement. Once you have a long term mental health goal, write down five steps that would bring you closer to it, organised by how challenging the steps are. Your journal can be your base to express yourself and view your achievements as you gradually work towards your goal.

Where is mindfulness used in a daily planner?

There are many ways to develop mindfulness in a daily planner. It’s important to fully establish mindfulness into your routines. Plot out a consistent time for mindfulness each day in your daily planner. Choose a time when you would most benefit from a mindfulness session - this might be before starting work or after a meeting. Gradually, you can build in longer routines from 15 minutes to 30 minutes per day. 

One of the best ways to use journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner is through guided imagery. Write in your daily journal about a long walk through nature, whether through a park or by the beach. Try to write about the walk from start to finish in sequential order. 

Focus on the sensory details. What can you see? What can you hear and smell? Write down details that relax your mind, like the sound of rustling leaves or the smell of grass. Then, after practicing mindful breathing, take your mind on the walk, appreciating all the vivid sensory details you captured. This is especially grounding before starting work on your daily goals.

Practicing journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner can be a learning curve. Once you understand what you want to achieve through journaling, you can gradually develop a structure to your journaling and mindfulness practice that suits you. Whether you want to work towards goals or a more mindful outlook, journaling and mindfulness in a daily planner can dramatically boost your wellbeing and mental health.

Journal Writing - Daily goal setter

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