5 Life-Changing Reasons To Keep a Mindfulness Journal
This past year has thrown up several challenges on top of our normal everyday stressors; it can be challenging to manage the competing demands of family, work, and friends and, amidst the business of today’s climate, it can be especially hard to allocate both physical and mental space for peace and calm. In the last year where there has been less time for ourselves, mindfulness is a great tool to bring us back to the here and now – whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, or are tackling obstacles and situations you’ve never had to overcome before. Mindfulness can also be particularly beneficial as it can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and improve mental health.
Mindfulness can take a number of forms – whether that’s practising breathing techniques, meditative exercises (such as yoga or taking a walk outdoors), or journal writing. Writing down your thoughts allows you to be present and engage with them, helping you reclaim tranquillity wherever you are. Whether you record your thoughts whilst curled up in bed or whilst on your commute, a mindfulness journal can be a great way to a more peaceful and stress-free day. Our beautiful Navy Orchard Birds Mindfulness Journal is a great place to start in documenting your thoughts and taking a breather. Inside is a sheet plan divided into sections with useful prompts and lists to help you focus your thoughts. The sheet is repeated for 90 days and also includes a handful of lined pages at the back for extra detailed notes. Read on to find out a little more about the benefits of keeping a mindfulness journal.
- It increases gratitude and positivity
Reflect on all of the bright and happy moments – even if it’s just a hot shower or a peaceful night’s sleep. For those of us with hectic lives, it can be hard to really sit back and absorb the positives. After all, it’s the little things, right? No matter how your day has panned out, there is bound to be a positive or two that you can reflect on and be grateful for. The negative tends to resonate in our heads rather than the positives, and a mindfulness journal is a great way to recount those small (or big!) moments of joy. In fact, researchers have discovered that writing about what you’re grateful for is linked to lower anxiety, better sleep, and even higher satisfaction in your interpersonal relationships!
- It will make you feel calm
It might sound hard to believe but trust us – studies have found an actual difference in the brains of those who meditate and those who don’t. And it’s all to do with the emphasis on creativity. Using those artsy parts of your brain really do help rewire and calm down your mind. A calmer brain in those more anxious and overwhelming situations means an improved capacity to make better decisions under pressure and in situations of stress. Sometimes, the changes can be so subtle you might not even realise they’re happening – but they certainly are and you’re benefitting all the more from them!
- Your stress levels will decrease
When we’re under pressure, a part of the brain controlling our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated. Our natural stress hormones skyrocket, which is totally a totally normal reaction but, when stress is continuous, your stress hormones can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. However, when the body and mind are healthy – whether this is through mindfulness journaling or a combination of techniques – a different part of the nervous system is stimulated, which strengthens our ability to manage stress.
- You will get more sleep
That’s right! Even your quality of sleep can improve with the help of a mindfulness journal. You know the drill - you’re lying in bed trying to get some sleep, but a nagging thought creeps into the back of your mind or an embarrassing memory from years gone by pops up out of nowhere. Suddenly, you find yourself wide awake and ruminating. As well as being a wonderful way to unwind screen-free before bed, mindfulness and the meditation practises associated with it helps bring about a relaxed state of mind that is linked to falling asleep easier and having a more restful sleep.
- It will improve your memory
But did you know that mindfulness can even help improve your memory? Regular meditation – including mindfulness – increases blood flow to the brain. This leads to a stronger network of blood vessels and reinforces memory capacity. Whether you’ve had a tiring day looking after the kids or grandkids, are up to your ears in work, or are just having trouble shaking those negative thoughts away, your memory can easily become clouded and overwhelmed by excess noise. Reduce the impact of this with a mindfulness journal. Channel your focus and take some time out to focus on the positives.