Do you keep a journal?
If not, you might want to consider taking it up as a thoughtful goal for the year.
Journaling has a myriad of benefits such as enhancing creativity, reducing stress, and helping you process and heal your thoughts and feelings.
A journal is also a permanent record of your life journey that you can look back on over the years to see how you have changed and evolved.
This helps you become more self-aware, compassionate, and intentional with your choices and actions.
The daily act of mindful journaling has one other hugely compelling benefit — it is an excellent meditative practice.
- When you write in your meditation journal, your mind must be fully engaged with your writing.
- It forces your brain to slow down to better organize your thoughts and consider the big picture.
- In the flow of meditation journaling, past regrets and future worries lose their edge.
- You, your mind, and your pen and paper become one in the present moment.
This state of mindful flow will occur regardless of the topic you are journaling about, as long as you are engaged in the process and find it enjoyable or cathartic.
But . . . you can also use a journal to enhance mindfulness beyond just the act of journaling itself.
What Is Meditative Journaling?
A mindfulness journal allows you to explore various practices of present moment awareness and to contemplate how these practices impact your well-being.
If you are a new or even a seasoned mindfulness student, writing about your experiences with meditation and mindfulness helps you master the practice, reflect on your thoughts and experiences, and provide a permanent record of your efforts at deepening the amount of purposeful intention in your life.
When you are mindful, you are intentionally aware of the present moment. You consciously direct your awareness to whatever you are doing, thinking, or observing.
The skills involved in meditation journaling aren’t brain surgery, but the practice itself is harder than you might think.
To incorporate mindfulness into your daily life requires developing it as a habit.
That’s why meditative journaling about your mindfulness efforts can be so helpful. It serves as a reminder to maintain and enhance your practice.
25 Mindfulness Journal Prompts for Meditation Journaling
Here are 25 mindful meditation prompts to kickstart your journaling practice:
1. I reflect on the people in my life who have made me feel loved and supported. I feel grateful for…
Gratitude is a mindfulness practice that opens you to joy, compassion, and appreciation of the life that sustains you. Begin your morning or end your day with contemplation on those who have made a positive impact on your life.
2. As I sit quietly, I notice each breath I take, following the intake of air through my nose and into my lungs, and the slow exhalation as I release the air through my nose. As I repeat this mindful breathing for several minutes, I notice my body…
Most mindfulness practices begin with your body by drawing your attention to your breath and the quality of sensation.
In ancient Buddhist teachings of “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness,” the first teaching is “mindfulness of the body,” which involves becoming familiar with and even loving the body. Body mindfulness anchors you in the here and now.
3. Today I sit quietly for a few moments and observe my thoughts as they float by in my mind. I don’t judge them, I just watch and notice. What does observation reveal to me about my thoughts?
Your own thoughts can trigger anxiety, unhappiness, and anger, which can keep your mind trapped in a constant negative loop.
This cycle happens because we are unconscious of our thoughts, and allow them to run rampant in our brains without challenging them.
4. At home, I choose a routine chore (like washing dishes or folding clothes) and give my full and focused attention to every element of the chore. This is what I noticed…
The opportunity for mindfulness is in everything you do, in every task and seemingly unimportant activity of your day.
When you align your attention and mental focus to whatever you are doing, you are truly living. You are here, now, experiencing the beauty and perfection of the moment.
5. As I meditate today, I notice my emotions and moods. As emotions and feelings arise, I simply name them without judgment. “This is anxiety.” “This is sleepiness.” In meditation journaling today, I discovered…
Meditation is the centerpiece of mindfulness practice, allowing you to cultivate an attitude of compassionate indifference to your thoughts by ceasing to identify with them.
During meditative journaling, you observe the patterns of your mind and learn to tame the incessant chattering of your thoughts.
6. Today I visualize the following outcome and the specific actions I’ll take to reach that outcome . ..
Visualization is a mindfulness tool using mental imagery to help you mentally rehearse an outcome or bring about a state of relaxation.
It can be used in daily life to relieve stress, enhance motivation, and add more power to your physical and mental efforts.
7. This morning I create a ritual around my morning cup of tea or coffee by paying full attention to all aspects of preparation, drinking, savoring, and cleaning up. This is how I celebrated my morning beverage, and how it made me feel…
Rituals are actions we imbue with meaning and significance that enhance our lives in some way.
They are performed in a prescribed way that lends an element of sacredness to the occasion, and they slow us down enough that we can connect to the present moment.
8. Before I eat a meal that I or someone else has prepared, I take time today to notice the food, smell the aromas and feel gratitude for the bounty before me. Taking this moment made me feel…
In our modern lives, there is little time to prepare, savor, and appreciate what we are eating. We become disconnected from our source of sustenance and energy.
Preparing food and eating it more mindfully not only allows you to be present with the experience, but also can help you prevent overeating, lose weight, and become more aware of your body’s needs.
9. I spent time today being fully present and engaged with someone I care about. This is how I spent my time with him/her, and how this time together made me feel…
Being present with someone means you are fully attentive, engaged, and focused on the other person. You aren’t looking at your phone, distracted by the television, or thinking about the next thing you need to do.
You are actively listening, responding, and showing with your words, expressions, and demeanor that you are completely in the moment with this person.
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10. Today I sit outside in a quiet spot in nature. I close my eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Then I just listen. I notice all of the sounds around me. This is what I heard and experienced by listening to nature…
The beauty and simplicity of nature are what make it so ideally suited to practicing mindfulness. Unlike our daily lives and the hectic world around us, nature’s allure is often subtle.
The simple experience of walking outside in your own backyard is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness.
11. When browsing for unique gifts or self-care items, I take a moment to reflect on what I’m hoping to find. I picture certain objects in my mind and take a moment to reflect on why they bring me joy and why I might feel compelled right now to buy more than I currently need.
Shopping for yourself isn’t something you should feel ashamed of. Reflect on what you’re feeling as your shopping cart fills with items you want to buy.
And reflect, without judging, on the thoughts and emotions that come as you browse, skim your cart, and see the changing number at the bottom.
12. I take a moment to look over the work I’ve done and to feel proud of it. I allow myself to admire details that came to me while in the creative flow state and to feel grateful that my job allows me to experience this on a regular basis.
It’s good to take pride in your work when you’ve given it the care and effort it deserves.
Describe a finished work and any sensations associated with it. Write about what you admire most and what you feel when you’re being honest about your admiration and pride. You’re allowed to be grateful for your gifts.
13. I’m taking the time today for a mindful walk, somewhere I can reflect on how it feels as I take one step after another and on how my environment influences my thoughts and emotions. Before and after I take my walk, I reflect on what I’m feeling.
Taking a mindfulness walk can help you release nervous energy while you take note of your surroundings and any sensations you feel — physical or intuitive.
Describe what you notice and the thoughts that come to mind as well as any particular thing you focus on for mindful enjoyment.
14. As I move from one pose or position to another, I pay attention to the way my body feels — the sensations of the muscles expanding and contracting as I slowly and mindfully transition. I pay attention to my breath, too, as I inhale and exhale in time with my movements.
Write down what you notice and remember from your workout session, including how you felt as you changed posture or slowly, meditatively worked through a set of movements.
You want to be aware of how your body feels, out of respect for it and to obtain the best results. How do you feel and what thoughts come when the workout is over?
15. I’m preparing to write a letter to someone, and I’m thinking about what I want to communicate to them. I pay attention to what I’m feeling as I plan my message and carefully choose the right words. Writing this letter makes me feel…
Writing a letter to someone, whatever its purpose, can be stressful and emotionally draining. Allow yourself to notice random thoughts to come and go as you put pen to paper or type the message out.
What physical sensations do you notice, and what relation do they have to the words you’re writing?
16. I’m sorting through my possessions, one category at a time, starting with my clothes. I take one piece after another and ask if it sparks joy while reflecting on my immediate, internal reply to that question. I record the thoughts and feelings that come with one of these items.
What are you feeling as you hold up a particular item of clothing? Do you remember how you got it and what you felt toward it at first sight?
What physical sensations and feelings do you notice, now, as you hold it up. What do you want to thank it for? What do you hope it will bring to its next owner if you’ve chosen to let it go?
17. I’m fond of the plants I’ve chosen for my home, and I take pleasure in tending to them. I call each by name as I approach it with the watering can, looking it over and talking to it as I give it as much hydration as it needs.
You feel a connection to these plants, and you honor them by caring for their needs. What are you feeling as you carefully water one of them?
Do you remember how it came to you, and what you felt when you first saw it? What sensations and details do you remember, and what comes to you now as you give this plant your personal attention?
18. I’m taking time out for a shower or a hot soak in the tub, and I collect everything I need to ensure I make the most of this time. I mindfully set each item where I need it and reflect on what I’m feeling and thinking in this moment.
You need this time to care for yourself. Take note of how the water feels against your skin when you start and how it acclimates to the water’s temperature.
What sensations do you love most about this bath or shower? Take a moment to simply enjoy them. Don’t judge the thoughts that float in and out, but gently remind yourself not to rush.
19. I’ve spent some money on a trip to a salon for a haircut and style. Since I’ve decided to pay a professional, I mindfully enjoy the pampering with gratitude and take note of what I’m noticing and feeling in the moment.
What do you feel when you enter the salon? What smells and sounds do you notice right away, and how do you feel about them?
Think of the chair you sit in and the sensations of having your hair gently washed and rinsed and your scalp massaged. What scents do you pick up from the products your stylist uses?
20. I’m taking a moment to myself with a favorite candle and a hot mug of something comforting. I admire the flame as I take sips from my mug and feel the warmth traveling down to my stomach. I notice thoughts as they come and pay attention to what I’m feeling.
Feel the warmth of your hot drink in your mouth and throat and down in your belly as you watch the candle’s flame. Where the warmth doesn’t reach, you might feel a chill. Take note of where you feel it and when.
Describe the sounds, smells, and other sensations you’re picking up, whether you’re listening to music or just enjoying the quiet.
21. I’m making some changes to my creative space by carefully arranging or rearranging items — removing some things, adding something new, and surveying the effect. I take note of how each item feels in my hand, bringing up sensory details that encouraged me to choose it.
There’s meaning in how you arrange your things, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. Think of how you feel whenever someone carelessly nudges one of those items out of place.
Move one, now, and take note of how you feel. Note how the object itself feels to your hand as you move it and whether you feel a chill or a vague sense of discomfort.
22. I’m looking through the streaming options on Netflix, etc., and paying attention to how I feel about the shows or movies I’m considering. What am I in the mood for? What images or emotions come up? How do I feel in my chosen position?
You’re looking for something to watch, and there are so many options. Describe how you feel when looking through them. Notice the feel of the mouse in your hand or your fingers on the navigation pad.
How do you feel about a particular show you’ve added to your queue but don’t really feel like watching right now? What do you want to feel?
23. I’ve received a gift that fills me with immediate dread and paralysis. I’m momentarily stunned into silence as the giver waits for a rapturous response. I feel my face smiling as I scramble for the right words. Thoughts flood my head, and I observe them, just as I’m aware of my feelings.
This is the stuff of nightmares. You open a gift right in front of the giver, and it’s something you would never buy for yourself (or anyone else).
What are you feeling right now as you look at the gift and then up into the face of the one who gave it to you? What do you remember feeling as you touched the item? What positive attributes do you notice?
24. I’m sitting, journal and pen in hand, as I prepare to write down my thoughts and feelings. What do I feel about my penmanship, about the feel of the pen and paper? What power do I feel as I fill each page with meaning?
Words you write by hand have a special power, and you can feel it as you write them. What sensations come over you as you write honestly, without censoring yourself?
What thoughts and feelings come and how do you respond to them? What space are you using for this, and what feelings do you associate with it?
25. I’m preparing for bedtime with my own nightly ritual. I describe this ritual and how I came to adopt it, along with what I feel and think as I carry out each task. What details or sensations do I most look forward to? What are my last thoughts before I fall asleep?
Some rituals bring comfort, while others might feel more like an obligation you have to “get over with.” What sensations do you associate with your favorite nighttime rituals?
What do you do to make the more onerous tasks more enjoyable or meaningful? When are stressful thoughts most likely to surface, and when do you feel most at peace?
How will you use these mindfulness journal prompts?
With each of these mindful journal prompts, you are invited not only to write in your journal but also to take some action that will immerse you in the experience of mindfulness.
Through these mindful actions combined with the practice of journaling about your experiences, you will enjoy a much richer practice of living in the now.
If you would like to try a simple daily mindfulness action for the next 52 weeks, try The Mindfulness Journal as your guide.
Each short action step leads you through a unique way to practice mindfulness in your normal, daily life.
The journal prompts give you the nudge you need to chronicle your experience to see how profoundly mindfulness enhances your life.