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Are you looking for another way to practice mindfulness that doesn’t involve meditation or physical activity? Do those not work for you, or maybe you just want some variety? Well, journaling might be just what you need.

Journaling has many benefits of its own and is often used for self-development and in various forms of self-help. It can also be incorporated into a mindfulness practice. It’s one of the easiest mindfulness activities to learn. It doesn’t require any special equipment or fancy journals; all you need is a pen and a plain old notebook. (There’s nothing wrong with fancy journals if you want one; it just depends on your preferences.)

The easiest way to get started is to use journaling prompts designed specifically to help enhance mindfulness. You can buy a journal that includes these, or you can get them for free off the internet.

When you set down to write, start with the prompt. Write your answer longhand instead of on a computer. You can write as much or as little as you want or need to. You can spend only a couple of minutes per exercise or as many as five or ten.

You need to journal at least several times a week if you want to see the benefits, but you can also journal every day.

Once you get the basic technique down, you can switch from prompted journaling to freestyle. This means you write about whatever is on your mind, or whatever you think about as you start to write. This is a great method to enhance your mindfulness of your own thoughts!

Regularly journaling will help you understand your thought processes, sharpen your focus, help your problem-solving skills, lower your stress, and more. It will enhance your mindfulness practice in every aspect of your life.

Here are a few prompts you can use to get started:

What are three things that made you smile today?

What was the best part of your day? What about the worst?

Describe something that challenged you today. Why did it challenge you?

What’s a problem you’re currently trying to solve? Why is it a problem?

What’s one thing that made you feel valuable/loved/heard/brave today?

Did you make progress on a goal today? Which one? What happened?

Did anything unexpected happen today? What?

Describe something beautiful you saw today.

What made you laugh today? (You can also alter these to fit morning journaling -you don’t have to journal only at night!)