10 Mindfulness Journal Prompts For Present Moment Awareness
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 journaling has one other hugely compelling benefit — it is an excellent mindfulness practice.
When you write in your 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 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. 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 mindfulness will help 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 mindfulness 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 journaling about your mindfulness efforts can be so helpful. It serves as a reminder to maintain and enhance your practice.
10 Mindfulness Journal Prompts for Present Moment Awareness
In our new publication, The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment, my co-author, Steve Scott, and I have created a a daily guidebook for living in the present moment and experiencing the richness of life by applying mindfulness techniques to your work, relationships, habits, and even the most mundane tasks of your day.
This journal provides a total of 365 daily writing prompts divided into 52 weekly journal topics. This arrangement gives you seven days to immerse yourself in each topic.
It is designed to awaken you to mindfulness in various natural moments throughout your day, as well as with some activities that may be new for you.
Here are ten mindfulness prompts from The Mindfulness Journal to help 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 today, I discovered…
Meditation is the centerpiece of a mindfulness practice, allowing you to cultivate an attitude of compassionate indifference to your thoughts by ceasing to identify with them. During meditation, 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 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.
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 is what makes 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 back yard is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness.
With each of these 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, use The Mindfulness Journal as your guide. Each short action step leads you through a unique way to practice mindfulness in your normal, daily life.