Can Mindfulness Journaling Help Improve Your Emotional Wellness?

Mindfulness Journaling: What Is It and Can It Help You on Your Journey to Wellness?


Imagine your mind is like a flowing, expanding river. 

The riverbed and inlets are your memories and the experiences that have shaped you. The water is your thoughts and inner self. The currents are your emotions and feelings. 

And the pollution is all the noise, negativity, and overwhelmingly useless information you retain throughout the day. 

Technology has created a mainline of instant information and baseless gratification that bombards our senses every time we turn around. Too much all at once may leave a mind feeling cluttered and in disarray. It can also weigh down our spirit and separate our outer selves from our inner selves.

Mindful practices like journaling can help us organize our thoughts and reconnect with ourselves to “flush out” our thoughts and minds. 

Join us as we explore the world of mindfulness journaling and how this powerful tool may be just what you need to connect with yourself and become aware of your inner feelings. 

Table of Contents


What Is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is the ability to perceive one’s state of awareness and consciousness in the present time. 

To practice mindfulness, you need to reserve all judgment and relinquish control to let yourself perceive your conscious state in a natural form. 

What Is the Purpose of a Mindfulness Journal?


The purpose of mindful journaling is to reconnect with ourselves and examine our:

  • Emotions
  • Thoughts; and
  • Energies

We may feel like we’re carrying so much on the inside of ourselves that isn’t always apparent on the outside. Mindfulness journaling may help us utilize our stream of consciousness to help fish out our maladies from under the surface of our being. 

Journaling is like mindfulness breathing — only instead of breaths, you take in your state of being and exhale it in the form of writing. 

Ideas for Mindfulness Journals: 6 Approaches To Explore 


There are many different ways to approach mindfulness journaling. 

You can make your journal into whatever you want or need while experimenting with different techniques or styles, or even invent one of your own.

Journaling requires active introspection without judgment, so don’t restrain yourself when practicing this mindfulness technique. Let just yourself simply be and let the thoughts flow from your pen onto paper through one of our easy-to-implement approaches.

#1: Daily Check-Ins


This type of journaling is similar to daily planning. To practice mindfulness journaling in the form of daily check-ins, you can journal as soon as you wake up. 

Write about your daily intentions and what you wish to make out of the day. When the day is done, you can check in to see what you have and have not accomplished and create a plan for the next day.

These daily check-ins may help you:

  • See where you are compared to where you wish to be
  • Listen to your mind and body about what it needs
  • Understand what you need to move (emotionally and physically) to fully connect with yourself

Questions you can ask yourself when doing daily-check in journaling might be:

  • How am I feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually?
  • What is taking up the most real estate in my mind?
  • What can I change today?
  • What will I change today?
  • Am I balanced?
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What is the next step in the right direction for me?
  • How are my heart and spirit?
  • Am I giving myself the right support to connect with myself, my surroundings, and those around me?

At The Sedona Mago Center for Well-Being and Retreat, we guide participants through daily check-in journaling at the beginning of the day. Our retreats may help you explore the benefits of mindfulness journaling and help guide you through implementing mindful practices in your daily life. 

Learn more about our overnight retreats today.

#2: Pre-Journaling Meditation


Before you journal, take time to meditate. This may help you enter a state where you are more vulnerable, open, and honest with yourself. 

Meditate without thinking. Let your mind just feel and be. Pay attention to what emotions arise and what thoughts persist as you clear your mind while meditating. 

Once you have checked in with your body and inner self through meditation, begin to ask yourself questions like:

  • How am I feeling today?
  • What emotions am I carrying inside?
  • What thoughts came up today?
  • What are some things I like about myself?
  • What are some things I can improve?
  • What are some habits I saw?

After you’ve meditated and checked in with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, begin journaling. Try to remember how you felt while meditating and what you thought when you pondered the above questions. 

#3: Auto-Writing


Auto-writing, also referred to as “stream-of-consciousness writing,” is the practice of letting any thoughts and emotions that stumble through your mind jump out of your head and onto the paper. 

The idea behind auto-writing is simple. 

For at least ten minutes, write without stopping. Even if you make a mistake, keep going. Write without interruptions and let the thoughts that periodically interrupt your day become interrupted by commas, periods, and interjections. 

Let all the trash and treasure that is embedded in the river of your mind flush out to be inspected and recognized. This form of writing may expose things about yourself you may have not been able to access before. 

#4: Gratitude Journaling


No matter who you are or where you are in life, gratitude is a part of the human condition. There is so much beauty and intrigue around us that even in our darkest moments, we can find something to be grateful for. 

Gratitude journaling is the act of thinking and then writing about what we are grateful for. 

The object of this journaling technique is simple. Pick at least five things you are grateful for and then write about them. These items of gratitude can be animate or inanimate, material or abstract, or as general or specific as you want. 

This form of journaling is designed to help you express gratitude. The New York Times noted that studies have found that routine expressions of gratitude can have positive effects on our:

  • Emotional health
  • Interpersonal relationships; and 
  • Outlook on life

#5: Use of Daily Affirmations


Daily affirmations are mantras you can say to yourself to help bolster your confidence, remind yourself of who you truly are, and improve your overall outlook. 

To practice this type of mindfulness journaling, write down 5–10 affirmations at the beginning of your day. As your days march on, periodically remind yourself of these affirmations.

Daily affirmations can be affirming statements, like:

  • I am a creature that feels deeply, and I am allowed to feel deeply.
  • I am a communal creature and I belong. 
  • I am an intelligent creature, but I still make mistakes.
  • I am a creature of nature, and all things in nature are beautiful.

Or these affirmations can be how we want to pursue the day, such as:

  • I will reach out to at least three loved ones today.
  • I will have courage.
  • I will practice kindness, especially kindness towards myself.
  • I will do one thing to nurture my spiritual, emotional, and physical health today.

#6: Use Mindfulness Journal Prompts


Mindfulness prompts may be used to help us explore the hidden depths of our minds. They are also an excellent way to ground ourselves to help us become and remain spiritually and emotionally present.

 Let yourself feel. As you’re answering the prompts, explore how you feel. And then, when you’re done writing — let it all drift away. You can even imagine these thoughts and emotions floating down in the stream of your mind before catching them up into a net with your journaling. 

When you’re done you can keep what you wrote in a journal or simply throw the pages away. 

Prompts used in this type of journaling might include:

  • What does personal growth mean to me?
  • If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?
  • What does inner peace look like?
  • What activities, people, or places make me feel anchored?
  • What makes me feel most alive?

Can Mindfulness Journaling Impact Emotional Wellness?


We all have busy lives and burdens that may make us feel emotionally unwell. Sometimes it is nice to remove those burdens from ourselves and let them weigh down paper instead. Even just taking a few minutes to express yourself may provide relief. 

Journaling may benefit our emotional wellness, but emotional wellness has many different facets and aspects. It may not be a cure or sole treatment for emotional unwellness. However, we may be able to use journaling to continually help us improve our emotional wellness. 

Areas Where Mindfulness Journaling May Have an Impact on Your Life


Research shows that routine mindfulness practices like journaling may help improve multiple areas of mental health and well-being. As we explore the data and research that suggest journaling has a meaningful impact on your life, keep in mind that health is holistic. 

Journaling is not a be-all-end-all solution to life’s problems. Rather, it is a tool that helps us process our inner and outer selves according to the world around us. 



When we use mindfulness journaling to explore ourselves thoroughly, we challenge the negative aspects of our lives — including the negative feelings we may have about ourselves. 

Journaling can help us process these negative feelings and challenge them to improve our self-esteem.

Data suggests that practicing affirmations, especially through journaling, is often associated with greater levels of happiness and self-esteem. 

Other research suggests that positive self-reviews through journaling can activate the areas of our brain that help maintain a positive self-image and esteem while resisting negative thoughts that may threaten our feelings of self-worth.



Stress is like an invasive species that inhabits the waters of our minds. It travels our waters and eats away at our spiritual ecosystem, setting us off balance and out of line. Journaling is an excellent way to explore, identify, and relieve stress.

Mindfulness journaling can help us:

  • Prioritize our problems, fears, and concerns
  • Track our stress triggers to learn how to adapt to them
  • Identify patterns of negative thoughts and behaviors that may be exacerbated by stress

A 2011 study uncovered the positive influence journaling had on adolescents who struggled with stress and self-doubt before taking tests. 

In the study, ninth graders were randomly divided into two groups. One group received instructions to journal about their test-related worries and feelings for 10 minutes before taking the exam. The other group of students were instructed to write about which questions they anticipated to be on the exam 10 minutes before the exam was to begin.

The study found that the participants in the group who wrote about their feelings scored better on the exam than the group who wrote only about the possible test questions. It revealed that mindfulness journaling had a significantly positive impact on the students who identified themselves as anxious or suffering from test anxiety. 

Emotional Regulation


By consistently examining our emotions through journaling, we may become better at regulating them — even in the face of hardships. 

One 12-week web-based study used positive affect journaling (PAJ) to help intervene in the psychological distress of medical patients. 

In the study, 70 adults with varying medical conditions were instructed to complete a 15-minute web-based PAJ session, three days a week for 12 ongoing weeks. At the end of each month, they were given a survey that examined their psychological, interpersonal, and physical well-being. 

At the conclusion of the study, the data revealed that journaling had a profound and positive effect on decreasing each patient’s mental distress and increasing their well-being.



Journaling encourages the capturing of ideas and self-expression, both vital elements of creativity. 

While no research suggests that mindfulness journaling can instantly make you more creative, it may be able to help you articulate yourself better and improve your creative processes over time. 

According to other research, practicing mindfulness may be instrumental in fostering traits conducive to creativity. 

Mindfulness journaling may help you:

  • Reduce your fear of judgment
  • Improve your memory; and 
  • Increase your confidence and self-esteem

Problem-Solving Skills


By examining our thought processes through journaling, we may be able to form habits that require us to consider our thoughts before acting. Repeatedly examining these processes may lead to improving problem-solving skills. 

This prospect has been demonstrated through ongoing research. One paper reports that journaling can positively impact self-efficacy and locus of control in school-aged children.

The Sedona Mago Center for Well-Being and Retreat Uses Mindfulness Journaling and Other Methods to Help You Connect With Yourself


Let the river inside your mind explore mindfulness in a land where energies peak and like-minded souls connect — at The Sedona Mago Center for Well-Being and Retreat

Located in the Red Rocks of Arizona, our retreats aim to help individuals become rebalanced and realigned with their inner selves. 

These retreats combine modern teachings of energy healing and personal development to provide participants with a path and environment that promotes holistic healing, and self-realization — empowering you to better navigate and purify the rivers of your mind. 

Spend multiple days and nights using mindfulness practices like journaling, yoga, tai chi, and meditation to improve your well-being and self-connectedness. 

Find programs and begin planning your retreat today.

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