Mindfulness Journal: Improving the Quality of Your Life (and Your Yoga Practice)
Some world famous people kept diaries: Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, to name a few.
Recently, social media and influencers have made "that girl" a huge event. This book combines mindfulness and personal development diary to help women and girls become more assertive and confident.
If you don't know the results of studies conducted on this topic, you may be skeptical about the effectiveness of spending time writing down your thoughts and feelings. Which is better for your health: dedicating 5 minutes a day to a journal or doing something more realistic?
Well, the answer is: keep a journal! It really does have an effect on your mental and physical health. Find out why and how in this article.
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... The main thing is not to achieve perfection, but rather to practice and find the right balance. This is the goal of the new yoga program on the adidas Training app. Whether you're a beginner or an expert in yoga, our 8-week program paves the way for mobility, fluidity, and mindfulness. From pranayama to vinyasa, aum to namaste, our yoga instructor will guide you every step of the way. All you need is a mat, a little curiosity, and the desire to get stronger on the inside!
Keeping a mindfulness diary: What are the benefits?
It is scientifically proven that journal keeping:
- improves memory
- It gives you positive views
- Reframe negative feelings
- Helps focus and organize
- Boosts immune function
- Increases self awareness
- It gives the feeling of having a purpose
- Improve your productivity
But how can something as simple as keeping a journal lead to such profound changes in ourselves and our well-being? This is what we will find out.
Keep a gratitude journal for better health
Gratitude journal is also called mindfulness journal, mindfulness journal, happiness diary, etc. Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve mental and physical health. Writing a diary helps us analyze the positive and negative aspects of a day, situation, or thought process. Just being slow to
think about an idea generally reduces stress. Spending time reflecting on your day often reveals small, exhilarating, and unexpected details that usually escape us. Putting the past, present, and future into perspective generates a sense of optimism, gratitude, and hope. Even people who are deeply depressed see an improvement in their mental health when they are asked to record their thoughts each day in a journal. ( 1 )
More motivation and productivity
Whether you're starting a new fitness or wellness activity, or finishing a college thesis, keeping a journal can help you break through the slump. Students who were asked to keep an online diary for two weeks showed a significantly higher level of motivation. (2) Taking the time to write down assignments related to work, or your progress toward a goal, can help you better understand what is going on and creatively deal with obstacles standing in your way.
You're lying in your bed, exhausted, yearning for one thing: sleep! But unfortunately, the more time passes, the more you become unable to sleep due to the thoughts running through your head. In one study, participants with the same problem were asked to keep a diary. The first group had to write down the tasks they accomplished during the day, while the second group listed the tasks they planned to complete the next day. Participants who wrote down the tasks for the next day slept much faster than those who recorded what they did. So if you're having trouble sleeping, try keeping a to-do diary!
Strengthen your immune system
It's hard to believe, but keeping a journal has been shown to improve our immune system. It is not known if the effect is physical or psychological, but it is real. A group of people was instructed to keep a diary of 15-20 minutes, 3-5 times per week. People who wrote about their lives creatively and expressively had lower blood pressure, fewer visits to the doctor, and improved lung and liver function. (3) If you have trouble writing, you will find our advice at the end of this article.
Managing stress, anxiety and depression
Here, the scientific evidence in favor of journaling is striking. Keeping a diary of people experiencing negative thoughts helps them effectively reframe/change their feelings. Through the journal, it is possible to better understand patterns (such as self-deprecation), triggers and stressors. Thus, it is possible to learn to recognize and control these situations before they get out of hand. Teens who keep a
diary show some symptoms of depression.  Nursing students who kept a diary during the COVID-19 pandemic were able to control their stress and reactions better than those who did not. (5) And nurses are not the only ones who have found relief from coronavirus-related anxiety through journaling: a simple gratitude writing session reduced stress and negative thoughts from a group of randomly selected people during the pandemic. ( 6 )
When facing a trauma/accident, keeping a diary helps relieve symptoms. Victims show fewer emotional symptoms and better physical health when they keep care diaries. (7) People with PTSD showed a greater ability to make effective and rational decisions. This ability is often disrupted after a traumatic experience. ( 8 )
The journal as a therapeutic tool
For people with more severe mental and physical disorders, keeping a journal is a real therapeutic tool. Women with multiple sclerosis show less anxiety when writing diaries. (9) For people with sarcoma, keeping a diary helps them deal with the stress of chemotherapy, and so they are better able to continue their cancer treatment. (10) For people recovering from addiction, keeping a journal as a self-
management tool for their health and needs has allowed them to take better care of their children. (11) Patients with eating disorders are given a food diary to document their feelings before and after meals, which helps them deal with their fears about food and their eating disorder.
You don't believe in it?
Of course, not everyone is naturally inclined to sit down and memoirs. With that said, there are plenty of ways to keep a journal, from doodling to to-do list. Read on for ideas!
Practical guide: How do you keep a diary?
Now that you know more about the power of paper and pen, here are some tips to help you write.
Rules: There are no rules!
Before you begin, one thing should be clear: There are no "wrong" rules, requirements, structure, or methods for the journal. Get rid of personal judgments and expectations about what your journal will look like. Let everything happen. The key: Treat your diary writing with curiosity and observation. Thanks to the information collected, you will have a better view of yourself.
Set a goal to write the frequency and duration
Some people need a structured time to write. Some suggest writing in the morning instead, because that way you plan your day consciously. Choosing a time limit for writing — for example, you can set a timer to limit yourself to 5 or 10 minutes — gives you more responsibility for writing your journal. Additionally, setting a goal for how often and for how long to write provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Take a look at next week. Decide when and for how long to write. Sit in a comfortable and quiet place. A cup of tea or coffee, then your favorite pen: You're ready to go.
write on the fly
If the idea of sitting down at regular times to keep a journal scares you, it may be helpful to have a small notebook to write down at a time that suits you. This will be especially helpful if you are stimulated by small details or feelings that you are capturing at the moment. If you don't want to keep a diary about yourself, you can write about your surroundings: the people who take the subway with you, what you saw while jogging, or a project you're working on that you're having trouble finishing. The combination of deep thoughts and reflections of light should open up new horizons in your everyday life.
Have a small notebook and pen that you can always take with you. Write down the ideas that come to you and your observations about the world around you. You may be surprised at how many fun experiences and good ideas are around you.
Keeping a journal strengthens the mind-body connection and helps you achieve your goals. Here are three types of wellness records:
Yoga Journal: Keep a journal next to your mat. Before starting a yoga session, describe your physical sensations and goals. After the session, note how your physical sensations have developed. Feel free to stop in the middle of the session to jot down thoughts or feelings that come up.
Exercise record: Instead of using your phone to record delegates and groups, use a pen and a laptop instead. In addition to recording your workouts, also indicate your physical and mental sensations. Did you leave exercise exhausted, depressed, or left the gym bloated? Do any of the exercises hurt your shoulder? If so, what could be causing the pain? And if you have a great idea in the middle of a fitness session, stop writing it down.
Food Diary: As mentioned earlier, patients with eating disorders are given a diary to keep track of their diet. But it is not about counting the number of calories consumed. Rather, it is about picking up on emotional stimuli and reactions to food. Tracking your diet is a great way to make sure you are getting the right micro and macronutrients. Describing your relationship/feelings towards food will help you better understand your body's signals and find alternatives to avoid eating when you are feeling emotional. The goal is to understand your daily needs and eat more intuitively.
If keeping a diary still seems too complicated, or if you don't know where to start, we have a solution for you...
To get you started, we have prepared a series of questions (see below). Set the timer for 5 minutes and see how many answers you can type. If you finish before time runs out, go back and add more details to your answers. You will undoubtedly be amazed at what you will learn about yourself and the things around you!
Which color suits your mood?
- What is the best thing that happened to you today?
- What was the most annoying thing that happened to you today?
- What is your goal for today?
- What tasks do you need to complete today?
- What can you do to take care of yourself today?
- What happened last year on the same date?
About the author
Emily Stewart is a freelance writer for Runtastic. She is a Vinyasa Certified Yoga Instructor (200 hours and nearly 500 hours). She is also a certified yoga teacher with a focus on trauma. She has taught yoga in the US, England, Malta, and Austria (and online). I have attended and hosted yoga retreats all over the world. She spent six months studying in India, practicing yoga at Sivananda Vedanta Ashram at least twice a week. She spent three days in a forest ashram in Tamil Nadu, India. She was a mentor and trainee for teacher training of the Kaivalya Yoga Method.