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5 reasons why you should journal your meditation sessions

I was initially a bit skeptical about the benefits of meditation. I felt that it was a waste of time and that it would be another one of those “self-improvement” concepts that has been covered to death ala the millionaire morning routine.

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Meditation Journals have helped me to destress

My initial pursuit of meditation and mindfulness was not initially a journey of discovering my inner self, it was more about finding inner peace, improving my mental health, and destressing from work life and launching this website.

I also thought that it might be a way to improve focus and gain clarity. Since I was so skeptical about whether or not meditation would actually benefit me, I thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to document my process so that I could reflect on every session.

What is A meditation journal?

A meditation journal is a tool that can be used to help you focus your thoughts and connect with your innermost feelings. The idea is simple, Write down what you’re thinking and feeling during your meditation practice, then you can gain insights into the workings of your mind. A meditation journal can also be a useful way to track your progress over time.

By recording your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, you can see how your form is evolving over time. Ultimately, a meditation journal is a personal written record of your journey inward. It’s a place to explore your thoughts and feelings, and to cultivate greater self-awareness. Below you will discover 5 reasons for why you should write down your thoughts in a meditation journal

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1.It helps to quantify the impact of meditation

Journaling on a daily basis can help you reflect on your meditation practice and discover it’s changing you for the better. As your meditation sessions mature, you may find yourself picking up benefits such as self-awareness, empathy, improved focus.

You might want to use a journal as a space for reflecting on these benefits and how they are developing within you. In my case I quantified the effectiveness of the session by how much work I was able to get done during the day following the session.

Overall, I noticed that the days where I had a seamless, uninterrupted, and consistent session, my focus for the rest of the day was superb. The meditation set the tone for how the rest of my day would look and keeping track of the feeling each day made it extremely clear how reliant my performance was on meditating for the day.

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2.Meditation Journaling is cathartic

The practice of journaling is cathartic, providing a release for the pent-up emotions and stress that can build up over time. By taking a few moments each day to sit quietly and reflect on your innermost thoughts, you can create a space for calm and peace in your life. In addition, journaling can help to clarify your thoughts and feelings, providing a valuable outlet for self-expression.

Curbing Stress

When combined, meditation and journaling can be a powerful tool for managing stress and promoting emotional well-being. So if you’re looking for a way to destress and promote inner peace, consider giving meditation journaling a try.

Journaling my sessions was an extremely relaxing experience, especially considering I have never been one to reflect on my experiences/emotions up until recently. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I started working on a mental health website, that it actually clicked in my mind.

Mindfulness has become an essential part of my everyday routine. In my journals, I wrote about everything from identifying my primary stressors, to getting to the bottom of the reasons why I am always distracted, to reflecting on all things that affected my inner peace.

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3. It’s a great way to document your progress and track the success of your meditation practice

Meditation journals are an excellent way to monitor progress, identify areas that require improvement, and set goals. They are also useful for tracking your thoughts, emotions, and experiences

Below are some quotes from my meditation journal. Wanted to use this to illustrate a few early on in comparison to quotes from the end.

Day 3

“The Post Meditation benefits of the first two days seemed to have gone away, most likely due to  being over the initial rush of trying something new. “

The Day #3 meditation session referenced above was fine, however my main issue was that my routine afterwards was horrible. The first two days were great, I was trying something new and exciting, which ended up setting the tone for the rest of my day and the results showed. I was able to focus on my tasks for the rest of the day and I finished a lot of work.

However, for some reason my productivity fell off of a cliff immediately after day #3. I was checking my phone every minute,  I had multiple Youtube videos playing (simultaneously) and could not focus on any of my goals for that night. This is something that I probably would not have paid any attention to had I not been doing these daily reflections.

Day 21

“Breathwork, good posture & concentrated focus continues to be the best formula for me.”

” Maintained strong focus levels for the rest of the day. “

pink breathe neon sign

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Like I said earlier, there has been a lot of growth in my meditations. It might be minor, but you can clearly see the difference from Day 3 to Day 21. These journal entries have been an excellent way to identify areas that need improvement and it has allowed me to correct them.

Just as it’s satisfying to see the number on the scale go down, or the inches disappear from your waistline, it can be incredibly gratifying to read through past entries and see how much your meditation practice has grown.

4.You can use it to record mantras, quotes, or other pieces of wisdom that you come across

One thing I have really started to make an intentional part of my day is to capture all of the interesting ideas, quotes, or useful content that I come across each day.

I capture any and all pieces of content while on the go with the Notion app and later in the week, I analyze it and capture whether or not I want to use it for long term use later on. I do this for everything, including my meditation journal sessions.

Meditation is not a hot new trending concept. Meditation is an age-old practice that has been around for over 5000 years. It’s a matured concept, full of wisdom from the past that we don’t get access to in our everyday lives, so any time you learn something new or interesting that applies to your life you should write it down and save it to your meditation journal.

As you jot down interesting notes and ideas during the day, once you review them, you will get the opportunity to reflect on your day as a whole and understand yourself better as you recall your reasons for jotting these items down in your meditation journal.

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5. Mindfulness Journals help Identify and improve deficiencies your daily life.

I touched on this a bit earlier, but wanted to elaborate a bit more. Meditation is not just A way to reduce stress, its also a way to:

-Reduce confusion and gain clarity

-Improve your sleep quality

-Increase your energy levels, remove distractions,

-Improve your overall mood and so many more

However it is extremely hard to tangibly identify how it’s helping in each of these areas without some form of documentation.

I went into meditation specifically to reduce my stress levels and was pleasantly surprised by all the other benefits that it afforded, however I know for a fact that I would not have initially walked away with this level of happiness, had I not used a meditation journal to document the ways in which I was improving.

Meditation is not a cure for anything, it should be used as a tool to help develop stability by reducing distractions, anxiety, and lifting overall mood.

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What should you be documenting

In short, you should journal about whatever you want. You need to Identify your initial WHY and work your way backwards from that. For example if you want to use meditation as a tool to destress, identify what your primary stressors are, then determine how meditation can help. Meditation helps many to destress by:

-Removing clutter

-Improving concentration

-Lifting mood and many more

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These can all contribute directly to stress levels, so an example of monitoring these is establishing a baseline for where you are at now, and then taking daily logs of each of these measurables before, during and after your session. You will soon start to notice that just through the sheer act of doing this you will give your sessions a framework for meeting your goals.

My Journal Entries

In my journal entries I usually use the lessons learned from the previous day to dictate what happens for the next day. On the actual day of meditation I document what happened during the session and then summarize takeaways from that session in a separate section in an easily digestible format. See a journal entry from my session below.

Day 5

Meditated towards the end of the day. In contrast to my meditation session from the evening of Day 3(At the start of the weekend), I meditated late Sunday night in preparation for the work week to help me go into the work week calm & relaxed.

This seemed to work fairly well, because after the session I decided to squeeze a few more quick tasks into the last part of my day(tasks that I would have normally put on hold until later in the week).

I also felt calm the next morning & decided to meditate again first thing in the morning for the next day. The session itself was ok, however I’m still having issues with staying still in a comfortable position for an extended period of time.

I didn’t actually research ideal positions like I said I would last time. Shame on me. Focusing on Breathing in & out seems to be helping with staying focused, despite the discomfort.

TLDR Day 5:

  • Focusing on Breathing seems to be the most reliable way to stay focused 
  • Meditating right before the work week begins is an excellent way to prepare for upcoming tasks & put myself in the right mindset for the week. 
  • Meditating at night seemed to help me squeeze a few more tasks in before going to sleep in the morning. 
  • Still attempting to find the optimal position.

One thing that I want to add in the immediate future is have journal prompts for the day based on what I’ve learned in previous sessions. This way I have a clear direction for what I want to accomplish for your meditation practice

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Reflecting on the reflections

At the end of the day, keeping a meditation journal helped to quantify meditation’s impact on my daily life. It was also a therapeutic and an excellent way to document and track progress. It was great for organizing my thoughts and getting a few things done.

Be Mindful

Another key thing that I learned was the beauty of mindfulness and being fully present/seizing the moment. I learned about the importance of taking a break from the outside world, by focusing my attention on what I was experiencing in that very moment.

I didn’t try to change anything in that moment; I simply focus on what is. Then, if necessary, I chose to do something about it.

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Writing down what I learned after my sessions helped me to remember the truths and insights I gained. Journaling, like meditation, is an essential part of personal improvement. The insights I gained however meant absolutely nothing until I took action and implemented them in subsequent sessions.

I may have come to these conclusions eventually without documenting, however recording all of the experiences down in a meditation journal helped me to think critically and reflect on every session.

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