When it comes to integrating mindfulness into my daily life, there have been several techniques that I’ve fallen in love with (and crave each day). From tapping to meditation to mindfulness walks, taking deep care of my brain and my soul has become an integral part of my life… and I want so badly for it to become an integral part of each of yours, too, because I know the difference it makes.
However, I know (I promise!) that finding the things that really connect with you can be super tricky — especially at the beginning of a mindset journey. Sometimes sitting in silence can seem overwhelming, sometimes it seems hard to carve out time for a walk in the middle of the day, and sometimes it all just seems trickier than you thought it would to turn inward in the first place.
I get it. I’ve been there.
But, let me promise you something: challenging yourself to turn inward, to take a step back from the screens and the packed schedules and the stress, can change your entire life.
In fact, it will. I can promise you that
And, one of the most simple ways to start integrating this mindfulness and self-care into your life — one of the ways with the lowest barrier to entry — is journaling. The simple act of putting some pen to paper has transformed so many of my limiting beliefs.
Plus, I have a technique for you to try out that feels good AND creates good in that sweet mind of yours — something called sandwich journaling.
Why journaling is a part of my mindfulness routine
While there are a million and one mindfulness techniques you can try (and that I can recommend!), there’s something that feels extra transformative about journaling — and it’s, truly, scientific. See, journaling has a long roster of benefits that come with it, from reducing stress and anxiety all the way to improving your mental dexterity.
A study by doctors James Pennebaker and Joshua Smyth showed that journaling can actually improve healing itself, helping to boost immune function in patients with HIV/AIDS and arthritis. Their studies have also shown a host of improvements in things like self-regulation, emotional responses, and even memory capacity.
Absolutely wild, right?!
Here’s the thing: the simple act of putting pen to paper might just be the very best way to process things, to set goals, and to clear your mind of the things that might be cluttering it — which leaves you room to actually and truly make the changes and do the things that you’ve been dreaming about.
Plus, it’s an excellent reminder to come back to yourself… instead of coming back to your email inbox or the calendar on the fridge or the littles that are waking you up in the middle of the night. There’s a quote I adore by Julia Cameron — who wrote the book The Artist’s Way, which I highly recommend — that really underlines why journaling is such a powerful tool for creatives:
“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”
And, I’ll add to this ^ it’s also not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on you.
My favorite journaling technique: Sandwich Journaling
Now, I know that journaling can really seem overwhelming — especially if you don’t see yourself as a huge writer. Enter: the technique that has completely changed and transformed my own journaling practice, sandwich journaling! This is a technique that one of my mentors taught me and that I’ve implemented in my own life, and it’s changed so much for me.
Here’s how it works: each morning (or afternoon, or night), you’re going to journal 3 pages — and these are going to be 3 pieces of actual PAPER, with an actual pen! This is important. And, if that seems overwhelming, don’t let it! You can use the smallest of journals that you’d like.
(Plus, the words tend to flow more than you think they will).
On page one, you’re going to focus on gratitude. I want you to write down every single thing you’re grateful for in the moment, from the most general (my family, my health) all the way to the most granular (the smell of this morning’s coffee, the way the leaves rustle during my morning walk). You’re going to fill the entire page with this.
On page two, you’re going to get really deep and incredibly honest — and you’re going to fill an entire page with your fears. The things that are keeping you up at night. The things that are filling up your headspace each and every day. If you’re getting stuck, write down the physical words “I’m afraid that…” and keep going, until the entire page is full.
Then, on that last page, I’m going to challenge you to flip the script and tease that brain of yours. You’re going to transform those fears into positive, impactful things. You’re going to brag on yourself, okay?!
(Need an example? Say, one of your fears is “I’m afraid that if I price myself too high, no one will book me.” Now, transform that into something like, “I get to charge what I want, because I’m incredibly good at what I do! I’m so proud that the clients who book me want to pay my rates.”)
Now, before you wrap up, I want you to end on another quick dose of gratitude. And then, congratulate yourself! You’ve just sandwiched it all — your fears, your joys, your goals — in gratitude. And, I can promise you… it invites more abundance into your life, and quickly.
So, here’s your challenge, my friend: I want you to try this sandwich journaling technique for an entire week. Every single morning or afternoon or night, I want you to take this time for yourself. I want you to turn inward, dig deep, and surface those joys and fears and thanks that you have for the life you’re living.
It will change your life.
Psst… if you’re craving more of this mindfulness and joy and intentionality in your own business, I have something super exciting to share! I’m kicking off a Peace & Profit challenge this week (!!!), and I’d love for you to join us — for free — as we gather together to focus on ourselves, our hearts, and our businesses… the right way! Register for your spot here.