One of the paramount benefits of mindfulness is that it helps to increase our sense of self-awareness. The more we practice, the more attuned we become to our feelings, our thoughts, and the world around us. This increase in awareness enables us to engage thoughtfully with the world and increases our sense of self-empowerment.
Formal mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to achieve this benefit, but it isn’t the only tool we can explore. Keeping a mindfulness journal (and exploring the power of mindfulness journal prompts) can help us to dive more contemplatively into who we are and what we are experiencing.
Through journaling, we are provided the space to safely and honestly express our thoughts and feelings. The use of mindful writing in journals prompts enhances this process, encouraging us to relate to our experience with open, curious, and compassionate awareness.
If you use journals to increase self-awareness and overall wellbeing, consider the following mindful writing prompts to guide your reflections in nourishing and expansive ways.
10 Mindfulness Journal Prompts for Self-Awareness
1. What is the story I am telling myself right now?
This is a wonderful question to explore through journaling when we are caught up in a limiting or emotionally-draining narrative. By taking a step back and seeing our inner dialogue as a story, we start to gain a new perspective on our experience.
Follow up question: What is an alternative way I can tell this story?
2. What qualities am I grateful to embody?
For many, it is easier to see the beauty and goodness in another person than it is to see it in oneself. This prompt is a reminder to look into our own gifts, skills, and goodness and to bring them into full awareness.
Follow up question: How can I best express these qualities and gifts?
3. What is one thing I can commit to today that my future self will thank me for?
It is easy to become caught up in habitual behaviors that do not serve us; however, this question is an invitation to consider a single, nourishing act we can commit to today as an act of self-care.
Follow up question: What is something I can do right now that my present self will thank me for?
4. I am my most authentic self when I…
What does authenticity mean to you? What does your body feel like when you are being authentic? This question helps us to explore what it means to be true to ourselves and how doing so makes us feel.
Follow up prompt: I can encourage my authenticity to shine by…
5. What is one past event that I previously perceived as a failure and now perceive as a gift?
When we become more mindful of our thoughts, we start to realize that the events in our lives hold different meanings according to the labels we assign to them. This question enhances our awareness of the ever-changing nature of our perceptions.
Follow up prompt: What is something I am struggling to accept now that might look differently in the future?
6. What is one thing I have in common with someone who I have difficulties with?
When we are at-odds with another person or group of people, we can easily forget our shared humanity. By mindfully inquiring about what we have in common with people we feel so different from, we begin to bridge the gaps that divide us.
Follow up prompt: What life events might have shaped them to act in such a way that I find difficult?
7. What would my [insert body part here] say right now if it could speak?
We don’t often consider our individual body parts to have needs or yearnings. This prompt is an invitation to consider what our toes, our shoulders, or our hands might say if they were able to speak in words.
Follow up question: How can I listen to my body on a more regular basis?
8. What negative thought patterns do I wish to transform?
Each one of us knows what it is like to hold negative thought patterns. They can be difficult to unravel, but the only way to transform them is to be fully aware of their presence. This question helps us to bring them to the light.
Follow up question: What positive thoughts can I repeat as affirmations to replace these negative mental patterns?
9. What part of myself longs for more self-compassion?
This question can be explored when we are struggling to be unconditionally accepting of who we are. If you feel at odds with yourself, consider what body part or what aspect of your personality longs for you to be more patient, compassionate, and gentle towards it.
Follow up question: What words can I speak to this part of myself to show it that I love and care for it?
10. My highest values in life are…
The last of these mindfulness journal prompts is an invitation to come back to our highest values: what is it we care the most about? When we enhance our awareness of our fundamental values, we might find new inspiration to live in closer alignment with them.
Follow up question: What can I do today that is in alignment with my values?