Doing some mindfulness writing exercises is a fun and often engaging way to practise mindfulness. Doing so can help you be more present, hone in on your goals and discover a level of gratitude towards the things that matter to you. Journaling has been around for thousands of years and even the great Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius kept one, better known today as the book Meditations.
Whilst journaling can be a mindful exercise itself, practising some specific mindfulness writing exercises can increase your sense of being present and calm. First off, let’s look at how you can get yourself into the zone as you sit down to being your writing.
If you want to get the best out of yourself when you sit down to do your writing, it’s a good idea to limit the distractions around you. That means clearing your desk, turning the TV off and even leaving your phone in another room. It’s all too easy to let your mind wander off and find yourself swiping on your phone.
So, make sure your environment is free of distractions and clutter.
Let go of perfectionism
One of the most important things when writing is to understand that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, trying to be too perfect often slows you down. You can always come back later and edit your work if you need to. Usually just starting is when you end up writing down what’s on your mind in a raw and authentic way. Your creativity is allowed to just flow and your best thoughts and ideas come out. So, try not to censor yourself or be too precise. Simply begin and you’re halfway there.
The next thing you should consider is taking some deep breaths or even performing some mindful breathing exercises. Writer’s block is usually caused by a cluttered mind with too many thoughts. To write freely, you have to get go of the tension in your body and mind.
When you sit down to begin writing, take a minute to perform some deep breaths to relax yourself. Throughout the writing process, you may need to do this several times, especially when you feel yourself struggling to think about what to write. Move away from your desk and take a few deep breaths.
Mindfulness writing exercises
You can do these mindfulness writing exercises in your own journal or you can download the below mindfulness writing exercises sheets that are specifically designed for mindful writing and then you can pop them in your binder.
12 Mindfulness writing exercises worksheets
Download your printable worksheets for the below exercises.
1. The love writing exercise
The first mindful exercise is all about love and the feelings you feel towards those that truly matter to you in your life. Take a deep breath and follow the prompts below.
- Picture someone you love deeply coming to you. Who are they? How do you know them?
- What sensations do you feel in your body when you’re close to them? Describe them.
- Describe how your life is better with them in it.
2. The love for yourself exercise
The next mindful writing exercise is all about loving yourself and showing yourself some self-compassion. Use the prompts below and really try to give detail in your answers.
- Close your eyes and imagine looking at yourself from a third-person perspective. Describe what sort of mood you look like you’re in. How have you been feeling?
- Take a step towards yourself and hold your hand. Look in your eyes and tell write down what you’re most proud of yourself for.
3. Gratitude writing exercise
This next mindful writing exercise is about finding things you’re grateful for. Use the prompts below.
- Think of one important thing you’re grateful for in your life.
- Describe in full detail how it makes you feel on a daily basis and how it brings positivity into your life.
4. Past experience exercise
This exercise is all about looking into your past and discovering things that may have made you the person that you are today. Follow the prompts below.
- Fully describe a favourite time in your childhood and how you think it has shaped the person you are today.
- Describe the main lesson you learnt from that experience.
5. Life right now exercise
This writing exercise is about discussing your life right now and how you think it’s going without judgement. Talk about if it involves the things you really want out of life or if you think there are certain things you know you could do to improve it.
- Describe the life that you’re living presently.
- What things are bringing you happiness and what is holding you back from making the progress you want?
6. Life in the future exercise
Once you’ve written about your past experiences and your present life, it’s time to write in detail about your future and what you want out of it.
- Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? Where do you want to be?
- What are the virtues you want to carry into your future and always remember as your guiding light?
7. Goal focus exercise
This mindfulness writing exercise is helpful for tuning into your goals for the future whether short or long-term. The idea is to be completely honest with yourself no matter how wild or silly your ambitions may seem.
- What is your main goal right now as you sit here today? Discuss in detail.
- What is it you hope to get out of achieving this thing and how will it improve your life?
8. My core values exercise
This writing exercise is about looking into your core values and why you believe they are important. Everyone has values they live by, whether they realise it or not.
- Name three values you hold in life that you believe to be important not in general but for you personally.
- Discuss why each of these values are important to you and think about how they have served you so far in your life.
9. Listening to my body writing exercise
This writing exercise is about tuning into the natural rhythms of your body.
- Sit in silence and focus your attention on each part of your body, starting with your toes. Make your way up your body slowly and patiently.
- Describe the sensations you feel in your toes, legs, torso, arms, neck and head.
10. What’s weighing on my mind exercise
This writing exercise is helpful for understanding what’s weighing on your mind so you can begin to understand what you need to do or say or do to find a conclusion. Follow the prompts below.
- Look deep within yourself. Without thinking too much, describe the thing that has been on your mind for so long.
- Talk fully and freely about what you know you need to do to set yourself free from this weight on your mind.
11. Visualisation exercise
This exercise is helpful for visualising your success. When you can visualise your success, it can be easier to achieve.
- Imagine yourself getting the thing you desire the most right now. Describe how you think it will make you feel to achieve that thing and how your family would react.
- Now work backwards and describe all the things that you’ll need to do to reach that goal in real life. What obstacles will you have to move around?
12. Brain dump exercise
This is a fun mindfulness writing exercise that will help you purge your busy thoughts. The idea is simple, get your thoughts out of your head and then throw them away!
- Begin writing. Simply write about the first thing that comes to your mind. Continue for ten minutes.
- When the ten minutes is up, take your writing and either put it in your shredder or scrunch it up and throw it in the bin!
Make up your own mindfulness writing exercises
Part of the fun in writing is simply letting your hand write freely. You could even make up your own mindfulness writing exercises depending on whether you’re a student, a nurse, or a teacher, for example. Pick a topic you want to explore and simply start writing. Half the battle is just starting. One of the great things about writing is you can often end up discovering something you had never previously thought about and work things through in a logical manner.
Don’t forget to download these mindful writing exercises as worksheets if you’d like them prebuilt for you to fill in.