Is it better to meditate than to write a journal? Here’s how to decide
Meditation and journaling are daily practices that can help you evolve and live a more balanced and fulfilling life. But you may be wondering “Is it better to meditate than journal?”
If you have a very busy mind, journaling before your meditation can help calm you down. This means that you go into your meditation feeling more stable. However, the opposite could also be true: keeping a journal first could make you think too much, making it difficult to concentrate during meditation.
Now, having said that, there are a few more things to consider before deciding when to journal.
That’s why I’m going to dig a little deeper into the potential benefits of meditating first vs. journaling first.
Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have a better idea of what makes sense for you.
BENEFITS OF KEEPING A DIARY BEFORE MEDITATION
If you have a very agitated and hyperactive mind, then it might be better to keep a journal before meditation. This can be useful because you:
- express yourself: Sometimes the mind is busy because we are holding a lot of emotions. It can be fear, anger, worries, shame, regret, general anxiety. Writing or journaling practices, such as morning pages, are an opportunity for you to “talk about it” without having to censor yourself. It’s basically a brain dump and you usually feel lighter once you’ve put those thoughts down on paper.
- Feel more stable: By writing down what’s bothering you, you can free up your thoughts instead of feeling blocked by them. This creates a feeling of freedom that can be very relaxing. And if you can start your meditation with more calm and less agitation, why not?
- Feel safe: Sometimes the words going through your mind can be overwhelming. It’s almost like your body has been invaded. But the simple act of writing down your thoughts creates space. Basically, this puts some distance between you and your thoughts. Suddenly, you don’t feel like you’re under attack in your own body or mind.
- Intimacy with the mind: the mind is just a tool that can work for or against us. Now, in order for the mind to work for us, we first have to become familiar with it. And when you write in a journal before meditation, you can see more clearly the thoughts that run your life. have this awareness before meditating means that during your meditation, you can practice being present with those thoughts, but without judging them. Easier said than done, but it’s worth it!
BENEFITS OF KEEPING A DIARY AFTER MEDITATION
Meditation can bring many emotions, ideas, desires, clarity and much more.
Here’s why you might want to consider journaling after you meditate:
- Unleash your creativity: some days you may be flooded with new ideas during your meditation. Maybe you’ll be inspired to move to a new place, change something in your business, or try a new recipe. Whatever the inspiration, it’s worth writing down. That way you can explore them further with your intellectual mind.
- You can navigate the tsunami of emotions: The hard truth is that many intense emotions arise during meditation. In fact, if you’re not used to spending a lot of time with yourself either you spend most of the day suppressing emotions, so everything can come up during meditation. Take note of those emotions and explore them in your journal. Keeping a journal can help you transmute the energy of those strong emotions.
- You can celebrate yourself: Sometimes we think that meditation doesn’t work unless we have had some magical experience. But the magic of meditation is just showing yourself every day. Even when it hurts like hell. So, at the very least, you can use your post-meditation journaling session to acknowledge the fact that you showed up for you. And that’s good enough.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDITATION OR DIARY FIRST
Is it better to journal or meditate?
From a yogic perspective, meditation is a practice that begins with focus (or concentration) and eventually leads us to a state of spiritual bliss or ecstasy (also known as samadhi in Sanskrit). As for keeping a journal, it helps us clear our minds and gain more clarity. But it will not necessarily create the state of samadhi that the yogic texts mention.
Does writing in a journal count as meditating?
Journaling is more of a mindfulness practice than a meditation (if we are using the definition of meditation from the yogic texts). In general, meditation involves some degree of detachment from the senses (which is why eyes are often closed and we are encouraged to be still during meditation).
Whether you choose to journal before meditation is entirely up to you.
Rather than have a hard and fast rule about this, it’s probably best to just let go and adapt to the day or season of your life.
In fact, I might even write a journal before. and after your meditation.
It is your practice. No one will give you a passing or failing grade (other than that annoying voice in your head) 🙂
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