You may think that the concepts of mindfulness and journaling apply to only adults. This is not true. Given that anxiety and depression among children are on the rise, they also need to embrace mindfulness for their physical, emotional and mental well-being. Mindfulness journaling helps children express themselves without the fear of judgment and be aware of the present moment.
Here are a few tips to encourage your children to start mindfulness journaling.
Gift Them a Special Diary/Journal
Gift your children an attractive diary with blank pages. These days, kid-friendly journals are also easily available online. Buy one for yourself too. This will get them excited to try something new with you.
Give Them Journal Prompts
If your child’s journal doesn’t contain prompts, then you could give a few to them. You can start with simple prompts such as:
- What are five things or qualities you love about yourself?
- What are three things you don’t like about yourself?
- What is your biggest fear?
- What made you happy today?
- What do you do when you feel angry?
Let them write whatever comes to their mind. There is no right or wrong way to journal! As your children begin to get comfortable, you can give them new prompts every day. You can easily find these prompts on the internet.
Help Them Express Negative Emotions
How do your children express their negative emotions?
Do they suppress their emotions and behave as if nothing happened? Do they vent out through yelling, fighting or throwing away things? Do they go completely silent and stop responding?
Well, none of these methods are right. Whether it is children or adults, everyone needs to release their negative emotions positively. Next time your children feel anger, sadness, hurt, jealousy, guilt or emotional in any way, ask them to write their feelings in the journal. This will make them feel better because they would have vented out everything.
Try Different Types of Journaling
Children tend to lose interest in any activity easily. Hence, you need to keep them engaged creatively. They can do different types of journaling, depending on feelings and mood:
- Gratitude Journaling: Encourage your children to write at least three things they are grateful for. If they do this daily, it will train their mind to look at the good side of life. For example, ‘My mother made my favourite food’, ‘I won the sports race in the school’, etc.
- Affirmations Journaling: They can write positive affirmations. For example, ‘I am safe, secure and protected’, ‘I am a confident person’, ‘I have a sharp and intelligent mind’, etc.
- Goals Journaling: They can write their goals for the day, week or month. For example, ‘I will finish my homework before 7 pm’, ‘I will read two pages of a book before sleep’, etc.
- Emotions Journaling: They can write both negative and positive emotions as and when they feel like.
Mindfulness journaling is a useful way to raise mindful and happy children. When they know how to manage their emotions and know what they are doing and why they are doing it, they will learn to focus on the present instead of worrying too much about the past or future.