5 Benefits of Starting a Mindfulness Practice Through Stream of Consciousness Writing (Plus Tips to Get You Started!)

Amy Horton
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There’s no doubt mindfulness is a valuable practice for personal growth, both on and off the mat. It helps us alleviate stress, calm anxiety, and be more conscious, compassionate humans.

If you are looking for a way to start a mindfulness practice, or just searching for a way to grow your practice and go a little deeper, stream of consciousness writing might just be the tool you need. It can help you connect to vulnerability, practice staying present, and trust your intuition.

Stream of consciousness writing is a free-form style of journaling without censoring or editing.

We refer to mindfulness as a practice for a reason, right? It’s challenging because it’s counter-cultural. We live in a society that encourages us to keep moving, hustle, and multi-task our way through life.

It takes discipline to let go of control, to allow, to simply be present with what is.That’s why it’s important to have the tools for building a mindfulness practice.

Stream of consciousness writing is a free-form style of journaling where you write down exactly what you’re thinking without censoring or editing. You simply sit down and let the words flow onto the page just as they are moving through your mind. It requires you to find presence and honesty in the moment.
 
 

Here Are 5 Benefits of Stream of Consciousness Writing:

 

1. Practice Vulnerability

It can feel vulnerable to put your every thought onto the page. But vulnerability is where we find truth – it’s where we connect to ourselves and discover our voice.

See Why It’s Okay to Be Vulnerable on Your Yoga Mat

It’s also how we stay connected to mindfulness in a very powerful way. Vulnerability can be difficult but this type of writing will provide a safe space to practice tapping into that part of ourselves.
 

2. Be More Intentional with Your Actions

Stream of consciousness writing helps us get underneath the surface emotions, the ones we usually just react to, and allows us to see what’s really going on.
 

 
 
By getting to the root of things, we’re able to be fully present with what is. Then, we are able to act from a place of truth instead of reacting to a surface emotion.
 

3. Practice Staying Present

As we write down our thoughts, it allows us to practice staying present as they jump from one thing to the next and back again.

It’s the practice of allowing the present moment to be exactly what it is, without judgment and without trying to force it to be what we think it should be. It allows us to practice staying present with what is as it shifts and changes and unfolds without any control or action from us.
 

4. Practice Non-Attachment

We become the observer in this practice; the narrator or recorder of our thoughts. As we practice letting go and allow our minds to do their thing, we are practicing non-attachment.

We see these thoughts move about and weave their story and we simply write it down, then keep writing and writing and writing. There’s no time to censor or edit or overthink or analyze. We simply allow and observe what is.
 

5. Strengthen Your Intuition

The noise from outside can drown out that quiet guiding voice inside us, our intuition. But as we practice being present with what is, we get closer and closer to our truth, our inner voice. When we get really, really present, we get super honest, and allow our thoughts to just be.

Time to let loose and discover How to Let Go of Your Inner Control Freak and Enjoy Life as It Comes

We start to hear ourselves more clearly and can better tune into our own intuition. The more we practice this the more we learn to trust that intuition, too.
 
 

10 Tips for an Effective Stream Of Consciousness Mindfulness Practice:

  • Don’t edit your writing
  • Don’t censor the words, just write them exactly as you think them
  • Remember that no one else will read this; it’s for your eyes only
  • You don’t have to re-read any of it
  • Don’t pause to think; keep writing whatever thoughts are there
  • Try doing it at the same time every day for a set amount of days
  • Set a time or page length as a goal and stick to it
  • Get rid of distractions – phone, tv, notifications on your computer, etc
  • Try to let go of self-judgement; there is no right or wrong here
  • When you’re done, let it go – don’t overthink it

 
 

Okay, I’m Ready to Begin Stream of Consciousness Writing. Now How Do I Do It?

There isn’t an exact science to stream of consciousness writing and no right or wrong way to do it. You can write for a set amount of time or a set number of pages. You can choose to handwrite in a journal or type on a computer.

A popular example of stream of consciousness writing is Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages – three pages of longhand, done first thing in the morning, every day.
 

 
 
The format you choose is really up to you. The only “rule” to stream of consciousness writing is to write down your thoughts exactly as they are. So if you sit down to write and all you’re thinking is “I can’t wait until this is over. I’m really hungry right now.”
 
That’s okay, just write that. And then write the next thought and the next thought and so on, for as long as you set out to write.
 
Stream of consciousness writing is a personal practice to help you cultivate mindfulness. It’s your practice; there is no right or wrong way to do it. Experiment with different methods or times of day and find what works best for you.

 

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Amy Horton

Amy Horton is a Freelance Wellness Writer and Blogger for online magazines, businesses, and entrepreneurs. She creates digital content that supports women on the journey of living well and feeling whole. Offline, she’s a yoga enthusiast and avid coffee drinker, with an affinity for Shonda Rhimes TV dramas.

amyhortonfreelance.com

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