Have you ever tried using a bullet journal to become more mindful? People tend to think that journals are more like diaries and are only for writing memories. However, journals can be a great tool beyond recording memories and feelings.
Food diaries can be used to help practice mindfulness. When you write down everything you eat, patterns begin to emerge. You can use this information to gain more insight into your eating habits. Recording each food you consume also helps minimize mindless snacking throughout the day and evening. For instance, you might realize that you end up grazing around 3 pm when you’re trying to get past an afternoon slump. By recognizing this, you can adjust accordingly to meet your goals and prepare a pre-portioned healthy snack to get you through the afternoon without overeating.
Take your journaling skills farther by keeping track of your emotions when you eat. Just as keeping a record of food consumption can aid with weight management, keeping a record of food-related emotions can identify reasons you eat or don’t eat something. Take the previous example, realizing you’re eating in the afternoon because you’re tired is the first step to eating more mindfully. Some people find it useful to record sleep, alcohol consumption, exercise and any food-related symptoms to provide a clearer picture. You might find that when you get less sleep, you are more prone to grazing in the afternoon or skipping a workout. A good night’s rest is important for many aspects of your health, and recognizing that sleep affects stress, food choices and activity levels may provide a greater incentive to get enough sleep.
Tracking everything you do may sound tedious. That’s where keeping a bullet journal comes in. Use simple bullet points (instead of going into detail) to achieve the same mindfulness training without spending hours writing.
Bottom Line: Keeping a journal, even for a week or two, is a great exercise for practicing mindfulness and getting in the habit of thinking about the choices you make every day.
Written by: Kyla Greenwell, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern