What if I told you there is ONE very simple journal writing secret that can change your writing — and your life — in just two minutes.
I’ve been a journal writer my whole life. I even learned the Intensive Journal Method in my twenties and have been using it ever since. But about three years ago I learned the most amazing journal writing secret. And now it’s the basis for my own personal growth, and everything I teach about journal writing.
The Secret Tip for Journal Writing: Reflection Writing
Reflection Writing is the simple act of ending your journal write with mindfulness. It is as incredibly simple as it is powerful. The practice just takes two minutes, and combines the mindfulness benefits of meditating with the insight and personal growth benefits of journaling. The act of reflecting on your writing is an essential part of the journal writing process if you want to encourage your own growth and tap your own wisdom within.
Journal writing itself is useful for processing thoughts, reducing stress, making connections and more. But a reflection write takes your intuition and insights to a deeper level. A reflection write sets you up with momentum – the writing tells you what is going on. The reflection tells you what you want to do about it.
What is Reflection Writing?
The reflection write is the practice of ending your journal writing session. It is a moment to be present to what you have written, how the ritual of writing was for you, and what you learned about yourself, others, or your world.
To do a reflection write, simply:
- reread whatever you have written,
- take a deep breath,
- then take a moment to observe the writing process, think about any surprises, themes or bigger messages, notice any feelings that come up, physical reactions.
For example, maybe the content of what you wrote was sad, but your handwriting indicates energy and happiness. Perhaps it shows the moment when you let go of something difficult and took that very first step into a new chapter for yourself. Or maybe you feel butterflies as you reread the entry — a signal from your ‘inner cheerleader’ that you are right where you need to be.
Reread your journal write almost as a detached and curious third-party. Are there ah has or themes or key words jumping out? Are you sensing a reaction somewhere physically in the body, or maybe a strong emotional tug? Sometimes in the reflection you might jot down a creative idea that came to you, a follow up writing idea, or any other action or follow up.
It’s best to set a timer for two minutes — this is plenty of time to take a deep breath, skim what you have written, take another deep breath and then with curiosity, write a reflection about whatever is standing out to you. Give yourself more time and you’ll end up trying so hard to search for big meaning, you’ll miss the little gems that are right in front of you!
Prompts for Reflection Writing
Any one of the following suggestions makes a great prompt for a journal reflection write. Ponder one for just a moment and then begin writing your reflection about your journal entry.
As I read this…
I’m aware of…
I’m surprised by…
I’m curious about…
My follow up is…
Or anything similar.
Simple Journal Writing Secret Helps You Become Your Own Best Coach!
The best part of a reflection write is that it’s so quick and simple. you’ve just put the raw material in your journal, and with a quick skim you can see the imprint of those words in a bigger way wherever they land in your heart or your intuition, linked to your personal vision, or providing yourself a gentle hug if you need it, or enlightening a brand new path around an obstacle.
For more insight on Reflection Writing in your journal, listen to my free mini-podcast on Insight Timer.
Want to explore further? Check out the tips and resources on my Workshops & Tools page. All of my class activities give you a chance to explore reflection writing for yourself. Or download free journal prompt worksheets, schedule a free, personalized one-to-one trial session, or join a free mini-session on Wellness Writing Wednesday right from the Workshops page.