Conscious Journaling to Clear Your Mind

Friday 03 March 2017 - Posted by Julia McCutchen

The benefits of journaling are well-documented; it’s a powerful way to promote physical, emotional and psychological healing, manage stress skilfully and boost your confidence as well as your creativity.

I’ve written a journal on and off for many years and have always felt the benefit of doing so even when I don’t write every day. Sometimes once a week is enough.

Yet when I’m travelling I love this powerful stream of consciousness writing even more than usual.

I capture the impact of significant first impressions seen with fresh eyes and express my thoughts and feelings about life, the universe and everything with a refreshing sense of total freedom.

A Key Tool in My Creative Treasury

My recent trip to Costa Rica has reminded me just how wonderful it is to have journaling as one of the key tools in my creative treasury.

So I’m inspired to share this prompt with you…

… and to explain that even if you have no intention of doing any other kind of writing, journaling is well worth exploring as a way to clear space in your mind, open your heart and unlock your creativity.

Yin-style Conscious Journaling

I teach a journaling technique that is slightly different to what you may have come across before.

I encourage an approach that I lovingly call ‘Yin-style Conscious Journaling’ which means that you develop an intuitive relationship with stream of consciousness free-writing based on whatever arises for you in the moment.

It’s like having a deep conversation with yourself and always for your eyes only yet doesn’t need to be done at a particular time of day or with the goal of completing a certain number of pages.

Instead, you build awareness into the practice and follow your deepest impulse to write freely and without judgement as you consciously pour your everyday thoughts and feelings onto the page until you feel done.

Clear Your Mind

In itself, this is an immensely liberating process which clears space in your mind from the daily accumulation of life and shifts your perspective so you’re no longer locked in the story of whatever issues you’re facing.

Open Your Heart

It also opens your heart because you have room to breathe into your musings in a way that allows you to let go of your anxieties and concerns. This either occurs in the moment the words meet the page or following multiple journaling sessions alongside other appropriate practices such as meditation and movement for releasing deeper issues.

Unlock Your Creativity

Conscious Journaling also develops your intuition and unlocks your creativity by clearing the path for deep creative insights to arise into your conscious awareness ready for you to apply to your current writing and other creative projects.

So why not take this opportunity to begin or re-commit to your own version of Conscious Journaling and experience the benefits of this effective internal space clearing for yourself.

  • Choose a journal to write in that feels right for you – large, small, spiral bound, pretty or practical – the choice is yours.
  • Writing by hand is usually preferable unless there’s a real reason not to in which case switch to using a keyboard or even voice recognition software if necessary.
  • Develop a regular rhythm of Conscious Journaling that suits your current situation and stay with it for as long as you feel it’s serving you; then update your rhythm as required.
  • Set yourself free to break as many rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation as you like, and write about anything and everything that’s on your mind or in your heart at the time.
  • If you don’t know what to write, use that as a prompt to get you started by writing about not knowing what to write! Or simply start with, “Today I’m feeling…”

What are your experiences of journaling? How has it benefitted you in your life generally and with your other writing or creative projects specifically? Please share your comments and experience below…


  • I write in my journal every morning, first thing, to clear my mind and centre myself for the day ahead. I begin not knowing where my writing will take me, at times unburdening my troubled heart and mind and always end up at a point of peace and understanding. pure magic.

    • How delightful to begin in the space of “not knowing” and end up in peace and understanding. Lovely Jeanine, thanks for sharing!

  • Julia thank you for your positive writing and about the way it makes a person open up. I think of my holiday in Tamarindo and the rest and relaxation from the sun. It helped me to heal and I enjoyed my spa treatments at the hotel that gave me my laugh back… everyday

    • Thank you for your comment Zuleika! I’m delighted to hear that your time in Costa Rica has been healing at many different levels for you. Enjoy the return of your laughter 🙂

  • Julia, I enjoy your thoughts about journaling. You describe it in ways that I have not thought about. I am traveling through Switzerland and writing about my journey every evening and I see that I could write about my days in a more conscious way to give it more depth.
    Thank you
    Roe Chiacchio

    • Hello Roe, that’s great to hear. Your travels through Switzerland sound inspiring and I imagine there must be many levels of your experience to draw from as you write in your journal. Whenever I’m travelling, especially when alone, I write a lot in my journal and love doing so.

      A more conscious approach will bring a new clarity to your ideas and a fresh quality to your words. Enjoy exploring that and let us know how you get on in due course. I’ll look forward to hearing! Julia

  • Dear Julia: I am 85 years old, writer of 11books so far and writing my 12th (all of them in Spanish). I began writing my journal a few years ago and the more I do it the more miracles I discover. I now see the discipline of journaling as THE WAY to control the power of our thoughts, to receive answers to all my questions, to be much more in the now and more aware of myself.

    • Hello Manuel, congratulations on your prolific writing output so far and how marvellous that you’re underway with your 12th book!

      It’s lovely to hear that journaling – as a more recent discovery – has proved to be such a powerful technique for you.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you every joy and success with your books as well as continued insight and deepening presence through your journaling.

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