Should You Meditate Before or After Journaling? (Answered)

Should You Meditate Before or After Journaling? (Answered)

One thing meditation and journaling have in common is helping us get to know ourselves better. But so powerful are the two, it leads many to wonder in what order they should do it.

They can be done in either order and are prone to provide the same benefits, no matter the order they are done. However, that’s not the case for everyone, since everyone is their own person. 

I’ll get into when it can make sense to do it before and when it makes sense to do it after, but my experience may vary from yours. So don’t take anything I say as gospel, you could have the opposite results.

One benefit of journaling before starting the practice is that it can help to clear your mind and get it in a calming state. 

After all, writing can be quite relaxing and if you’re already in the right state of mind before starting your meditation, you’re less likely to face any resistance doing it. It’s a bit like a trick to circumvent many of the challenges presented by the mind when we meditate. 

Those same thoughts you wrote down while journaling may appear in the meditation, but treat them as any thoughts and don’t attach any labels to them. They are merely thoughts just like clouds in the sky that shouldn’t get in the way of your session

What matters is your ability to remain in the now, which many find easier when they get their mind in order by clearing it. Journaling before is like paving the path for an easier meditation to take place, even if it isn’t guaranteed to be easy at all.

Journaling After

By journaling after, you’re able to track your progress with meditation. You might come off the meditation with different thoughts than you had when you started the meditation and it can be a way to compare how you think one day when you journal before meditating and another day when you journal after. 

It’s a way to see yourself from a third-person perspective, which is so often talked about when we talk about meditation, but that can mean such an abstract concept for someone that has never had a meditation experience when they enter a flow state. 

By journaling after, you’re able to analyze the thoughts you got during meditation and it’s often through observation that you can do something about these thoughts. 

Either deciding they serve you or they detract from you. So journaling in itself is a way to have a greater degree of control over the mind having certain thoughts. 

Combining The Two In The Same Day

Those who want to walk the extra mile and track their progress in real-time can benefit from journaling before and after the meditation. Many times, you find out that you have higher quality thoughts that serve you when you’re done with the meditation as opposed to before. 

After all, journaling is a way to organize your thoughts in one place, and doing it before and after meditation could be a way to shortcut the learning curve of meditation and see progress quicker. 

Meditation combined with any good habit only amplifies the performance of that habit. That’s why in general, meditation isn’t the quick fix people look for to all their problems, but instead, a tool that helps us become our best version to then have an easier time dealing with any challenges in question.

Catching Distracting Thoughts

Negative thoughts will always be a part of us more or less. It’s only a problem if these thoughts lead us down a negative path and influence our lives in a negative way, as opposed to letting them exist and being indifferent to them. 

But one benefit of combining journaling with meditation is that we can become our rawest selves without repressing parts of ourselves we don’t like, which is something meditation helps us do, then deal with the materialized version of that by writing down whichever thought we are having. It’s a way to observe that thought and deplete that thought from the influence it has over you. 

Of course, this can be done with meditation alone, but with so many thoughts we have in our day-to-day, journaling is what allows us to single out those particular thoughts that have meaning to us. 

Then you can decide whether you want to engage deeper with that thought or become indifferent, which of course, will require a certain level of discomfort and facing yourselves, but that ends up paying off later down the hall. 

A sign of growth is when a thought that previously had power over us no longer does, and it makes everything else fall into place easier, as these thoughts can often present themselves as roadblocks until we choose to do something about these thoughts, and it all starts with acceptance. 

Final Thoughts

Both journaling and meditation are great ways to learn more about yourself. The more you spend time with yourself, the less dependent you become on others’ approval, and the more you can rely on yourself and your growth to get things done. 

The combination of tracking your progress and clearing your mind with journaling is what makes it such a good complement to meditation. But that’s not to say that you can’t just meditate alone without journaling, many, if not most do that and still achieve the results they were looking for. 

But if you want a way to track your progress in a somewhat visual way, combining journaling with meditation is a powerful mix.  

It’s like watching a progress bar filling itself and telling you that you’re on the right path. In the end, you may not even need to seek validation on whether the meditation is working for you from gurus. 

So many seek help in their journey of meditation, which is totally fine and even advisable for some. It goes to show the power of meditation that some even pay hefty figures for coaching, as getting meditation right is so crucial to move in the right direction.

Now, even if external wisdom is always valuable, there’s nothing quite like being your own teacher. However, there’s no shame and nothing wrong with learning meditation from someone else or following a program, like using meditation apps or learning from a guru. 

Additionally, journaling can help you in becoming a less reactive person, and external factors emanating from worry and overthinking that you might’ve lost sleep over no longer get the best of you, but the same can be said about journaling.