“The success of Morning Pages hinges on our doing them as close to awakening as we can." Julia Cameron
I've been doing morning pages for about 5 years now, and it has changed my life dramatically. The days that I write as soon as I wake up, I notice a positive difference. Writing upon waking up can release all the racing thoughts that seem to get bottled up and swept under the rug to get through our day. Some psychologists and neurologists have called it "The Most Cost-Effective Therapy" and a stream of unbounded consciousness to open up your mind. Most importantly, it doesn't have to be perfect. It can be filled with anger, gratitude, confusion, happiness, hope, or remembrance of our dreams. This is your free-write to express everything that comes to mind and maybe sketch a few pictures if you feel inclined to do so. It's an unhinged, uninhibited act of expressing your inner-being without feedback from the outside world.
“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” — Julia Cameron
What are "Morning Pages"? Morning pages is a morning ritual that encompasses a daily journal for your immediate thoughts upon waking. You simply wake up, take out your journal, grab a pen, and let the pen flow without stopping. There are no rules, sentence structures, grammar or topic requirements, you are free to write anything that comes to your mind. While there are many benefits to writing and learning to express and articulate your feelings, there's something advantageous about writing in the morning. Most importantly, immediately upon waking.
10 Benefits of Morning Pages
1. Therapeutic - Releasing heavy energy before starting your day can help de-stress the mind, setting the precedence for a productive and balanced day.
2. Silence your inner-critic - All of those worldly thoughts that can deter you from enjoying your day fully with optimism. Thoughts that can hold you back mentally, emotionally, and physically.
3. Getting clearer on your intentions for the day - It can become particularly hard to focus on what's important when your mind is clogged up with unreleased thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This exercise can be used to set goals, track your progress, and make intentional decisions throughout the day.
4. Allows you to be present - After releasing immediate thoughts, you're then free to focus on what and who is in front of you.
5. Sacred Place - The most significant benefit is the sacred space it creates to be unapologetically you. Free to vent, dream, find comfort, express confusion, give meaning to moments + dreams, find areas of growth, and/or set goals. A judgment-free zone to simultaneously release everything that you are or not and all that you hope to be.
6. Clarify - Writing, in general, can give you so much clarity and reason. Learning to articulate yourself uninhibitedly positively affects the way your brain functions. There are cognitive benefits to expressive writing such as a reduction in PTSD, stimulate motor cortical and sensory cortical regions of the brain and improve your cognitive health.
7. Give you insights on thought patterns and emotions that could eventually empower you to make sustainable and positive changes in your life.
8. Value your Thoughts and Feelings - A lot of times we can sweep our emotions under the rug or simply leave them unresolved due to a lack of importance, confidants, or insecurities. Writing aimlessly and unhinged can increase your perceived value and you will come to understand that you matter without the validation of external sources.
9. Meeting yourself as you are, every morning before you go out to please the world. Giving yourself time to express clearly, before you start your day, can give you an insight into who you really are without all of the roles, titles, responsibilities, and routines you have assumed in this life.
10. Reflection - You may find that the more consistent and unhinged you are, the context of your thoughts may become increasingly clear, organically concise and positive.
Have you implemented "Morning Pages" into your routine?