The Mind-Junk Journal

Disclaimer: A Mind-Junk Journal is not meant to replace therapy.

I’m a fraud. My work isn’t good enough. It’s tasteless, unoriginal, nobody wants it, and nobody likes it. Whatever work I put out today won’t be any better than yesterdays work, and yesterdays work was no better than the work I put out the day before.

This is the kind junk that I often wake up with. Junk that I call Mind-Junk.

What do you do with junk? You get rid of it. Trash it. Burn it. Take it to the dump.

That’s what a Mind-Junk Journal is for. A practice in mindfulness for the pessimistic self-critic.

Before getting a Mind-Junk Journal, you need to realize that the junk is actually junk. You need to realize that there’s junk in your head, it’s weighing you down, and it’s taking up mental space which you could be using to focus on what’s necessary, to clearly see what you can do to move your projects forward, to be more generous, less frenzied, less in a hurry, less harsh to yourself and to other people.

Take a journal that you’ve never used before. Hire this journal to be your Mind-Junk Journal. You can’t use any other journal. Why? Because your Mind-Junk Journal is going to be the only place you dump your mental junk. No reason to ruin a good journal with piles of junk.

Everyday, we collect junk. Just like we collect waste through food, we collect waste through our brains. Unlike waste that passes through our bodies, the waste that passes through our brains stays in our brains. Unless we dump it into a Mind-Junk Journal.

The Mind-Junk Journal isn’t like a normal junk journal. It isn’t about creating flowery montages of magazine photos. What are you supposed to write in a Mind-Junk Journal? Junk thoughts. The kind of thoughts that make you feel like garbage.

“But if I focus on the negative, I’ll feel worse.”

That’s the point. This isn’t like other mindfulness journals which instruct you to write down what you’re expected to be grateful for. Save the gratefulness practice for the gratitude journals. This journal is for junk.

It’s likely that as you write down the thoughts that are self-sabotaging, you’ll want to stop after realizing how crummy the writing is making you feel. That’s the effect of a Mind-Junk Journal in action.

Consider the Mind-Junk Journal as the physical spam folder of your brain.

The goal isn’t to fill an entire journal with statement’s like, “I am so bad at blah blah blah.” You could write just one worry or one fear per page. It could even be one word. Fight the junk. Respect the junk, give it some power, then watch as its power dissipates as you move on.

After dumping your junk, expect more junk to come. Then, continue to dump the junk.