I have a powerful inner critic which can wake me in the night in a panic or regularly whisper in my ear that I’m not good enough.
Morning Pages (taken from Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way") are simply 3 pages of handwritten, stream-of-consciousness notes first thing in the morning before doing anything else. There is no structure, no prompts, just writing whatever comes to mind.
Three key benefits of daily Morning Pages
I've added morning pages to my daily routine, to help me with my mental health. The benefits for tackling my inner critic have been:
Building a habit by linking with other activities
I link writing my morning pages with my first coffee of the day. It acts as a trigger for me to start writing and exploring my thoughts, without distractions, when I would otherwise only have scrolled aimlessly on the internet.
Stream-of-consciousness writing removes obstacles
Having no prompts to write about can feel challenging, but it's unlocked the power of journalling for me.
I have the freedom to write about whatever is on my mind. When I can't think of anything, I start with "I don't know what to write about...", or observe what is around me (also a great mindful activity).
This, combined with having a 3-page target helps those thoughts to gradually emerge, sometimes randomly and haphazardly.
Exposing my inner critic to the light and reason
As I write about the things that are on my mind, it transforms them from a swirling current of spiralling thoughts into something real. Something that I can examine, challenge and question.
This can lead me to discount fears as overblown, or writing more about them helps me to see actions I can take or explore different perspectives on the situation.
Although aimed at blocked creatives, Morning Pages is a cornerstone of my routine and managing my mental health, enabling me to challenge and silence that pesky inner critic.