Gratitude and Focus Journal
Journaling is by far the most accessible way to increase your self-awareness, promote gratitude, and recognize progress.
These prompts were carefully selected to help you start your day on a positive note, and to set your sights on what's truly important in your life.
1. What am I most grateful for today?
This first prompt is a classic, yet it's like a Swiss Army knife for mental health. It's not just about counting your blessings; it's about zooming in on the here and now. This prompt encourages you to notice the little joys and comforts of your daily life, which might otherwise slip under the radar. Think of it as a mental snapshot of those small yet significant moments—like the way your morning coffee smells or the feeling of fresh sheets. It's about finding joy in the mundane, which can be surprisingly uplifting.
A word of caution: if you're not feeling gratitude as you're answering this question, dig a little deeper. For example, if you write, "I guess I'm grateful I still have a job when everybody around me is being laid off," and instead of gratitude, you feel resentment—pause for a moment.
Sometimes our physical or mental state makes it difficult to focus on the positive. If you're having a hard time with this question because of the state you're in, skip this question for today and take care of your state first. What you don't want is to use fake gratitude to pave over your uncomfortable feelings.
2. What’s the most important area of my life today?
This one's a bit like having a daily board meeting with yourself. It's about identifying your main 'agenda item' for the day. In a world where we're bombarded with tasks and distractions, this prompt helps you cut through the noise and focus on what truly matters. It's about recognizing that while you can have it all, you probably can't have it all at once. So, what's the big fish you need to fry today?
3. What smallest action will I take today to keep the momentum?
Here's where the rubber meets the road. It's one thing to have goals and another to take concrete steps towards them. This prompt is about breaking down grand plans into bite-sized, doable actions. It's like choosing to walk a few extra steps today on the path to a marathon. Small, consistent actions are the unsung heroes of progress.
4. What change in my life am I practicing today?
This prompt is your personal change agent. It's about consciously practicing the change you wish to see in your life. Whether it's being more patient, learning a new skill, or improving your health, this is about deliberate practice. It's the daily rehearsal for the big performance of life change.
5. What are the signs the change is already happening?
Finally, this prompt serves as a progress tracker. It's easy to get lost in the pursuit of a goal and forget to recognize the milestones along the way. This is about spotting the early signs of change, the little victories that signal you're on the right path and lead to more victories. It's like noticing the first buds in spring, signaling the onset of a new season.
Available on Amazon:
Mindful Momentum: Gratitude and Focus Journal: Cultivating Mindfulness and Progress Through Everyday Reflections
Anxiety, Trauma, and PTSD
First of all, what is trauma?
Trauma is a frightening experience that's too overwhelming to process.
Trauma often happens in childhood. Uncovering and acknowledging the childhood experiences that induced trauma is often how we heal as adults.
Please note that we can't change the past. Trauma treatment is not about pretending the traumatic event didn't happen or imagining it happened differently.
Doing any trauma work could be triggering. It could lead to dissociation and intense feelings. It's best done with a licensed professional who could help you stay regulated and safe during the process.
But not processing trauma can also lead to triggering, dissociation, and more. And not everybody can access mental health services.
If you choose to continue reprocessing trauma on your own, here's what you can do to help ground yourself.
Reprocessing trauma will have time. Don't rush. Give yourself plenty of time and be gentle with yourself.
Before you start, perform some grounding exercises:
• Do a grounding exercise, such as deep slow breathing. Tune into your surroundings, listen to the sounds in the room, pay attention to the lights and colors, notice the objects around you—what's their texture like, and sensations in your body—the weight of your body on the chair you're sitting on, the temperature of the air, how it feels on your skin, and so on.
• Get physically comfortable. Find a comfortable place to sit. Make yourself a cut of hot cocoa. Turn on soft lighting and perhaps some soothing music.
• Use paper to write, don't rush, give yourself time to process what you're writing.
These prompts are adapted from Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg's 10 Best Treatments for Anxiety:
1. What do you feel in your body?
2. What is the earliest age you remember feeling these sensations?
3. Can you create an image of yourself feeling these sensations?
4. Who else might have been there?
5. Is the current situation in any way similar?
6. Are these old feelings accurate for the current sitaion?