A Simple Gratitude Journaling Prompt
for practicing presence in your relationships
If you’re having a bit of a rough patch being present, then practice gratitude. If you’re having a bit of a rough patch cultivating gratitude, then practice being present.
To keep it brief, gratitude has been an essential part of my relationship building tactics for
a long time now, and I wanted to share a very simple journaling exercise that I do multiple times per week. Of course, you’ll move at your own pace and come to the exercise when you’re feeling like you need a bit of presence in your week. The purpose of this exercise, when done frequently, is to encourage neural pathways to realign and strengthen themselves to promote a more positive outlook for your life that, hopefully, becomes permanent for you.
Lastly, I truly believe one of the best ways to practice gratitude is to extend our direction outward and think about the people who contribute to our lives.
PRO TIP: when you begin writing, write slower than you normally would. Taking in each shape of each letter and how you write it, will make you more present and allow your brain some intentional stimulation as well as release. Your nervous system through this process will more than likely place itself in a parasympathetic state, which is rest and digest.
First, grab a journal/sheet of paper.
Then, take a few deep breaths.
-Close the eyes if you’d like, breathe into your deepest belly. Try to match your inhalation time to your exhalation time and vice versa. 5-10 breaths is a goof rule of thumb.
-Acknowledge the movement of your belly. Acknowledge the space around you.
-Acknowledge your hands, your fingers, and other body parts you feel need a bit of attention.
In your journal or on a sheet of paper, write down the names of the people you are grateful for: friends, brothers, sisters, acquaintances, coworkers, roommates, etc., Shoot, this could even be a stranger you may have just met… come to find out, sitting next to one another led to a great conversation you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Take a moment to reflect on that list. Reflection could go something like this; remembering their faces, how they smell, the way they look at you, listen to you, their individual personality/characteristics, your favorite things about them, are the kind? Generous? Joyful? Etc., Anything that truly points to why you enjoy having them in your life. Write down what comes up right next to their names.
Next, go back down your list. Write down the emotions that come up for you when you reflect on these people. How’s your body feel when you think about them? Maybe you associate what you appreciate about them with the way they make you feel, what they bring to the world, or other people’s lives, even how they treat themselves. What do you admire about them? What emotions come up when you simply think about them as the people they are separate from others?
Take a moment to feel those same emotions in your body, where do they show up? What sensations can you interact with during this time practicing presence?
Lastly, maybe you go a step further to give them a phone call, or send a text to express your appreciation for them.
I hope you find this helpful. Share it with someone who could use it.
Peace and blessings,