Giving back & being grateful

It's the time of year to be extra thankful. We are very lucky. We have a house that's plenty big and a fridge that's plenty full. We have wonderful family and friends and lots of love in our lives. 

Yet this can be easy to take for granted. Seems like there are too many things to worry about, and plenty of negatives to dwell on if we aren't careful (and it doesn't help that our brains are wired with a protective negativity bias). As Theodore Roosevelt said - comparison is the thief of joy - and these days there's ample in-your-face opportunity to compare ourselves and notice what we don't have.

Every day has something to be grateful for - though some days it can be easier to see than others - and we believe it's worth noticing those things. Recently, science has been praising the benefits of practicing gratitude. Says Derrick Carpenter with Happify:

People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

It doesn't have to be big momentous things. Look for anything - a good hair day, a tasty meal, a funny joke - and note it daily. Just do it, and do it daily. 

This practice takes stamina and discipline to achieve its positive effects and rewire our brains. That's why we've built a gratitude journal into our Unbound planner - to make it easy to incorporate this into your everyday life. 

Here are a few tips to keep your gratitude practice fresh:

  • It doesn't take long. Take just a minute a day to make it a regular habit.
  • Keep it simple. Noticing the little things in life can be just as good (or better) as pointing out the big ones.
  • Make it routine. Find a couple minutes in the morning when you wake or at night right before bedtime. 
  • Stick with it. The more you practice the easier it will get, and soon you'll find yourself being grateful throughout the day.

Your Unbound Planner also serves as a gratitude journal. Follow these simple steps to find yourself feeling happier and healthier every day!