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How To Multi-Task Your Way To A Gratitude Mindset

Follow along with Tiffany @tiffanynapper.

There are heaps of ideas floating around the Internet these days that claim to make you happier, healthier, and all-around more “well,” but my favorite one of all is the scientifically proven mindset of gratitude. Research shows it can strengthen relationships, reduce stress and increase overall life satisfaction.

A grateful state of mind can be cultivated by keeping a gratitude journal or meditating on your gratitude list. As if you needed one more thing to add to your morning workout routine though, right? If cultivating a state of gratitude has always felt too difficult or time consuming for you, here’s a secret: You can multi-task your way to a more positive state of mind.

Feeling grateful once in a blue moon doesn’t cultivate a gratitude mindset. Feeling grateful day in and day out, even when it’s hard, does. That means we need to make it a daily habit, and when we overlap gratitude exercises with tasks you are already doing each day -- like brushing your teeth and going to bed -- it raises the likelihood that you can turn this into a way of life.

Do you still need convincing it’s worth the effort? Here’s one more fun fact: your mind cannot process feelings of gratitude and negativity at the same time.

Here are some easy ways to make feeling grateful your default state of mind:

While brushing your teeth …

… appreciate something seemingly small taking place around you that brings a smile to your face. Perhaps it’s the sun rising or the minty taste of your toothpaste. Perhaps it’s the sounds of your loved one making coffee in the kitchen or the pitter pat of your little ones scrambling out of bed. Or maybe it’s the brush of your cat against your leg. Take this moment to appreciate the simplest of things.

While making a collagen-filled coffee or matcha latte

… take a moment to mentally list 3 things are you grateful for taking place today. Pretend as if the tasks have already been accomplished and actually feel happy in your soul for the triumph. You really rocked that presentation today, your efforts at tidying the home were noticed, and you managed to make some time for self-care and spent 30 minutes moving your body. Kudos! Now sit with those feelings of gratitude while you sip your latte.

While eating lunch …

… silently pause before digging in and thank every person that was involved in your meal, from the farmer to the harvester and the preparer.

While on your evening commute …

… call someone and tell them how thankful you are for their presence in your life. This task might be hard to do daily, but I love the idea of picking one day a week – let’s say Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, you call someone to check in and make them feel loved. If you cycle through your friends and family members, this could take months! Studies show writing a letter is great, too, but phone calls are even more effective for raising the happiness levels of both parties.

While washing your face …

… take a mental body scan and give thanks for each body part and each organ. Thank your strong legs for taking you on daily adventures. Thank your lungs for allowing you to take deep breaths that calm your nerves. Give thanks to your eyes for allowing you to see the beautiful blue sky. If you have trouble staying focused, start with your toes and work your way up to the top of your head.

Just before going to sleep …

… take three deep breaths. With each inhale, imagine you are filling up your gratitude cup and with each exhale, let your gratitude overflow. Imagine your gratitude pouring out to touch those close to you and eventually reaching far and wide to strangers around the world.

Whatever method you choose to cultivate a gratitude mindset, share your new talent with a friend or two. I believe there is no such thing as too much gratitude in the world.

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