4 Steps To Take Control of Your Thoughts
When was the last time you wondered if you can apply some sports psychology into your life and train your mind, along with your body, to optimise performance? After conducting some long desk research on this topic, I came to one conclusion. There is no way of optimising our performance without first realising that what is strong in us may become even stronger by nurturing our inner stability and calmness. Let’s find out together 4 simple steps to take control of your thoughts.
Step 1: Talk about intention
You might have noticed in the mornings after you first wake up , how difficult it can be to resist scrolling through your social media feeds, emails, Watsapp etc Sooner or later you might realise that this innocent habit, that at first seemed to happen almost accidentally, is unconsciously becoming a fundamental part of your morning routine.
How we decide to wake up each morning makes a big difference to our mood, and thus our productivity. That’s why a 10’/20’ meditation has such a tremendous impact in improving our overall wellbeing. Some of you might find it challenging to meditate consistently and with discipline every single morning; that’s where the ‘intention exercise’ comes to play an important role in the way you control your emotions and your thoughts. This exercise takes just a very short amount of your time and can be practised with ease. Once you’vewoken up come into the lotus position, close your eyes, take a few calming breaths, and choose a single mantra you would like to bring with you throughout the day. Recite it out loud, to yourself, or alternatively write it down.
Tip: Next time you wake up, try this beautiful mantra from The Big Leap .
“I expand with abundance, success, and love every day. And I inspire those around me to do the same.”
Do this every day for one weekand see how it makes you feel.
Step 2: Reprogram your mind
Cellular biologist Bruce Lipton suggests that we can reprogram our minds two times every day. These are the moments where we can effectively ‘hypnotise’ ourselves – just before falling asleep and just as we are waking up. As you are drifting off your mind moves from it’s active Beta state into Alpha and then Theta, before eventually dropping into Delta as we sleep. The Theta window is one of our most receptive states and responds well to the visions and suggestions that we hold in this space.
Dr Lipton’s theory presents a number of ways that will enable you to access your ability to recreate your Theta state receptivity. and how this can be a conscious way to re-program your mind. The whole idea is that by deciding mindfully what you are going to listen to, or watch, every morning right after you wake up, and every night right before you fall asleep, you can add a tremendous positive effect in transforming your mind.
Tip: Try to listen to an inspirational 10’/20’ podcast before you go to bed, from a life coach you admire most, and allow yourself to fall asleep without indulging in any distractions. Do this for 7 weeks and write down any kind of difference you notice in your productivity and performance.
Step 3: Practise gratitude
Every time you feel stressed try to write down a quick list of things that you feel grateful for. This might be the coffee break you had this morning with a friend, a thoughtful message you received from your partner, or the trip you plan to go on and anticipate so much.. Listing what you are grateful for makes you and your subconscious concentrate on something positive, if nothing else, and not only makes you feel less stressed about the challenges you might face , but also makes you more productive. Research shows that efforts at work are increased by 50% every time you practise gratitude. Though the greatest gift gratitude can give you is the sense of being present, and this is why practising gratitude and mindfulness go hand in hand together.
Tip: Try, before you leave the office every day, to make a short list of things you were grateful for at work that day, and notice how this simple habit can be a game changer in terms of how happy you are about your work and daily routine
Step 4: Practice voluntary simplicity
“Voluntary simplicity means going to fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, acquiring less so I can have more”.
This suggestion comes from the book, Wherever You Are There You Go, byJon Kabat-Zinn. The tendency to multi-task in our daily lives in an effort to be smarter, more productive, and do more in less time, doesn’t seem to serve humanity as a model any longer. By non-stop multi-tasking we miss the opportunity for choosing simplicity in small ways and finding happiness in simple moments that can be so precious in life,like taking a walk, having breakfast with your wife, or spending a few moments with your dog. Skippers use the mantra, “Less is More”, and this is a way of philosophy that can be applied in every aspect of our lives. There can be moments in life where instead of drafting long to-do lists, you would benefit more by removing actions from that list.
Tip: Every morning do your to-do list for the day and once you’ve completed it glance at it again, and try to think of 3 actions that you could take out of this list. Try to find which things dont serve your big mission for the day. If you prioritise your items this way you can sacrifice some less crucial errands, those worth sacrificing if it means you’ll end up investing more time on what really matters to you.