2 Ways to Take Control Over Your Thoughts

Alexsandra Kafka, Urban Yoga Lab's founder

2 Ways to Take Control Over Your Thoughts

2 Ways to Take Control Over Your Thoughts


Alexsandra Kafka, Urban Yoga Lab's founder doing photoshoot at one of Greece's neighborhood streets.

Alexsandra Kafka, Urban Yoga Lab’s founder.

Step 1:  Practise Gratitude

Every time you feel stressed, try to write down a quick list of things 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 practicing gratitude and mindfulness go hand in hand together. 

Tip: Try, before you leave the office every day, to make a shortlist 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 2: 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 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The tendency to multi-task in our daily lives 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 to choose simplicity in small ways and find 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,” which is a way of philosophy that can be applied in every aspect of our lives. There can be moments in life where you would benefit more by removing actions from that list instead of drafting long to-do lists. 

Tip: Every morning, make 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 don’t serve your big mission for the day.  If you prioritize 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.

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