Aug 072020
 
Woman surrounded by stressful thoughts

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When a stressful situation arises, your brain perceives it to be a threat. As a result, your mind instructs your body to react to the circumstance and keep you safe. Any change to your routine or situation is also considered stressful, even if it’s beneficial, like a promotion. And it doesn’t matter if the danger is mental or physical, real or imagined. Your mind can’t distinguish between them, and signals your body to prepare for a fight or flight.

This survival mode closes down the pathway to your Higher Self. You operate instinctively, to protect yourself, and can’t access your intuition, which is a higher level insight.

For instance, your boss might call you into his office, and you’re dreading a confrontation. You feel tense and worry about what it could be about. Instead of being angry, he wants to praise your work on a report. Your stress was caused by your imagination. If the cause of stress isn’t addressed and relieved, that pressure can escalate to a feeling of free floating anxiety and depression.

How You Deal with Stress

When you’re stressed, all of your mental resources focus on handling the crisis. You feel like you have no control. To cope, your attention narrows to what’s right in front of you and you can’t think straight or be creative. Instead, you act reflexively, as you have in the past, whether it was helpful or not. And you remain in this habitual state until the stressful situation passes.

Although you may not be able to control outer circumstances, you can control your reactions. By changing the way you respond to stress, your results change. When you feel in control, you make better decisions and can innovate to solve problems. Taking charge of your actions is vital to your health and well-being.  

Many spiritual people object to the idea of being in control. They want to be “in the flow.” Being “in the flow” is different from drifting at the mercy of outside forces. Spiritual people also associate being in control with “control freaks,” who run on fear and lack of trust. Being in control means making conscious choices and being intentional about your actions.

How You Can Gain Control

Here are some ways you can manage stress, rather than letting it manage you.

1. Delay your reaction. Remember, as a child, you were told to count to 10 when you were angry? There is a valid reason for this. When you pause for 10 seconds, it gives your conscious mind time to assert itself. That allows it to move to a more rational position and lets you recognize the consequences of losing your temper. You also have more access to other solutions. To give yourself time, take a walk, go into another room, or do something to take your mind off of it temporarily.

2. Be mindful. Instead of getting swept along by your anxiety, focus on the present. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this moment?” You may not be able to control the environment, the situation, or other people, but you have authority over other things in your life. For example, you can do something nice for yourself or others, remember all the things you’re grateful for, or read something inspirational.

3. Take small steps. Instead of getting overwhelmed, do one tiny thing, like wash the dishes. Then do another. Take one tiny aspect of what’s stressing you, and deal with it. For instance, if you’re concerned about finances, balance your checkbook. When you take action on a single thing at a time, you’re able to calm down your nervous system.

4. Use self-talk. Talk yourself through the problem. When you have an internal (or out loud) conversation with yourself, it allows you to be clearer about the issue. You’re able to organize your thoughts and evaluate what your options might be. Also, you’ve shifted your attention from feeling powerless to seeking a way through the stress. This engages your problem solving partner, your subconscious mind.

Feeling in control is your first step to reducing stress and moving towards a beneficial outcome. As you take charge, you have more power to change your habits and behaviors so you create the life you want. And you’re able to access your Higher Self and your intuition, so you can mine the treasure they bring to create your ideal situation.  

Affirmation:

The Universe is always available to help me deal with stress, but first I need to help myself. I have control over my reactions to situations that cause me stress. Once I acknowledge that truth, I can start taking action to reduce the pressure I feel. The more in control I feel, the more energy I have to create the ideal life I desire.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce the Overwhelm of Stress.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Jul 312020
 

Stress Makes It Harder to Recognize Danger

New research reveals that stress makes you slower to identify threats. To understand this, it helps to learn more about stress and how it impacts you. Stress disrupts how you think. This article explains how stress affects you and why it’s important to reduce it with common sense practices.

The Essential Resource We’re All Wasting

What you pay attention to creates your life. Your focus is fundamental to your relationships, your personal and professional lives. The good news is that your attention is a resource you can manage with some practice.

How to Stay Positive When Everyone Around You Is Complaining

It can be difficult to remain upbeat when other people around you are upset and dissatisfied. You have to learn how to balance empathy with taking care of yourself. This article gives you some ideas on how to create strategies to deal with the different types of complaining people.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Jul 032020
 

Why Our Brains Like Short-Term Goals

Achieving goals is more than just staying the course and taking action. It has to do with your brain. Your brain likes the feeling of reward when you accomplish a task. The more you succeed, the more you’re motivated, encouraged and inspired. Learn what kind of goals to set to keep your brain happy and ultimately create more success.  

The Neuroscience of Savoring Positive Emotions

You are in control of your mood  by what you focus on. And you can turn a positive mood on or off, like a switch. Sustaining positive emotions is key to your sense of well being. Learn how you can take charge of your emotions and improve your well being.

Self Awareness Is Underrated: Why the Conscious Mind Leads to Happiness

Being self aware helps you improve your well being, behavior and success. It enables you to be more authentic. Follow these 5 tips to self awareness to help you to be more successful personally, professionally and emotionally.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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May 292020
 

Top 10 Ways to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused

Focus is one of the skills you need it you want to get things done and be successful. But our fractured lives undermine this precious ability. The good news is that it is an skill that can be cultivated and learned. Using these strategies will help you build more focus so you can be more effective and productive.

Spiritual Intelligence: What It Is and How Leaders Can Use It to Thrive

Think of it as emotional intelligence taken to the next level. Essentially, it can improve resilience, empathy, calmness, and creativity. This contributes to higher morale and better customer relations, among other things. When leaders understand the 3 points in this article, they can take advantage of its benefits.

9 Tips to Help You Co-exist Peacefully With Difficult People

Everybody has to deal with a difficult person at some time or other. And it’s always a trial to figure out what to do to get along with them. Not only does this article give valuable tips on how to handle them, it includes suggestions from various leaders on how to do so.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Podcast Interview-Mind Money Motion

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May 262020
 
Marie Burns Mind Money Motion

Recently, Marie Burns of Mind, Money, Motion interviewed me on her podcast, which focuses on helping listeners worry less about money by keeping their mind and body healthy.  We first met at a meeting of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association. But the idea of being interviewed on her podcast didn’t arise until the COVID-19 shut-down pushed all meetings online.

Marie and I were in a virtual Zoom meeting together, when she messaged me to ask if I’d be interested in being on her podcast. I was delighted! I felt the interview would be fun as I’d get to know her better and be able to share my ideas with her audience.

In the interview, we discussed my hypnotherapy background and I explained a little bit about what hypnosis is and isn’t. Most people have misconceptions about hypnosis, and I take every opportunity to clear those away. In this instance, it led into how I realized why having a vision was so important to achieving your goals.

She asked great questions and led me deeper into explaining about mindset and focus, my specialties. Mindset is so much more than just positive thinking. And focus is necessary if you’re going to avoid distractions and stay on course. Mindset, vision and focus are all essential to success in personal and professional life, in normal and uncertain times.

Time got away from us, and the interview ended all too soon. That’s what happens when you’re having fun, isn’t it? I would have loved to have spent more time with her and gone even deeper into my topics.

The 26-minute interview, Clarifying your vision and building a strategy to achieve your goals, can be found at Mind, Money, Motion, as well as on Itunes and Csuite Network. Those links are on the same page as the interview.

I hope you check out her other podcasts, as they provide fascinating information to help you in your life. Marie wants you to enjoy less worry and more life. She’s a Certified Financial Planner, speaker, author, and hosts the podcast to provide actionable ideas for women. I was honored to have been invited into her world and hope her audience enjoys the interview.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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May 182020
 
Sparks of Insight

When your mind feels scattered to the four winds, and you’re easily distracted, take a few minutes to go outside. Connect with nature by listening to the birds, feeling the breeze, watch the clouds. If you can, go for a walk in nature. Take deep breaths and touch the earth as a way of grounding yourself, literally. This can help you unwind, shift your energy and get refocused. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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May 012020
 
Stressed businessman

Being busy is killing our ability to think creatively

As a society, we’re addicted to our phones, which constantly keeps our attention engaged. This is antithetical to creativity and innovation, which needs space to breathe. Instead of wiring your brain for distraction, experiment with the four strategies this article suggests to unplug so you can be open to new ideas.   

Psychology and Neuroscience Blow-Up the Myth of Effective Multitasking

People fool themselves into thinking they’re more productive when they multitask because it’s so satisfying. Instead, you’re wasting precious focus and energy. This article highlights specifically how multitasking impairs efficiency and productivity.  

Self-Talk and Self-Compassion

The more we remain openhearted to ourselves the more available we are to others. We must first become our own best friend so that we are better poised to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others and ultimately impact the greater good for all. Use the strategies in this article to improve your relationship with yourself.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Apr 272020
 
Sparks of Insight

“Good appears in every aspect of my life. There is no area that is untouched. My mind, my body, and all of my affairs are all flooded by a greater abundance, harmony, and power.”

By placing your attention on allowing every good thing to come to you, you’re automatically raising your consciousness to accept more good. That good can be anything you desire. It’s available to you now, you simply have to open your mind to encompass it. 

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Apr 242020
 

How to Tame a Worrying Mind During Difficult Times

Worry can rob you of sleep, ability to think clearly, and peace of mind. When you’re able to let go of worry, you’re more resilient, make better decisions and have a greater sense of well being. Use the three strategies in this article to take charge and let go of worry.

Boost Productivity with Strategic Breaks and Sustainable Focus

Working more hours doesn’t necessarily mean that you get more done or are more productive. The mind can only focus for so long before becoming fatigued. And once your focus is gone, your productivity fades with it. Follow these three ways to take breaks and your focus will be renewed.

How to Find Motivation When You’re Totally Burnt Out

When you’re tired and discouraged, it’s hard to find the energy to do anything. But you can find the motivation to get moving again with a change of perspective. Using the Princess Bride movie as her inspiration, the author shows you how you can once again find your motivation. She shares four solid ways you can dig yourself out of your hole and back to feeling yourself again.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Mar 272020
 

Manage Your Attention, Not Your Time

So many stimuli compete for your attention each day that by the end of it, your brain feels like scrambled eggs. You can prevent that from happening by being more conscious of how you divide your attention over specific tasks. Here are three ways to keep your focus flowing.

5 Habits That Turn Off Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts only affect you if you give them power. But all too often they catch your attention and disturb your effectiveness. But you have the ability to turn that around and reduce their damage. You have control over your mind, and this article gives you some direction on how to take charge.

Impostor Syndrome: Why Success Makes You Feel Like A Fraud

The imposter syndrome typically happens to high achieving individuals who have a hard time adjusting to their success. It refers to the fear of being found out that their success is due to luck and not their abilities. This article explores this syndrome so you can understand it more fully and suggests ways to combat it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart