Feb 012018
 

stress-desserts-yckrqARKi-smWhen I was in school, I had a debilitating fear of tests. Even though I’d studied and knew the material, the stress would cause me to freeze up. It sent me straight into fight-or-flight mode. I viewed the test as a threat and couldn’t remember the answers. Sometimes, if I had time to go over the questions a second time, I would be more relaxed and more answers would surface. Despite this, my grades were decent. But I know they could have been better without the paralyzing fear and stress.

This is one of the things stress does when we feel threatened. Our bodies were developed to deal with physical dangers by having extra energy to fight a danger or flee from it. But in our modern society, having a tense relationship with the boss, a deadline for a project or taking a dreaded test can trigger the exact same response. The mind doesn’t distinguish between a physical danger and a mental threat.

But stress does have a good side. When stress is controlled, then it helps us to learn and grow. To build a muscle, we stress it by lifting weights or going a bit beyond what’s comfortable. When we feel excited, creative, stimulated or challenged, we’re triggering the same pathways as when we have excessive stress, just not to the same degree.

The downside of stress is that it can also make us feel anxious, tense, hypervigilant, drained, depressed and hopeless. We feel like we have no control. There will always be some stress we can’t control. The best we can do is minimize its effects on us. For instance, when we have too many things to do, a toxic boss, or a loved one who is ill, we need to take steps to take care of ourselves.

But there’s research that shows that if you don’t believe that stress is harming you, it doesn’t. Your belief and perception that stress is a challenge reduces the dangers of the same amount of stress that harms other people. I once had a friend who refused to use the word “stress.” He didn’t like the connotation, so he used the word “pressure” instead. Research is showing he had it right.

In an eight year study, researchers found that people under high levels of stress had a 43% increased risk of dying. That’s not unexpected. We all know the dangers of stress and how it can affect our health. Those who had a negative view of stress were most likely to die.

But the study also found that those under high stress, who didn’t believe that stress harmed them, and instead perceived it to be a benefit, were less likely to die. They also had the least negative effects from stress, almost equivalent to people who reported low stress. Their bodies secreted a hormone that counteracted the cortisol that stress creates.

Those who worried about stress and believed it was harming them suffered more consequences. Their belief became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. In the same way, those who perceived the stress as energy, preparing them for a challenge or excitement minimized the unhealthy effects. Changing your mind about stress changes your body’s response to it.

Belief is powerful. Not everything you believe is factual or real. But you make it so by your attitude towards stress. Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t—you’re right.” You are instructing your subconscious mind and the Universe how you expect stress to affect you. And it complies with your expectation. So how can you shift your attitude and make stress work for you? Reframe your perception of it.

For instance, when I got into college, I decided to change my attitude towards tests from one of fear to thinking of them as a challenge. It allowed me to more easily retrieve the answers from my memory and my grades reflected my improved mindset.

When you reframe your attitude towards stress, you shift your relationship with it. No longer are you helpless in the face of stress. You’re taking control, which is one of the ways you reduce stress.

To downgrade your emotional charge around the idea of stress, use the word “pressure,” like my friend did. Or use some other word to describe it, such as “hassle.” Words matter. When you use a different word, it immediately changes the way you feel about the subject. And the way you feel affects your body, your thoughts, and your responses to the situation.

Like my shift in perception about tests, look at the situation or condition as exciting or a challenge. Instead of resisting the stress, which increases its power, change your attitude so it becomes natural and something that you can handle. By viewing it more positively, it also allows you to think more clearly about what you want to do. You open a clearer channel for your intuition and Divine guidance.

Your beliefs can put you in control of how stress affects you. When you change your beliefs, you you change your life conditions. Once again, the idea that Norman Vincent Peale stated, “Change your thoughts and you change your world,” is confirmed.

Affirmation:

Stress is a normal part of life and I have control over how I believe it affects me. I now choose to change my beliefs about the stress that I experience. It simply primes me for action and keeps me on alert for anything unexpected. By shifting my attitude, I’m able to think more clearly and be more open to my intuition and Divine guidance.

Watch the accompanying video, 6 Simple Ways to Take Control 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. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

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Oct 062017
 

Step Through WoodsCan You Have More Willpower?
Most people think that you don’t have any control over how much willpower you have. You’re either born with it or you’re not. But recent research debunks that myth. Instead, studies find that it’s more like a muscle that gets better with exercise. Willpower helps you be able to fulfill more of your goals and potential. Learn 3 approaches to learn how to do increase your use of this valuable trait.

5 Reasonable Ways To Be Optimistic
Optimists aren’t born that way, they learn this perspective over time. Research shows that optimists are healthier, more successful and more resourceful. You always have a choice of what to think, and this impacts how you feel. Learn some simple ways to practice being more optimistic and reap the benefits that brings.

The Power of Mind Map: Get More Things Done & Make Creativity Easy
The concept behind this idea has been around for decades. It’s one that allows you to access more of your creativity and innovation. You can identify more of what needs to be done and in what order. This article gives some step by step directions on how to utilize this valuable technique.

Book Review-Positive Imaging: The Powerful Way to Change Your Life

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Jul 052017
 

Positive Imaging: The Powerful Way to Change Your Life
by Norman Vincent Peale

I’ve worked with visualization and imaging for over forty years, and in that time have read many books on the subject. This is one of the best books I’ve read that not only describes the process, but also explains how it can specifically help in various aspect of your life.

Dr. Peale doesn’t define imaging as a magical process that alone will make all your problems disappear, but as one that opens up the way for solutions and guidance. Once the goal has been set and visualized, then there must be “discipline, determination, patience, and persistence” for the idea to become reality. Using examples and success stories, Dr. Peale explains how imaging can improve self-esteem, finances, success, worry, relationships, health, faith and much more.

Known for his wisdom and ability, Dr. Peale helps people change their attitudes towards their everyday problems. This book shows how using the natural ability of imaging, your challenges can be conquered. The technique he describes is very simple, and is used by everyone each day. I recommend it highly for anyone wanting to learn more about the important tool of visualization.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Jun 232017
 

Flagstaff Aspen Rainbow7 Ways To Truly Master Your Own Mind
Your thoughts determine the quality of your life. They’re like nutrition for your mind.It’s not easy to have the discipline, but the rewards are tremendous. Use the ways in this article to monitor your thoughts so you have a fulfilled life.

‘No’ Is A Complete Sentence: 11 Tips
This is a lesson I’ve learned and that I share with my clients. It’s an essential one of you want to be authentic, stay on your purpose and honor your priorities. It’s not easy, but the tips from this article will give you the strategies you need to hold your ground.

Psychological Well-being Can Shorten the Road to Wellness
A large percentage of business leaders believe that a good business culture gives them a competitive advantage. Yet, an almost equal amount believe they have a problem with employee retention and engagement. Including psychological well-being in wellness programming makes a huge impact in employees happiness.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Believe You Can and You’re Right

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Jun 212017
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Marie went in to interview for a job she was fully qualified for. But she’d had several recent interviews, and hadn’t received an offer from any of them. As a result, she didn’t have the best attitude going into this situation. When she didn’t get the position, she said, “I knew it. I didn’t think I was going to get it.” Unfortunately, she got what she expected. Her belief became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The attitude you have when you approach a challenge, or a change, greatly determines your outcome. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” Your belief will affect your actions and the way you project yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be successful in a venture, you won’t give it 100% of your effort. You might think you do, but part of your energy will be held back to deal with potential disappointment.

Think about a recent goal you had. Did you believe that you could achieve it? What was your attitude towards it? You may have spent lots of time and action to move it in a positive direction. But if you didn’t believe that you would be successful, guess what? It would be unlikely that you could achieve your goal.

I’ve worked with hundreds of smokers in my practice and classes. If they repeat to themselves, “I can’t quit,” then it will be practically impossible for them to quit. When the smoker changes their attitude to “I can quit,” their subconscious works with them to make it possible. Until then, no matter what tools and techniques they use, they’ll be fighting against themselves and the directives they’ve been giving their inner mind. Your subconscious seeks to prove your belief is correct.

Your subconscious must act on what you tell it. If you want a new direction in your life, or to accomplish a goal, first you have to believe that it’s possible. Your subconscious will take its cue from where you focus your attention. Taking action without believing that you can be successful undermines your abilities and determination. You might make progress, but it’ll be a hard road with few rewards in comparison to the amount of labor you’ve put into it.

If you’re thinking, “This is never going to work,” then your subconscious will follow your direction. Not only that, if opportunities do come your way, you won’t be aware of them. Your subconscious will filter them out of your consciousness. It will be as if they don’t exist. Either you won’t recognize them or you’ll dismiss them. Your subconscious mind has to be congruent with your beliefs.

However, if you decide, “This has a good possibility of being successful, and I’ll do everything I can to accomplish it,” your subconscious will help you. For instance, when you’re choosing to change a habit, your inner mind will be in alignment with your goal and make it easier. If you’re working on a project, opportunities and information may drop into your lap.

What if you want to improve a corner of your life, but aren’t sure you will be able to believe you can accomplish it? Are you doomed to failure? Not necessarily. The more difficult you believe a goal will be to attain, the more commitment you have to bring to it as you work towards the goal. Your attitude needs to at least entertain the possibility that you can be successful.

Then you need to put more effort into the steps that will bring it to fruition. An abundance teacher says that the further away from Source you feel you are, the more action you have to take in the physical world.

Make sure your attitude isn’t one of “Just going through the motions,” because that will short-circuit your efforts. Take small steps, and praise yourself when you successfully complete each one. Your activity and dedication will impress your subconscious with the importance of your goal.

You may take two steps forward and one back, but you will start to make progress. And as you recognize the positive results of your efforts, and begin to believe that it is possible, your progress will accelerate.

Combining a positive attitude with being willing to do whatever is necessary to succeed is an unbeatable recipe for success. When you believe you can, your subconscious will help you to be right.

Affirmation:
If I can believe it, I can achieve it. The power of the Universe is at my command when I decide to commit to an intention. I realize that when I believe I can accomplish it, my subconscious seeks to prove me right. The Universe and my subconscious mind know how to bring about my intention, in a way that resonates with me. As I pair action with my belief that I can succeed, the Universe supports my every effort.

Watch the accompanying Monthly Mindset Coaching Video Build the Strength to Achieve Your Goals

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Jun 152017
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZThe Backfire Effect: You’re Right to Get Emotional About this Cognitive Bias
The backfire effect is when a person won’t believe facts that contradict their beliefs. They actually attach to their beliefs even stronger. In business, false information about you on social media can destroy you. This article gives suggestions on how to counter that effect and salvage your reputation.

10 Words People Who Are Not Confident Always Use
Words have power. They project your intentions and they also reinforce your beliefs about yourself. If you use wishy-washy words, you’re not only going to be seen that way, but you’ll have trouble believing in yourself. However, when you change your words, you’ll notice an improvement in the way you feel and how others respond to you. Learn 10 words to avoid.

10 Toxic People You Should Avoid At All Costs
Some toxic people have no idea how they affect people. Other toxic people derive satisfaction from the chaos they create. No matter which category they fall in, they are difficult and stressful to deal with. Toxic people take a toll on you, physically, mentally and emotionally. If you can, avoid them. But first, learn to identify them with the help of this article.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 022017
 

Sparks of Insight“Self-trust is the first secret of success.” – Emerson

If you don’t trust yourself, then why would anyone else? Self-trust is actually a confidence and faith in oneself. When you have trust in your decisions, direction, and character, then others will also have confidence in you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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May 052017
 

Sparks of Insight“Whatever you hold in your mind will tend to occur in your life. If you continue to believe as you have always believed, you will continue to act as you have always acted. If you continue to act as you have always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten. If you want different results in your life or your work, all you have to do is change your mind.” – Unknown

It’s said that the definition of insanity is “Doing what you’ve always done and expecting a different result.” You have a beliefs and attitudes about circumstances in your life, even if you’re not aware of them. You act on those beliefs when a situation arises in your life. Changing the way you react means you have to change the belief that prompted it. Therefore, when you change your belief, you change your response, and, as a result, the outcome.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Apr 072017
 

Sparks of Insight“The subconscious mind will not take the trouble to work for those who do not believe in it.” ~ Theodore Simon Jouffroy, French philosopher.

If you don’t trust the subconscious to take a goal and find a way to manifest it, it won’t. By not believing in the subconscious’ creative powers, you’re giving it the direction to ignore your conscious choices. It will then only act on the overall tendency of your thought. The subconscious is the creative part of you. Believe it will work to solve your problems, using all of the Infinite’s resources, and it will act on them.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-The Power of Positive Thinking

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Dec 212016
 

The Power of Positive Thinking
by Norman Vincent Peale

This is one of the true classics in mind power literature. I resisted reading this book for many years, and when I finally did, was blown away by the wisdom in it. The author gives succinct, practical advice on how to deal with many of our daily problems, from self-worth to releasing worry.

Well versed in the concept of the subconscious mind, Dr. Peale explains how to use prayer, affirmations and visualization for best effect. Drawing on the Bible for much of his teaching, he uses Bible verses for affirmations and constructive thinking.

Although this book was written by a Christian minister, it is useful to all philosophies because its principles go beyond religious barriers. Filled with stories and examples, this book is enjoyable to read and will fill the reader with inspiration, confidence and faith.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart