You’re Always Visualizing

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Jun 192013

You’re always visualizing, in ways you may not be aware of. When you think of performing your next task, you’re creating a mental image of that task. As you drive to work, you have a mental map of your route that you follow, including the landmarks you use to navigate by.

You also visualize yourself. In your mind is an image of yourself as either successful or not, and you recreate that picture in your life, becoming who you think you are.

A new article has spotlighted just how much you use visualization in your day-to-day activities. It’s a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety at the University of Utah. The study looked at how all the new technology of cars, designed to make us safer, can actually be a hazard.

The new technology that allows you to give verbal directions to your car diverts your attention from the action of driving. “It basically takes our minds, if not our eyes, off the road,” says David Strayer.

Your brain automatically tries to place a face with who you’re talking to. And when that’s a car, your mind seeks to create a person there. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you have to think hard about what you’re saying and the “person” you’re talking to.

This is also why it’s more dangerous to talk on a cell phone while driving than to talk to a passenger. You’re mentally creating the person’s face who is on the other end of the call. This takes more attention and brainpower. When the person is in the car with you, you don’t have to use brainpower to imagine what they look like. They’re already there.

Use your attention and visualization wisely. Keep your mind on your driving when you’re behind the wheel. And make sure that you’re visualizing what it is that you want, including arriving safely at your destination.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

If I find it hard to clearly visualize my goal, does that mean it won’t manifest?

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Dec 182012

Question: If I find it hard to clearly visualize my goal,  does that mean it won’t manifest?

Answer: The term “visualization” or “imagery” tends to mislead people. So many people tell me that “I can’t visualize.” But visualization doesn’t necessarily mean mentally seeing something in glorious technicolor and surround sound. Most of us don’t have that kind of spontaneous imagination.

We all have a dominant style of imagining. Some people are very visual, like artists. Some are auditory, hearing ideas, like musicians. Others’ are sensory, feeling and sensing something going on. We all have all of the senses in our imagination to some extent.

For instance, describe an apple. What does it look like, how does it smell, how does it feel, how does it taste, how does it sound when you bite into it, how do your teeth feel when you bite into it? Being able to describe that apple is visualization. With practice, we can strengthen the other senses to make our mental visualization more powerful and it’s a good idea to do the practice.

However, being able to mentally see a goal isn’t necessary to manifesting it. If you can imagine yourself having it, how it feels to have it, and keep that feeling at the forefront of your mind and no other thought denies or negates it, then you’ll likely manifest it.

There are some other tips, such as being specific, making sure you’re not deciding ‘how’ it has to happen (let your creative mind figure that out), take any steps towards it that you know to take, etc. Write out what would be in your life with this goal. That also is “visualizing,” because you’re using your imagination to create the vision of it.

Copyright 2003, 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

What can I do to cope with the stress?

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Nov 132012

Question: I have an extremely stressful job, supervising many people, with schedule changes every few hours or days. What can I do to cope with the stress?

Answer: I’ve given seminars on stress reduction, and define stress as “any adjustment that has to be done to the normal routine.” So if your schedule changes several times a day, just the having to adjust to something new will create stress.

Doing meditation, relaxation, or self-hypnosis will help to reduce the stress. Any of these mimics the end process of the stress response, namely the “let-down” period. By doing self-hypnosis, you’re telling the mind that all is well now, and it’s safe to let go and relax. It doesn’t have to take long, just 15 minutes a day.

I know that when I do this after a stressful day, it gives me a lift, and I feel much more refreshed. My clients and the seminar attendees also say the same. You’ll be amazed. You can find the instructions to do self-hypnosis on my site at
Self-Hypnosis Steps.

In the space where you are to put in your suggestions, just imagine yourself in a special place of peace and comfort. It may be someplace you enjoy visiting, or someplace imaginary. And it may change from time to time. You’re giving yourself a mental vacation.

Copyright 2003, 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

Guided Meditation to Expand Your Horizons

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Sep 182012

When you expand your limiting beliefs, you increase your self-respect. To do this, you have to risk trying something new. Here’s a guided meditation to help you rehearse trying something new and how it changes your attitudes and actions.

Copyright 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
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Use Positive Imagery To Rewire Your Brain And Ward Off Depression

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Feb 272012

When a person comes to see me, as a hypnotherapist, to work on stress, I teach them relaxation and have them create a peaceful place in their minds. I tell them, “This can be a favorite vacation spot, or a place you create solely in your imagination.” The main idea is that it’s serene and safe.

I’ve heard people poke fun of the idea of a “peaceful spot.” They can’t believe that anything so simple can be effective. But after working with hundreds of people with this concept, I’ve seen the positive results. Practicing relaxation daily with this image can reduce stress significantly. I’ve seen stress, pain, and anxiety decrease immensely with this technique.

Recently, I read an article about girls who were susceptible to depression. They were able to rewire their brains to reduce this risk. People like them have an overreaction to upsetting experiences, which can be seen in brain scans.

Stanford researchers scanned the brains of these girls to see how they responded to negative pictures. The area of the brain that responds to stress showed increased activation on the scans. The researchers then instructed them to think of pleasant experiences and shift their focus from negative to positive images. On brain scans, it showed that the part of the brain triggered by stress calmed down.

Even several days after the exercises, the girls showed the same reduced reaction to stressful images. They were able to rewire their brains to be less reactive to stress, which in turn reduced the likelihood of depression later on.

This is very similar to the technique I teach my clients. But I also include relaxation, which reduces stress on its own. You can rewire your brain so you don’t overreact to stress, which will reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you experience in your life.

Practice relaxation and imagining yourself in a special place. Then imagine an upsetting image, and immediately switch your attention back to your special place and all its peace.

This is one of the traditional ways hypnotherapists, like me, have used to help clients deal with stress. It’s gratifying when the techniques I’ve used for so many years are proved to be valid by scientific research.

Inspired by: Study suggests girls can ‘rewire’ brains to ward off depression.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review – “Strategic Self-Hypnosis”

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Jan 262012

“Strategic Self-Hypnosis: To Overcome Stress, Improve Performance, and Live to Your Fullest Potential”
by Roger A. Straus, Ph.D.

Many years ago, when I was just getting involved in hypnosis, I found this book in the library. Soon after, I bought my own copy. This book is a bit different from other self-hypnosis books. Although it includes information about hypnosis and the minds other books do, this one approaches the explanation a bit differently and it has different techniques than most of the other literature.

The holistic approach of this book is designed to help the reader become more aware of themselves, to work with latent potentials, and program a more positive conduct. The strategies are more indirect than the straight line direct suggestions of other authors. Though direct suggestion works well, there are times when a more indirect approach is more helpful, such as when a person is blocking or sabotaging an improvement.

In each chapter, there are exercises and each one includes a script to use or questions to answer. They include everything from exploring your potential and bringing it into the real world to assessing any problems or blockages. The author gives step-by-step instructions on how to do self-hypnosis and how to deepen the readers practice.

There is also an interesting section on remembering your future, to help program what it is that you want. There are techniques to deal with various problems, such as being able to clear your mind in a stressful situation, stopping negative thinking, letting go of unwanted feelings, and more.

If you already have some knowledge of self-hypnosis (or even if you don’t), this book will further your practice and help you go deeper in self-understanding. It draws upon the wisdom of your subconscious to help find solutions to problems that may have resisted resolution.

~ Linda-Ann

Book Review – “The Magic Of Believing”

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Dec 212011

The Magic of Believing”
by Claude M. Bristol

When I first began my studies of mental science and metaphysics, I was urged to read this classic. I resisted doing so, believing that I’d been exposed to the ideas contained in this volume through other authors. I had learned much of what this book teaches through others, but this book goes so far beyond, and into much greater depth, than anything closely related.

This book explores the idea that thought is magnetic, and discusses various experiments that support the theory. The author refers to thought as “mind stuff,” and explains the functions of the subconscious and conscious minds, and how to manifest what we want.

In the chapter on suggestion, he describes how political leaders have deliberately used the power of suggestion for their own aims. We are always being influenced by suggestion, and he explains how to use it for our own purposes, to improve our lives, and how it can seem like magic.

Other chapters address visualization, the mirror technique to change the mind, projecting thoughts, and much more. This book is full of energy and inspiration. If you need a read to motivate you to take charge of your thinking, then pick up this one.

~ Linda-Ann

“Using Imagery For Insight” Part 2

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Nov 012011

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When you have a challenge, go into a meditative state. Ask your subconscious to create a symbol for whatever problem you’re experiencing. Be nonjudgmental of whatever comes to the surface. Examine it. Notice its color, shape, size, texture, and if it’s doing anything.

Enter into an active dialogue with the symbol. Ask it what’s going on? Ask it why you’re experiencing that problem? What is its message to you?

Allow it to answer in any way you can understand. The answer may come in images, words, or simply a knowingness.

Ask it what you need to do to resolve the issue? Acknowledge it as your teacher. It has much wisdom to share with you, as long as you are open to it. Ask it what gift it has for you if you meet its needs?

Imagery can help you to access inner resources that haven’t used before. Once you allow a symbol for your problem to rise into consciousness, it releases some of its energy. Just by observing the image, things begin to shift around in your subconscious mind.

This opens more space for you to heal. Sometimes, you’ll simply receive insight pointing you in a direction. It’s up to you to take the appointed path.

Your inner self will get your attention one way or the other. Listen to it before it takes you by the shoulder and shoves.

Copyright 2000, 2011 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

“Using Imagery for Insight” Part 1

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Oct 312011

by Linda-Ann Stewart

In 1991, I strained my right shoulder by rolling over in bed. Not a very dramatic way of injuring myself.  Nonetheless, it was painful, and refused to heal. Even chiropractic adjustments didn’t ease it for long. After two months of pain, where just lifting a glass of water was almost impossible, I utilized nondirective imagery. I asked what was going on with my shoulder.

Immediately, I imagined a hand pushing my right shoulder forward, and another hand pulling it back. A tug of war. I didn’t understand the message, and asked for clarification. It communicated that I was holding myself back. I recognized how I’d been keeping myself from moving forward in life, and decided not to do that anymore. Within five minutes of my decision, just like magic, the pain disappeared.

Not all healing is so immediate, but imagery can help you along the pathway to resolution. Imagery is the language of the subconscious and the nervous system. You communicate your intention to the mind with directed imagery. By visualizing yourself successful or healthy, you give the mind direction in its own system of communication.

When you worry, you’re visualizing what you don’t want to happen. You use imagery in everyday language, such as “It’s killing me,” “I’m beating my head against a wall,” “He’s like a bulldog,” “I’m so angry I could just explode,” “I feel like I’m running in circles.” Imagery is the way the mind processes and stores information.

Imagery can also give you vital information about what’s going on within your body and your affairs. It can tell you where you might be blocking yourself, why, and what you need to do to overcome your restrictions. Dreams can give you this type of information.

Instead of telling your subconscious what you want, you can listen to its wisdom to discover what you might need. By paying attention to your subconscious, and what it has to share with you, you allow your challenges to become your teachers.

Copyright 2000, 2011 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

Guided Meditation To Release Resentment

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Oct 192011

Resentment is one of the biggest obstacles to success and a happy life. If you continue to feel resentful against a person, job, political party, social class, or group of people, you have bound yourself to the very thing you dislike. Here’s a short guided meditation to begin to let go of the resentment you might have against those who have hurt you.

Copyright 2011 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved