Is Your Stress a Habit?

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Apr 182018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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Our lives today are filled with things that keep us busy and distracted. We obsess over our cell phones: talking, texting, tweeting, checking Facebook and surfing the internet. We’re working longer hours and have less time off. When we do take vacations, it’s generally rushing to a location so we can participate in activities that keep us busy.

Our frantic lives have become a habit. We have a need to fill every waking moment with activity. When we don’t have anything to do, we feel anxious, panicked and seek to do anything that will relieve the discomfort. This craving to be productive has spun out of control.

We can actually become addicted to the adrenaline rush that stress provides. Many people become adrenaline junkies, seeking thrills in ever dangerous sports so that they get their hit of this chemical. Once we’ve reached this high level of stress, our ability to think things through, reason, be creative and learn decreases.

We can become addicted to the habit of stress. A habit is formed by doing the same thing over and over until it becomes automatic. Not only do we get a physical jolt of adrenaline from it, but we also receive emotional rewards. And a habit tied to an emotional benefit can become hard to change.

Some of the benefits to chronic stress include:

  • Stress can distract a person from what isn’t working in their life.
  • It gives people the excuse not to deal with a bad relationship, unhealthy eating habits, or family issues because they’re just so busy.
  • People have used it as justification to indulge in destructive lifestyle habits, such as drugs or excessive drinking.
  • Many people think that when they’re frazzled, they look more important or committed.
  • Looking busy and stressed can also keep people from dumping more responsibility on them.
  • People feel sorry for the person who’s stressed, and do what they can to keep from upsetting them.

Chronic stress will eventually lead to a physical, mental and emotional collapse, because sooner or later the adrenaline runs out. This amount of stress also reduces the effectiveness of our immune systems and makes us more susceptible to illness and disease.

Stress caused by our own busyness is a choice. We make decisions every hour of the day that contribute to the pressure we feel. Some of it is caused by trying to control every aspect of our lives. Trying to be perfect also pushes us to feel overwhelmed. Neither of these is realistic or constructive.

Like any habit, it’s uncomfortable when we begin to break it. Some people get panicky when they first start to relax. It feels unfamiliar, unnerving and unsafe.

It takes a change of perspective before the habit can be altered. We have to realize that our mindset and decisions have helped create the stress that we’ve been exhibiting. Then we have to be willing to handle the things we’ve been avoiding.

Here are five steps to break the habit of chronic stress:

1. Become aware of what you’re doing that’s causing you to be so busy and pressured.
2. Learn what the benefit of it is for you, and decide if it’s worth the eventual burnout and exhaustion.
3. Address whatever emotional reason has pushed you to be so busy.
4. Let go of some of the control that you’ve been exerting in your life. Delegate to others and let them run with the project. Accept that everything isn’t going to be perfect. Don’t look at your cell phone more than once an hour. When you’re with someone at a restaurant, if your phone rings, let it go to voicemail.
5. Take time outs. Do deep breathing, learn mindfulness meditation, practice yoga, do relaxation exercises, exercise. These all work by switching on another physical system that naturally reduces stress.

When you begin to practice these steps, you may feel strange and uneasy. That’s normal. But the physical, mental and emotional benefits are well worth the effort. You’ll be able to think clearer and have more resources to deal with the challenges of your life. Feeling centered will become more natural.

Breaking a habit is rarely easy. You have to perform new actions consistently over and over until you’ve created a new behavior. However, once you have them instilled in your life, you’ll find that your life is much happier and healthier.

Affirmation:
I deserve to have time to enjoy my life. Whatever has been promoting stress in my life is out of balance with the Universe. I now make new choices to restore balance and harmony in my life. Divine Order is now taking place in every area of my life, allowing me to be calm and centered. The Universe supports me in my endeavor to establish peace and serenity.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Trending Articles of the Week

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Apr 052018
 

Flagstaff Aspen Rainbow6 Exercises for Positive Emotions: Start Your Upward Spiral Today
Over the past few years, many researchers have found new and scientifically proven ways to increase positive emotions and well-being. The techniques described in this article have all been shown to boost positive emotions. They take some commitment, but they’re well worth the effort. Choose one, practice, and enjoy the changes.

7 Myths About Meditation Preventing You From Grasping The Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness
Meditation is becoming commonplace. But there are lots of misconceptions about it. People think mistake the goals and how to practice it. Meditation improves your concentration, self-awareness, and productivity, and your ability to show up in the world.When you’re able to better connect with yourself, you improve your relationship to yourself and others.

How to Make the Best Decision When You Have Too Many Options
Research has shown that when people are faced with too many choices, it can produce anxiety that actually makes us less likely to choose. As a result, we’re less likely to succeed. A study has the best strategy to use confronted with a large number of choices. When you’re having trouble choosing from too many options, use this technique to reduce your stress.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 162018
 

Step Through Woods6 Tactics Narcissists Will Use To Silence You
Only a true professional can diagnose a mental disorder. That said, we all should recognize when people try to manipulate us. Narcissism is one of those disorders that can be relatively benign or all the way to downright toxic. Learning about their behaviors can help you spot who they are and what they’re doing so you can take care of yourself. And many of these tactics are also used by bullies or controlling people.

Neuroscience: This Simple 10-Minute Exercise Will Give Your Brain an Immediate and Lasting Boost
We all want our brains to work at their best, especially when we’re making a decision or working on a project. But sometimes, we feel like we’re wading through molasses. Scientists have found a quick exercise that can give you a 14 percent gain in cognitive performance. And that could make all the difference.

How To Rewire Your Brain For Happiness
You can literally create new neural pathways that lead to compassion, gratitude, and joy instead of anxiety, fear, and anger. It does require conscious effort, but all change starts with that. If you knew you could experience more positive emotions, wouldn’t you make the effort? This article gives you some direction on how to do that.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

6 Simple Ways to Take Control of Stress

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Feb 082018
 

In today’s fast paced world, we experience more stress than ever. A lot of it comes from our feeling like we have no control. When we feel like we have more control, stress and its impact reduces. Wouldn’t you like to be able to channel all that energy into something more productive? Learn 6 simple ways to take control of stress so that you have more clarity and are healthier.



Transcript:

Got stress? We all have it, some more than others. It happens as a result of everything from running late one day to having 3 projects due at once. A lot of our chronic stress is due to feeling out of control or not having any control over conditions. So I wanted to share some ways you can get some control over the stress that I’ll bet you’re experiencing.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. For almost 30 years, I’ve been a hypnotherapist and coach. One of my specialties was to help people deal with stress. We identified the causes and reframed their attitudes about them, as well as giving them other strategies to reduce the stress.
Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get a clear vision, get focused on its strategies and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business.
It helps them handle their stress so they can be more successful

You know how, when you’re stressed and can’t get a handle on it, you tend to get overwhelmed easily? You flip into reactive mode. It’s like you have a hammer and everything is a nail. Right? But you hammer things that aren’t nails, and that can be counterproductive. Instead, you need to grab some control so you can deal with things more rationally. Feeling like you have some control also allows you to channel that energy into something productive. Isn’t this what you want?

I want to share 6 easy ways that you can start to manage your stress and get back in control. Are you ready?

1. 1 thing. Take 1 thing you can control and handle that. Handle your email, / turn off your phone notifications so you can get some work done it quiet, / say NO to a request that you know will send you over the edge. I did this last one just recently. Handling 1 thing gives you a center to work from. What 1 thing would that be for you?

2. Daily routine. Instability and never knowing what’s next contributes to stress. Creating security through a daily routine can give you some breathing room. It gives you a sense of organization and control over your time. It’s especially good to have one it the morning, as it sets the mood for your day. Do you have a daily routine?

3. Self-hypnosis / relaxation training. This is one of the things I helped people with in my practice. I led them through some relaxation, and taught them self-hypnosis. I had a client who’d used massage, yoga, and other types of stress management techniques tell me that what we did was the most beneficial of all of them. This helps reset your body and mind, building resiliency. Doesn’t it feel good to relax?

4. Reframe. When you’re anxious or worried, you go into the fight or flight mode and you get paralyzed. Shuts down your thinking processes. But if you’re able to reframe the feeling to excitement or challenge, you’re able to come up with possibilities and be more innovative. Even using different words, such as “hassle” or “pressure,” can reframe the stress. How could you reframe things that stress you?

5. Help others. This one sounds counter intuitive. When you help others, you’re giving your precious resources of time and energy. But studies find that people under stress who helped others didn’t experience the damaging effects of stress. They also felt more satisfied in their lives. Don’t you feel good when you’ve helped someone?

6. Practice meditation or mindfulness, both of which helps the skill of concentration. Yes, concentration, attention and focus are skills. In today’s frenetic world, they’ve gotten rusty. Meditation / mindfulness train you to be more focused. They also keep your mind from spiraling out of control and keeps your attention on what you can handle. It also helps you to let go of what you can’t control. What can you do to build the skill of focus?

Don’t try to do all of these at once. That would throw you back into being overwhelmed and stressed. Take one of them and practice it. Which one would you want to start with? Practice and see if you feel better. Then add another one. The whole idea is for you to take more control. And once shift your attitude towards stress from it being a buggy bear to it being manageable, you’ll have more clarity and be healthier.

If you’d like more tips on how to make your day flow more smoothly, download my free guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Thank you for watching. I hope you’ve gotten an idea that works for you to manage stress.

Read the accompanying article, How Your Beliefs About Stress Affect It.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Sparks of Insight

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Jan 262018
 

Sparks of InsightPeople tend to think that all stress is bad. But what is bad is chronic stress or situations that overwhelm your inner resources. Some stress is beneficial, because it helps push you to discover new abilities and solutions. Just as you exercise to build muscle, some stress stretches you to reach farther. The secret is to know when you’re being stretched too thin or pushed beyond your limits. It’s at those times when you need to take steps to retreat and retrench. Meditate, relax, take a walk, reduce some of the pressure you put on yourself. Because too much stress distresses you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Meditation to Find Your Intention for the Year

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Jan 162018
 

Do you set New Year’s Resolutions or goals at the beginning of the year? What if you set and intention for the year instead? A goal is more specific and concrete. An intention is more of a trend or tendency you want to cultivate in your life. Goals can be a part of it, but the intention is more general. This meditation can help you discover what your intention might be and help you be more successful with it.



Transcript:
Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Goals to achieve that will improve your life? What if you do something different this year. You could do it in addition to your resolutions, and it may be more rewarding. What about setting an intention for the year? In years past, I’ve set intentions such as being more grateful, opening to experience more good, looking for the positive in every situation, being more compassionate and so forth. Whenever I’ve found myself to fall back into the old pattern, I remind myself of the quality I want to cultivate and grow in my life. Is there some quality, value, attitude or action that you want to focus on in this coming year? I’d like to lead you in a meditation to help you discover what that might be, and to be more successful with it.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. For almost 30 years, I’ve been a hypnotherapist. Clients came to see me to create change in their lives. Over time, I discovered that they had to also have a vision of where they wanted to end up with that change to be truly successful. Now, as a vision strategist, I help women entrepreneurs get clear, focused and get back in control so they’re able to accelerate to the next level of their business. Essentially, I help bring their vision into reality.

You can do this with an intention. An intention isn’t a specific goal. It’s more of a trend or tendency you want to develop. Goals can feed into it, but the intention is more general.

This short meditation will allow you to stir up some ideas for your intention. Even if one doesn’t surface for you during it, this meditation will plant the seed and one will probably appear to you within a short time. Idea/concept – get your attention. Trend you notice focusing on in your life.

So, if you’re so inclined, close your eyes, and take a deep breath… Let it out. Let your mind wander to what brings you joy in your life. What are you passionate about? What do you want more of in your life? What kind of change do you want in your life? It could be a value (compassion/kinder), quality (focused/goal oriented), attitude (self-confidence/serenity) or condition (more active/health) that you want to cultivate and grow in your life.

Even if no word, concept or idea surfaces right now, just allow your thoughts to wander through the corridors of your mind. There is something that you’ve been wanting to expand on, to experience more of, to pay attention more to. At some level, you know what it is. You may have a multitude of ideas. Let the most important one or two to become brighter and stronger. And even if you’re not sure, the idea will quickly become more apparent and clearer. Allow it to be short, one or two words, or a short sentence. Something you can easily focus on.

Once you have settled on your intention, how will you express it in your life? How will you apply it? What actions or attitudes will you take to be true to it? How will you support it in your life? And how will your life be different in a year by living this intention? How will you feel?

Your intention becomes your compass, helping you to travel in the direction you’ve chosen. It guides your thoughts and actions, and it brightens your life. Open your eyes.

Did you discover one? Is it the right one for you, or do you need to consider it more? Once you’ve decided on your intention, keep it in front of you so you don’t forget it. You could also find an object, picture or a reminder on your phone to remember to stay true to it. I’ve used stones or shells as reminders. Whatever it is, make sure you look at it frequently so you keep your compass pointed to it.

If you’d like more tips on how to make your day flow more smoothly, download my free guide, Take Control of Your Day.

Thank you for watching. I hope you’ve gotten an intention that resonates with you and brings you joy. This year, mine is to be in the flow. What’s yours?

Read the accompanying article, Set Your New Year’s Intention.

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, apply for her complimentary "Clarify Your Vision" consultation at http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/coaching.shtml

Trending Articles of the Week

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Nov 302017
 

GC-S.KaibabTr-OohAah-sm-08883 Questions to Wake Up and Stop Living on Autopilot
At times, it’s helpful to coast through the day. It allows your mind to wander and be creative. But when you’re living on autopilot, you’re simply reacting to situations without thinking them through. And this will only dig you into a hole. Here are some ideas to help you climb out and start living intentionally again.

There’s even more evidence that one type of exercise is the closest thing we have to a miracle drug
Studies have shown that exercise can not only reduce depression, it can improve cognition and memory. Exercise is the closest thing to a Fountain of Youth that we have. Now, there’ more evidence about the best kind of exercise to keep us healthy and alert. And you don’t have to participate in it as long as was thought to start receiving benefits. Discover what kind of exercise this is.

Different Types Of Meditation Change Different Areas Of The Brain, Study Find
Significant evidence suggests that meditation and mindfulness change the function and structure of the brain, as well as our behavior and moods. But now, research is showing how different types of meditation affect different parts of the brain. They tested 3 different kinds of meditation. In just 3 months, scans found differences in brain structure and the participant’s experience.

Sparks of Insight

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Oct 202017
 

Sparks of InsightIf you feel stalled or stuck in some area of your life, meditate on it and ask for guidance. The answer is within you. Visualize and affirm the solution. If there isn’t some progress within a reasonable period of time, take some constructive action. The movement may be in the direction of your goal, or it may be in a complementary area. Simply begin to channel energy to get things moving, for action begets action. More than likely, there will be some development or direction for you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-Healing the Shame that Binds You

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Oct 032017
 

Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
by John Bradshaw

Many people grow up in dysfunctional families that have caused them to feel ashamed of natural needs, desires, and sometimes of just being. This results in their not feeling worthy, effective, or mattering. Healing The Shame That Binds You not only addresses the core issues behind the toxic shame that people feel, explains how it formed and where it comes from, it also gives valuable direction on how to heal it.

Most of us have been exposed to some sort of toxic shame, and carry it with us. This shame prevents us from living up to our potential, accepting ourselves, and accepting all the good Life has to offer us. The author examines these issues, to give the reader a deep understanding on how shame formed, different ways it manifests (such as panic attacks, addictions, and compulsions), and steps to take to resolve the problem.

This book isn’t just one of theory and information. It includes meditations, exercises, new behaviors to practice, and affirmations. Different methods of healing are explained and demonstrated. Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional home, or who absorbed a sense of shame would benefit from reading this valuable source.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review-The Dynamic Laws of Prayer

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Aug 012017
 

The Dynamic Laws of Prayer
by Catherine Ponder

“Pray and Grow Rich” was the first book by Catherine Ponder that I ever read. When I decided to review it, I thought that it was out of print when I couldn’t find it under that name. I was upset, because I knew how valuable the information was. But then I was relieved to find it under the title, “The Dynamic Laws of Prayer.” The second title more closely describes what the book is about.

Prayer helps bring us closer to the God within, contact Its power and releases that energy into our lives. Rev. Ponder dispels the notion that prayer is passive and pleading with a far off deity. In this book, she describes the many different ways we can pray and that prayer is individual. By tackling the difficult issues of what to do when prayer isn’t immediately answered, she assures us that it’s to help us grow into the result.

The information goes deeply into how to approach the power within you and express it, even if there are blocks in the way. This book addresses the use of affirmations, meditation in the silence, what to do to eliminate unwanted conditions, and much, much more. As with all of her books, it is filled with affirmations. If you want to change your life, this book will give you the tools to do so.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart