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, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
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.
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

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Aug 102017
 

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Stay the Course

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Jul 172017
 

Do you ever jump into motion without determining where it’s going to take you? If you do, you’ll probably waste time, energy and increase your stress. Learn what you can do to improve your chances of success and get to your destination more easily.



Transcription:
When I was growing up, my father and a neighbor would leave for work at about the same time. They’d drive the same route through rush hour traffic for several miles, before my father would exit. One day, the neighbor and my dad left at the exact same time. On the freeway, she wove in and out of traffic, trying to get ahead. My dad just stayed the course, going with the flow of traffic. When my father finally exited, the neighbor was only 1 car length ahead of him.

What about you? Do you ever try to get ahead by just staying in motion? Does it serve you? Motion without a reason doesn’t usually help. It just wastes time and energy, and keeps you stressed so you can’t think clearly.

It’s better to be deliberate and decisive instead of reactive. The neighbor was reactive, jumping from one lane to the other, looking for a fastest one. She took the short term view and just stayed in motion. It didn’t give her the results she wanted, as she could see from her relationship to my dad’s car, but she kept doing it anyway.

My father was deliberate, deciding to take the long range view, knowing that it was a myth that there would be a faster lane. He didn’t waste gas or let his frustration level climb, like the neighbor did.

My coaching tip is to think things through. This is true for any decision or action. Don’t just leap into motion and be reactive. You won’t get the results you want. Be deliberate and decide on your action ahead of time. And then stay the course. You’ll get to your destination easier, smoother and with a lot less wear and tear on your nerves.

Read the article that accompanies this video, Don’t Push the River.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Mar 302017
 

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