Jun 082018
 

Rainbow at Snowbowl5 Ways You Can Use Mindfulness to Fix Your Brain, Decrease Stress and Improve Performance
Mindfulness meditation has multiple studies showing how it changes your brain. Research has found it impacts eight areas of the brain. Two of those regions increased brain activity and the density of brain tissue. You can reap the multiple benefits of mindfulness in just a few minutes a day.

10 Scientifically Proven Tips for Beating Procrastination
Procrastination is one of the biggest blocks to success. It affects productivity, effectiveness and confidence. The suggestions in this article will get you off the starting block and taking small steps. And generally, just getting moving is all it takes to break through that block.

6 Ways That Night-time Phone Use Destroys Your Sleep
Using your phone at night makes you sleep-deprived and exhausted. This article is based on a study by Harvard researchers that found why you need to shut it off an hour before bed. And it’s not just your phone. Your computer, tablet, e-reader and television can affect your sleep, as well.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 112018
 

Sparks of InsightWhat spiritual disciplines are you doing to expand your awareness? Are you meditating each day, saying affirmations, acknowledging the goodness of the Universe in each situation, or some other activity? If you aren’t, then you’re closing off the flow of the Universe. Each day you need to touch into your spiritual core to renew yourself. Choose something, even if it’s only a five minute meditation every morning. A spiritual discipline keeps you on track and makes sure that you remember to exercise your connection to the Infinite.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

May 112018
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZ7 Quick Ways to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed
Do you sometimes feel like you’re always running behind? And that you have so many things to do, you’ll never get them all done? Unfortunately, that feeling of stress just slows you down and keeps you from performing at your best. This article suggests some commonsense ways to reduce your stress so you can be more effective.

Study suggests meditating can prevent age-related mental decline
Less than 10% of the U.S. population meditates. And that’s unfortunate, because study after study show that it can help with mental, emotional and physical problems. This particular study shows how it can prevent age-related mental decline and difficulty focusing.

How to Stop Making Excuses
Unfortunately, we don’t always realize when we’re making excuses, but they sabotage our ability to achieve our goals. There is a difference between an explanation and an excuse, and this article dives into this difference. When you’re able to tell them apart, you’ll stop undermining yourself and be more successful.

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

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 292018
 

Step Through Woods4 Proven Ways to Bounce Back From Failure
Setbacks are normal, and are actually teaching moments. The only time you fail is when you quit trying. That said, it can be difficult to get back into the swing when you feel you swung and missed. Part of the ability to do it more easily has to do with learned behavior, and part has to do with personality. The tips in this article can help you recover, learn from the experience and try again.

Are You a Goal-Getter?
When you set a goal, you may be uncertain about your chances of success in achieving it. But you think there’s at least a good possibility for it to happen. Wouldn’t you like to increase your odds of success? This article shares 7 steps to achieving the goals you want to accomplish.

How to Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit
We all have bad habits of one kind or another. Sometimes, we excuse ourselves when we try to overcome them and don’t succeed. They’re just so much a part of us and it’s hard to change them. They exist because at some time in the past they helped us. But that time is past and if you want to eliminate them, use the 3 steps in this article.

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

How Your Beliefs About Stress Affect It

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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.

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