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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Feb 242017
 

GC-RimTrail-sm-09235 Keys for Maintaining Your Entrepreneurial Vision
Being an entrepreneur can be both satisfying and stressful. It’s hard to stay focused and overcome obstacles that come up. This article gives tips on how to keep your enthusiasm while dealing with the challenges.

You Can Be Mentally Stronger If You Do This Small Act Every Day
When we set big goals but don’t achieve them, it can be detrimental to our self-esteem. Some people don’t set goals for this very reason. But you don’t have to give up on goals. You just have to do it in a more reasonable way. Learn how to do this and where to focus your attention so that you are able to accomplish more.

The 5 Ways To Feel More Relaxed In Just 30 Seconds
There are a myriad of ways to lower stress, but most take several minutes to achieve that state. If you don’t have the time for meditation, yoga or exercise, how do you find a quick fix? This article shares several easy tips to be calmer, more centered and relaxed. And they take little to no time at all.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Meditation to Take Charge of Your Stress

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Aug 122016
 

Stress is constant in our modern world. When we don’t do anything to release or reduce it, it builds up to affect our physical and mental health. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take charge and find ways reduce stress. This meditation will lead you through one of the fastest and easiest ways to do that. If you practice this several times a day, you’ll lower your stress level and improve your health.



~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review – “The Joy of Meditation”

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Mar 092016
 

Joy of Meditation
by Jack and Cornelia Addington

This is a wonderful little primer on meditation. In simple, easy to understand language, it covers all aspects of meditation, and clarifies some misunderstandings. This book also covers some of the benefits of meditation, including developing your intuition, healing, and becoming more in tune with the Infinite.

Many books on meditation scare off the beginner by asserting that there’s only one way to practice or stating that you have to keep your mind quiet. There are many different methods to practice meditation, and this book gives directions on how to do many of them. The authors also explain that keeping the mind one-pointed is the goal of a type of meditation, but that it takes much training to achieve.

Whether you’re a beginner to meditation, or someone who needs to rejuvenate your practice with something new, this book will give you guidance and inspiration.

~ Linda Ann Stewart

Psycho-Cybernetics: Lessons 1-5

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Nov 042015
 

Psycho-Cybernetics is a form of self-image therapy developed by Dr Maxwell Maltz to help people rebuild their life based on positive belief in self. Dr. Maltz describes the first lesson of Psycho-Cybernetics, which is how we have 2 worlds within us, frustration and confidence. When we turn from frustration, we walk towards confidence. This is a 9 minute video of an interview with Dr. Maltz as he covers the first 5 lessons of Psycho-Cybernetics and how it can be used to improve your self-image.



~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jul 082015
 

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowThe Number 1 Bad Habit You Need to Stop If You Want to Lose Weight
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Dr Andrew Weil says it works because it allows the lungs to become fully charged with air, allowing more oxygen into the body. This extra oxygen can have a relaxing effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.

In a Digital Chapter, Paper Notebooks Are as Relevant as Ever
Moleskin notebooks have grown in popularity along with technology. And they’re not alone. Paper planners are also making a comeback. A study has even found that students who write their notes retain much more than those who type them.

Jul 302014
 

In today’s frantic world, most of us multitask. We answer email while we’re talking on our phones, either juggling-multitaskingfor business or pleasure, while we’re also working on a project. All of this makes for a stressful existence.

When you’re stressed, you can’t be resourceful or creative. Which means you can’t escape the hamster cage of just doing what’s right in front of you to innovate and achieve your goals.

There are times when multitasking is necessary in our society and in business. Sometimes we have a lot of decisions and details that need to be addressed all at the same time. But multitasking isn’t a good habit to develop for the long term.

Don’t confuse productivity with busyness. Many people think that because they’re multitasking, they’re getting a lot done. Generally, that’s a false belief. Studies show that a person is 40% less productive with multitasking than when they focus on one thing at a time.

When someone is continually juggling a lot of balls, and handling a lot of tasks at once, they feel good and effective. Instead, they’re actually keeping themselves distracted from what they truly need to deal with. They may need to write this month’s newsletter, or call the troublesome person.

Multitasking is also addictive. Checking your email frequently causes you to want to check it even more because it activates the brain’s reward circuits. This feeling of reward then causes you to check it more. The behavior is repeated until it becomes a habit.

People who are deeply invested in multitasking will object strongly to being told it’s not effective. They’re attached to the rush and the myth that they’re being productive. Their self-image may also be connected to being one.

To have less stress, be more productive and have more creativity, reduce your multitasking. Work on one thing at a time. You can alternate projects, working on one for 30-60 minutes before moving on to another one. In this way, you’ll get more done and be calmer and more relaxed.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, overwhelmed and immobilized to focus, prioritize and break through so they generate more business and create a consistent income. To apply for a complimentary consultation, email LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with “Discovery” in the subject line, or call her at 928-600-0452.

Unwind, Relax and De-Stress

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Dec 192013
 

Stress is a part of life, but unfortunately, it can become chronic and become distress. When it does, you need to have some strategies in place to deal with the stress. One of the best ways to lower your stress level is to take a few minutes to do some relaxation. Experience a short relaxation exercise that can teach you how to unwind and lower your stress level.



~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Book Review – Tapestry of Healing

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Oct 162013
 

tapestryofhealing“Tapestry of Healing: Where Reiki and Medicine Intertwine”
by Jeri Mills, M.D.

This is a wonderful exploration of a physician’s discovery of Reiki. It’s her personal story of her life and how she began using this ancient healing technique in her practice. She’s not only a physician, but a veterinarian, and used Reiki on her human patients and animals.

She describes her journey as she learns this healing art and then what happens as she begins to share it with her patients and colleagues. Some were more open to it than others.

The last half of the book is all about energy medicine, Reiki and how to use it. She explains some of the pitfalls and when you should let things be. This aligns with my own experience as a hypnotherapist. You can’t heal everyone.

For the Reiki practitioner, there are a lot of tips about how to use the energy from her own experiences. And for those who aren’t practitioners, she explains what energy healing is and how it’s used.

This book is for the person new to the idea of Reiki, as well as for practitioners of the ancient art. It contains valuable insights to guide any healer. It was a joy to read and I value its addition to my library.

Book Review-An Easy Guide to Meditation

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Sep 262012
 

An Easy Guide to Meditation [Kindle Edition]
Roy Eugene Davis

Many recent studies have shown that meditation changes the brain in beneficial ways, and improves your quality of life. With that in mind, I was delighted to find this gem of a booklet free on Amazon. The author studied under Paramahansa Yogananda and is the founder of Center for Spiritual Awareness.

This booklet starts out by discussing the purpose of meditation, and then explains simple steps to begin to access the meditative state. Succinctly, clearly, this booklet describes how to get into meditation, how to avoid the pitfalls, and what to do when you’re there. It condenses the knowledge you’d find in a much longer book.

I own an old physical copy of an earlier version this booklet as well as a couple of this author’s books (which are unfortunately out of print) and treasure them all. This is a Kindle edition, and you can download a Kindle app for all kinds of devices or or read it in the cloud.