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
If you want to lose weight, stop the negative self-talk. Your thoughts matter when it comes to your weight. Learn about a study that shows just how powerful your thoughts are in this matter.

Simple ‘4-7-8’ breathing trick can induce sleep in 60 seconds
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 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.

Your Personal Efficient Biofeedback Instrument

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May 292012

Are your shoulders ever tense? Do you ever clench your teeth? When you’re entering an uncomfortable situation, do you ever have butterflies in your abdomen? All of these just show that your body is an efficient biofeedback tool. It shows you what you’re thinking and feeling, even if you aren’t aware of it.

Whenever you’re stressed, your back muscles will tighten up in preparation to handle the threat. You may not even know that you’re stressed until you check in with your body.

Mentally or verbally rehearsing an argument after the fact may cause an upset stomach. It may not be happening in real life, but that doesn’t mean that your body doesn’t respond as if it’s happening now.

When you’re worried about something, you may unconsciously frown and furrow your forehead. You may even get a headache from tense neck muscles.

Your body shows you what you’re thinking about. Start listening to what it’s telling you. Check in with your body, and ask yourself, “What am I thinking about?” “What’s going on?” This will give you an indication of where your focus has been driving you.

Next, ask yourself, “What needs to change?” Stress, upset, anxiety, worry just keeps you immobilized. It cuts you off from creativity, inner resources and your problem solving abilities.

As soon as you redirect your attention to what you can do improve things, you instruct your subconscious mind to begin accessing those resources. Your subconscious mind will change its direction and begin seeking a solution. You can help it along by taking time to consciously relax. That will give it more energy to do its work.

The next time you feel out of sorts, reconnect with your body. It’ll give you all the guidance you need.

~ Linda-Ann

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

Stress Management Through Relaxation & Chinese Power Healing Techniques, Part 2

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Apr 202011

by K.P. Rajagopalan

Another very effective stress management method has been developed by Chinese Doctor Zhi Gang Sha, an MD in Western Medicine, presently practising traditional Chinese medicine in the USA & Canada.

Dr. Sha has been able to bring considerable & sustained relief to long-standing sufferers of migraine, asthma, back pain and even serious diseases like multiple sclerosis and cancer. It is of interest to note that Dr. Sha has also worked as the personal physician of the Dy. Prime Minister of China.  He calls his system of healing as “Power Healing” which is a combination of 4 techniques namely, Body Power, Soul Power, Sound Power and Mind Power which can be adapted for healing of any abnormal condition of  the  body, quickly and easily.

The procedure adopted for ‘stress management’  in  the “Power Healing” system of therapy is based on the discovery/understanding that stress is any energy blockage in the head & removing the same will reduce your stress right away.

The following practice is a simple & effective one for reducing stress.

Body Power

Sit in a chair.  Keep your back straight & don’t lean back against the chair.  Use the One hand near, One hand far Body Power technique i.e. point your near hand at the crown chakra at the top of  your head.  This hand should be held about 4” to 7” above your head.  Place your Far hand 15” to 20” away from your lower abdomen, with the palm facing your body.  The near hand creates a high density field at the head, while the far hand creates a low density field at the lower abdomen. Energy will flow from high-density ( the head) to low-density ( the lower abdomen)
dissipating the energy blockages in the head and reducing stress. At the same time, your fundamental energy centres will be nourished and strengthened.

Soul Power

Say “hello” : Dear Soul, Mind & Body of my head, lower abdomen, near hand, far hand, ee-joe (one-nine) & the bright golden light, I love you.  Please give me a healing to reduce my stress.  Do a good job,  Thank you, The combined Soul Power of your head, abdomen & hand combined with ‘ee–joe’ & the brightest golden light, can offer incredible healing to reduce your stress.

Sound Power

Chant the healing sounds of number one and nine in Chinese “ee” & “joe” respectively. ‘Ee’ stimulates cellular vibration in the head. ‘Joe’ stimulates cellular vibration in the lower abdomen. Chanting ee-joe repeatedly will move blocked energy from the head to the lower abdomen, reducing your stress.

Mind Power

Visualize the brightest golden light
flowing from the head to the lower abdomen. The intention of your mind, coupled with the vibration of the cells in your brain & head, will move blocked energy from the head to the lower abdomen. Visualize and imagine yourself in perfect health & being completely calm and relaxed, full of inner joy and peace.

Do this practice for 3-5 minutes.  Repeat several times a day as needed.  You can use it to prevent stress as well as to reduce it.

Copyright 2011 K.P. Rajagopalan
All Rights Reserved

The author is working as Deputy General Manager In-charge of the Unit office of Steel Authority of India Ltd, Bokaro Steel Plant (A Govt of India Enterprise) at Chennai, INDIA and can be contacted at Phone: 91-44-9444397294 / 9791071534  and  at the e-mail ID:

Stress Management Through Relaxation & Chinese Power Healing Techniques, Part 1

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Apr 192011

by K.P. Rajagopalan

The term ‘Stress’ when related to human physiology refers to the body’s responses to everything from viruses and cold effects to emotions such as fear and anger.  Dr. Hans Selye, the foremost exponent of the effects of stress, has defined stress in the following manner i.e. stress is the body’s non-specific response to any demand placed on it, whether that demand is pleasant or not.

All of us have a stress “Savings A/c” deposited in our body as our life force. The object is to spend it wisely over the longest time span possible. The difference between our stress savings A/c and the normal bank A/c is that we cannot make any more deposits into the stress A/c. We can only make withdrawals.

The reason most people age at different rates is that our society is full of “big spenders” who over-react to harmless circumstances as if they were life or death matters. We see it everyday on our roads and on buses when we are on the way to work.

It is impossible to be truly creative when we are tense & nervous.  When one is tense, he works at a greatly reduced level of efficiency.  Some of body’s warning signs that stress is beginning to seriously affect us are:

(1)  Intestinal Distress
(2)  Insomnia
(3)  Nail biting
(4)  Memory lapse
(5)  Hunger for sweets
(6)  Frequent illness
(7)  Rapid Pulse
(8)  Persistent fatigue
(9)  Irritability
(10) Lack of concentration
(11) Increased use of alcohol

The best way to overcome this state/situation is the practice of conscious relaxation techniques which lead to a condition of relaxed alertness i.e. the body going to a totally relaxed state but the mind remains alert-the ideal state for super accomplishment.  The more often these exercises are repeated the more they will become a part of our habitual thinking.  We shall begin to think habitually of relaxation, rather than pressure and strain.

Relaxation can be easily achieved by deep breathing followed by rolling the eyes upwards & counting backward from 50 to 1.  By this process, there is a reduction in our brain wave frequency (as measured by EEG) and we reach the ‘alpha’ level where the brainwave frequency is 8-14 cycles/sec— found by research to be the most productive level for impacting the sub-conscious mind. We can deepen the relaxation by visualizing/imagining peaceful scenes like being in a garden or at the beach or watching humorous scenes or listening to humorous stories which make you laugh.

There are long relaxation techniques and short relaxation techniques.

If you lead a really hectic life, or if you are currently in a period of increased stress, the long relaxation procedures are recommended.  However, most people can turn on their mental computer in a few seconds and do not need minutes to get into a state of  physical and mental relaxation.  For them, the short relaxation techniques work fine.

Three long Relaxation Techniques

1. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Relax your scalp. Relax your forehead. Relax your cheeks, mouth, neck, chest, back, thighs, legs, feet and toes. Take your time—-visualize  each body part.  Move each part, also mentally “talk” to it and  ask it to relax.

2. Sit in a comfortable position.  Close your eyes.  Take 3 deep breaths, exhaling slowly after each breath.  Now, count backward  from 100 to 1. Mentally visualize each number before going onto the next.

3. Sit in a comfortable position.  Close your eyes & imagine you  are in an elevator that is about to descend.  It could be an elevator in a department store, in which case you can “hear” the automated voice recite “Seventh Floor, Women’s clothes etc.” When you reach the 1st floor, you are ready to begin programming your mental computer.  Or the elevator can be in a mine shaft.  See signs stating each 100 ft down.  When you reach 2000 ft, you are ready to begin mental programming.

A short relaxation technique

1. Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath & exhale slowly. Do this again. Do this a third time.  Now, visualize several peaceful scenes you are familiar with.  Enjoy each scene as if you were there being sure to recreate the colors you saw. You are now ready to program your mental computer.

Copyright 2011 K.P. Rajagopalan
All Rights Reserved

The author is working as Deputy General Manager In-charge of the Unit office of Steel Authority of India Ltd, Bokaro Steel Plant (A Govt of India Enterprise) at Chennai, INDIA and can be contacted at Phone: 91-44-9444397294 / 9791071534  and  at the e-mail ID: