Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 012018
 

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowPower Causes Brain Damage
You know the old saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is a fascinating article about how leaders lose mental capacities, most notably for reading other people, that were essential to their rise. As they become powerful, those abilities are no longer necessary. This isn’t just theory, it’s been observed and measured.

Creative Mess, Creative Clutter
Many years ago, I read that clutter gives rise to creativity, because creativity is actually creating something out of chaos. Now there’s some evidence to back that up. This article cites a study that ideas that emerge in a cluttered room are more innovative than those in a tidy one.

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
This article cites various studies that are showing that silence may actually grow our brains by adding new cells. Quiet also allows you to process information more fully. Silence reduces stress and improves cognition, among other things.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Decide to Choose Clarity

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Feb 222018
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Signpost-confused-medBecky lived in an apartment with a couple of roommates, and she wanted a space of her own. Faced with all the options available to her, she kept saying, “I’m so confused.” She was afraid she was going to make the wrong decision, get trapped somewhere she didn’t want to be, or miss out on something better. The confusion left her paralyzed. So she didn’t choose anything different and even when her roommates changed, she stayed where she was.

Clarity is vitally important for you to know what you want. Once you are clear on your goal, you can focus on it and move in that direction. Clarity is necessary for you to have success in any area of your life. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll just drift along and receive the results of the average of your thoughts.

Without clarity, you’re in a perpetual state of confusion. This causes insecurity and stress, which simply creates more turmoil. You run around in circles and don’t get anywhere. You might look at one option after another, and all the possibilities you face produces more chaos for you.

But the only person who is generating your confusion is you. By affirming that you’re in this state, refusing to commit to a path, or allowing yourself to get overwhelmed by choices, you’re contributing to the challenge. You’re giving your subconscious mind the message to keep you scattered. The underlying issue may be that you’re trying to avoid responsibility, afraid you’ll make a mistake, get stuck in a situation, or fail.

Believe it or not, uncertainty is a choice. It’s a decision not to decide. Once you whittle down your choices, and choose a direction, it clears away the mental fog. It may become evident that you don’t want to go that route. That’s fine. You can stay open to other possibilities and change your mind. But don’t change it too much, or you’ll find yourself back in the mists that clouded your mind in the first place.

When you pick a track and determine to continue on it, the haze clears away, and you can see a little way ahead. Take one step, then another. At this point, you don’t need to know where you’re going to end up. It’s enough that you’ve chosen to move in a direction. Because when you’re moving, the Universe can guide you.

Initially, any direction is better than being stalled. So even if you’re not certain about what you want, choose a path. As you’re moving, you’ll discover what you want and don’t want. Write down your goals or intentions. This prompts you to be more specific in what you desire. Then read them every day. Ask yourself, “What can I do today that will move me in their direction?”

Once you’ve made a decision, don’t second guess yourself. If new information comes your way, or circumstances change, then you can reevaluate your choice. But don’t be distracted by a shiny, new idea or opportunity that leads you in a different direction without some reason. The diversion is a mirage and simply an old habit trying to prevent change. If you become uncomfortable, it’s just the old habit of confusion trying to lure you back into its lair. Stay on track, and confusion will fade away.

As you build your commitment to your decisions, you’ll gain confidence that you can make wise ones. The Universe and your inner self will guide you to make ones that take you on your optimal path. Trust yourself, because you do have the knowledge within to make the right choices for your greatest good.

Affirmation:
I am always being guided and directed by the One Life within me. I pick a direction, make a choice and take a step. As I move forward, the next step is made clear to me. My path is made smooth and straight. Each day, I take action to propel myself towards a greater good.

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 092018
 

Sparks of InsightThere’s an old saying, “All work, and no play, makes Jo a dull person.” Taking time to do things that are enjoyable helps to recharge your batteries and fill up your well of internal resources. When things are the toughest, it’s most important to make some time for play. Whether it’s watching a video, doing a hobby, or watching the clouds, play in necessary for your health and well-being. You may have to carve out that time from a habitual task, such as cleaning, doing the dishes, or changing the oil. But they will be there after you play, and you’ll be able to complete them with a much lighter heart. Have some fun!

~ 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

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jan 262018
 

Step Through WoodsFrom Zilla to Chill-a: What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed (…By The Good Things)
We’re used to dealing with life when we have a myriad of difficulties. But when we have a plethora of good happening, we tend to get overwhelmed. It stirs up feelings of unworthiness and guilt, and we start to sabotage ourselves. Here’s some good advice from someone who found her way through. But her suggestions can also be used for when you’re just plain overwhelmed.

5 Suggestions for Setting Realistic Expectations for Yourself
Many people have unrealistic expectations for themselves and their lives. They expect idealistic outcomes in a specific way every time. And if they don’t get their perfect result, they feel like they’ve failed. Talk about pressure. Instead of undermining yourself at the start, use these ideas to establish reasonable expectations for yourself so you can be more flexible and happier.

Personal Boundaries 101 – Part 1
We all need personal boundaries so that people know what their limits are with us. Boundaries keep us safe and teach people how to treat us. Our well being is our responsibility and boundaries are a way to take care of it. This article has 3 great questions to help us define and describe what our boundaries are. When implemented, you’ll feel more comfortable and freer.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jan 192018
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZCreating the Right Attitude for Success
If you’re not reaching the kind of success you want, you need to assess where you’re holding yourself back. It may mean you need to develop some new skills. But more likely, it’s a result of your attitude. Believe it or not, having the right attitude for success is a skill. And it’s not just about having a positive one. This article covers some of the attitudes you need to readjust or cultivate to achieve success.

10 Life-Changing Tips for Highly Sensitive People
Some people love conflict and argument. They need it to feel stimulated. But then there are other people, an estimated 15-20% of the population, who are sensitive. They feel overstimulated in situations others deal with easily. There isn’t anything wrong with sensitive people. They’re just wired differently. If you’re one of those people, here are some valuable tips on how to accept yourself and start thriving.

7 Things To Do If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
Do you often feel overwhelmed with too much to do, and too little time in which to get it done? Technology promised to make life easier, but it has failed in that promise. And we’re expected to do more and more, just to keep up. So far, we can’t clone ourselves so we have more bodies to get it all done. Instead, we have to find ways to deal with the unrealistic demands. Here are some suggestions on how to approach your life if you feel overwhelmed.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jan 112018
 

Step Through WoodsA Practical Plan for When You Feel Overwhelmed
Sometimes, when you get really busy, you get to feeling overwhelmed. It’s not a bad thing to be busy, but when you’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to know what to do. You can get paralyzed and just spin in place. Here are some tips on how to get out of that cycle and get things done.

14 Confidence Quotes to Help You Beat Self-Doubt and Reach Your Goals
The title of this article is misleading. Not only does the author give you quotes, but he explains the lessons they teach. If you’ve ever procrastinated working on tasks or your goals, this article will give you some needed inspiration to boldly pursue them.

How You’re Killing Your Productivity
Productivity is essential to our feeling of self-esteem, accomplishment, and hopefulness. Without it, we gradually sink into a state of frustration, hopelessness, and regret. And you’re the one responsible for your productivity. Learn 7 areas that you have complete control over changing so you can live the life you want.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How To Make And Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Jan 032018
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

jigsaw_puzzle-Aibr59k8T-smI used to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, such as: lose weight, exercise, organize my desk, eat better, etc., etc., and so forth. However, within a day I’d broken at least half of them. The rest were blown by the end of the week. Since I felt like a failure, I just stopped making them. I figured why should I put myself through the frustration?

It’s too bad, because resolutions are a positive way to improve your life and change old habit patterns. Starting a new year with the intention of establishing a healthier life helps us to wipe the slate clean, to write a better script. We begin with great hopes, only to get sucked back into the familiar rut. Why is it that so many times we fail to attain our list of resolutions?

Think about this. What if your partner brought you a long list of things they wanted you to do immediately? For example, they wanted you to move all the furniture in the house, change the landscaping, paint the house, completely redecorate within a week? You’d groan, crumble and look for the closest hole to hide in. The same is true of your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind processes and stores everything you’ve ever seen, done, heard, thought, or experienced. All of this information mixes together to give you the life you now have.

If you resolve to completely recondition yourself within a month, your inner mind falters. “Too much!” it screams, and then proceeds to get you so involved in life that you forget all that silly stuff. An excessive amount of change at any one time overwhelms your subconscious. However, there are some things you can do to maximize your success with New Year’s resolutions.

First, as you might do every year, write down all the things that you want to change in your life. But this time, prioritize them. Decide which are the most important, then select one of these to concentrate on. By focusing on one area at a time, you will be able to improve your chances of success.

Once you’ve chosen which area you want to concentrate on, write down all the steps you need to take to fulfill that goal. For instance, suppose Sam decides he wants to get healthy. To do so, he chooses to quit smoking, eliminate caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, to stop partying, get enough sleep every night, lose weight, start exercising, and eat right. He can’t do all of these at the same time, or his subconscious will rebel. Therefore, he decides which facet he wants to tackle first.

Break your goal down into reasonable steps. Don’t try to change the world in one week. As you accomplish one component, move onto the next one. It may actually take a couple of years to achieve your whole list, but in a couple of years you’ll be so much healthier than you are now.

Once you have your first element chosen, you can now decide on what physical actions to take every day. Taking physical action helps to convince the subconscious that you mean business, and shows commitment to the process.

Visualize yourself acting out your objective. As you imagine yourself living your goal, this gives your subconscious mind the direction it needs. It must follow your envisioning. Mentally rehearse each day, identifying with your new ideal, feeling how good it is to have accomplished your aim.

Write a short positive statement in the present tense that embodies your resolution. Use this affirmation in your visualization to reinforce it. Say the declaration aloud one hundred times a day. Print it on index cards and place them where you see them often. This keeps you focused on your goal and begins to impregnate your subconscious with what it is that you want. Trust that your subconscious is making deep level changes, and knows the best way to help you to transform.

By following these directions, you will be able to successfully make and keep your New Year’s resolutions. You have all the power within you to create a wonderful new life for yourself. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Affirmation:
This year, I set reasonable goals of change for myself. After I write down what areas of my life I wish to change, I narrow them down to focus on one. I decide what steps I need to take to make the goal a reality in my life, and begin with a single small, attainable action. As I’m successful, I add another step. I visualize myself accomplishing my goal, knowing that doing so fully involves my subconscious in helping me to transform. I commit myself to making the changes necessary to improve my life, knowing that I’m worth it.

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.