Oct 092020
 

Nine Ways Mindfulness Reduces Stress

Mounting evidence from multiple studies indicate that mindfulness builds resilience and helps energize you. Here’s how mindfulness gives you the space to respond calmly under pressure. The article includes a meditation for lowering stress levels.

Protect your brain from stress

It’s not uncommon to feel disorganized and forgetful when you’re under a lot of stress. But over the long term, stress may actually change your brain in ways that affect your memory. Stress management may reduce health problems linked to stress, which include cognitive problems and a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Self-Compassion Makes Life More Manageable

Western society celebrate self-confidence, and encourages people to build this quality. But for greater success and happiness, self-compassion may be more beneficial. Self-compassion encourages you to acknowledge and accept your limitations and flaws. This can lead to positive changes in your life because instead of tearing yourself down, you accept that you’re human.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

4 Ways to Manage Your Stress

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Aug 072020
 
Woman surrounded by stressful thoughts

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When a stressful situation arises, your brain perceives it to be a threat. As a result, your mind instructs your body to react to the circumstance and keep you safe. Any change to your routine or situation is also considered stressful, even if it’s beneficial, like a promotion. And it doesn’t matter if the danger is mental or physical, real or imagined. Your mind can’t distinguish between them, and signals your body to prepare for a fight or flight.

This survival mode closes down the pathway to your Higher Self. You operate instinctively, to protect yourself, and can’t access your intuition, which is a higher level insight.

For instance, your boss might call you into his office, and you’re dreading a confrontation. You feel tense and worry about what it could be about. Instead of being angry, he wants to praise your work on a report. Your stress was caused by your imagination. If the cause of stress isn’t addressed and relieved, that pressure can escalate to a feeling of free floating anxiety and depression.

How You Deal with Stress

When you’re stressed, all of your mental resources focus on handling the crisis. You feel like you have no control. To cope, your attention narrows to what’s right in front of you and you can’t think straight or be creative. Instead, you act reflexively, as you have in the past, whether it was helpful or not. And you remain in this habitual state until the stressful situation passes.

Although you may not be able to control outer circumstances, you can control your reactions. By changing the way you respond to stress, your results change. When you feel in control, you make better decisions and can innovate to solve problems. Taking charge of your actions is vital to your health and well-being.  

Many spiritual people object to the idea of being in control. They want to be “in the flow.” Being “in the flow” is different from drifting at the mercy of outside forces. Spiritual people also associate being in control with “control freaks,” who run on fear and lack of trust. Being in control means making conscious choices and being intentional about your actions.

How You Can Gain Control

Here are some ways you can manage stress, rather than letting it manage you.

1. Delay your reaction. Remember, as a child, you were told to count to 10 when you were angry? There is a valid reason for this. When you pause for 10 seconds, it gives your conscious mind time to assert itself. That allows it to move to a more rational position and lets you recognize the consequences of losing your temper. You also have more access to other solutions. To give yourself time, take a walk, go into another room, or do something to take your mind off of it temporarily.

2. Be mindful. Instead of getting swept along by your anxiety, focus on the present. Ask yourself, “What can I control in this moment?” You may not be able to control the environment, the situation, or other people, but you have authority over other things in your life. For example, you can do something nice for yourself or others, remember all the things you’re grateful for, or read something inspirational.

3. Take small steps. Instead of getting overwhelmed, do one tiny thing, like wash the dishes. Then do another. Take one tiny aspect of what’s stressing you, and deal with it. For instance, if you’re concerned about finances, balance your checkbook. When you take action on a single thing at a time, you’re able to calm down your nervous system.

4. Use self-talk. Talk yourself through the problem. When you have an internal (or out loud) conversation with yourself, it allows you to be clearer about the issue. You’re able to organize your thoughts and evaluate what your options might be. Also, you’ve shifted your attention from feeling powerless to seeking a way through the stress. This engages your problem solving partner, your subconscious mind.

Feeling in control is your first step to reducing stress and moving towards a beneficial outcome. As you take charge, you have more power to change your habits and behaviors so you create the life you want. And you’re able to access your Higher Self and your intuition, so you can mine the treasure they bring to create your ideal situation.  

Affirmation:

The Universe is always available to help me deal with stress, but first I need to help myself. I have control over my reactions to situations that cause me stress. Once I acknowledge that truth, I can start taking action to reduce the pressure I feel. The more in control I feel, the more energy I have to create the ideal life I desire.

Watch the accompanying video, Reduce the Overwhelm 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. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Finding Focus in Unsettled Times

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Jun 172020
 

Focus in one of the most important skills to develop if you want to be successful, whether personally or professionally.  But because of our current crisis and disruption of our routines, focus is hard to grab onto and maintain. Here’s a couple of strategies to help you to broaden your mental bandwidth and feel more in control.  

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me.  I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist.  I wanted to talk about how to find focus in times that seem unsettled, chaotic, or uncertain, like now.

Focus in one of the most important skills to have if you want to be successful, whether personally or professionally.  But because of our current crisis and disruption of our routines, focus is hard to grab onto and maintain, isn’t it?  Your attention is taken up with the immediate and the urgent, right? And there’s so much that’s out of your control right now, which splinters your focus even more, doesn’t it?

So, for right now, just focus on what you can control. You can control what you do, your decisions, and your response to immediate situations. Just paying attention to what you can control lowers your stress level and you have more mental bandwidth.

Next, focus on one thing at a time. Just one thing. The brain can focus only on a single task at a time. When you’re thinking about or doing too many things at one time, you’re “task switching” and that exhausts your ability to function. So when you’re doing something, focus completely on it, if only for ten minutes.

Using these two strategies, pretty soon, you’ll feel on more stable ground. And you’ll be able to pay attention to more than just what’s right in front of you. And then, amazingly, you’ll be able to start to plan for the future. 

If you’d to achieve a 90-day goal more easily, download my free comprehensive Strategic Vision Blueprint. You’ll receive the blueprint, as well as a video of that walks you through it with tips and directions to support you in accomplishing your goal.

Thank you for watching. What one thing are you going to focus on today? Take care.

Read the complementary article Finding Your Course in Unstable Times.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

 Trending Articles, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Trending Articles of the Week
Feb 212020
 
Reach Goal

The Power of Your Vision – and Letting It Guide You

Goals aren’t enough to move you forward. They run you in circles, keeping you busy, but not really accomplishing anything. You also need to have a reason for them, a destination you’re aspiring to with them. Use the three steps in this article to make this the year you make a difference in your life.

7 Science-Backed Strategies for Building Powerful Habits

When you set a goal, you’ll probably also need to change a habit to achieve it. But it’s hard to break a habit and create a new one. And if life gets in the way, it’s all too easy to backslide. To develop a habit that lasts, set yourself up for success using the tips in this article.

Two Quick Ways to Feel More Optimistic

Are you a half-empty or half-full type of person? The difference between them is how you think during stressful times. If you are a pessimist (half-empty), then you believe that you don’t have any control over what’s happening. If you’re an optimist (half-full), you focus on what you can do to make it better. If you want, you can start training yourself to be optimistic using the resources in this article.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart