May 072021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Mindfully smelling a flower

Several years ago, I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch. She visited our area infrequently on business, and when she did, we tried to get together to catch up. The week she was in the area, I had a full schedule of clients. But I’d set aside over an hour to spend with her and looked forward to our conversation.

Shortly after she arrived, she got a call on her cell phone from another friend. Instead of telling the person she’d call them back, she chatted with them for most of the hour. She ended the call shortly before I had to get back to my office. Once she realized that she’d wasted our time together, she was contrite. Disappointed that I had to leave, she tried to convince me to stay. I couldn’t reschedule my clients on such short notice, and had to leave.

Instead of being in the present, she’d automatically answered the phone, and remained on the call without considering the consequences. Have you ever done that, or had it done to you? How often are you absent in the moment, simply reacting or taking an action without thinking it through?

Mindfulness vs. Habits

It’s been estimated that 95% of the time we act out of habit, like my friend did. Her phone rang; she answered it on autopilot, and stayed on the call. Instead of being mindful, she was mindless in that moment. Habits are useful. They can help our minds problem solve and assess information. But they’re not helpful when they take over your decision making process.

Situations like this crop up all the time. Instead of working on your project, you answer each call, text or email as it comes in. The notification triggers you to deal with the immediate distraction, rather than staying focused on your task, which is more important. Or you accept that piece of cake you’re offered without considering your diet. Paying attention to what you’re doing, and want to be doing, helps you accomplish more of your priorities.

Benefits of Mindfulness

You can’t be mindful all the time. Letting your mind wander occasionally opens you to creativity and innovation. But to fulfill your potential, there needs to be a balance between dreaming and being consciously aware of what you’re doing and thinking.

Choosing to be more mentally present in your life has numerous benefits. Your relationships improve, you make fewer mistakes, are less stressed, make better decisions, have more constructive habits, improved communication, reach goals more quickly, and are more efficient, effective and productive.

Practice Being Present

To use mindfulness to improve your life, practice the following steps:

  1. Be in the present. Let go of the past, and ignore the future for a while. You can address the future a bit later. For the moment, pay attention to what’s going on right now. Who are you with, and what are they saying? What do you need to be doing? This will allow you to be more effective in your life.
  2. Accept what is. We all have expectations of how we want life to be. But that attitude is counter-productive. Instead of resisting reality, wanting a situation to be different and resenting that it’s not that way, accept the facts. Only then can you begin to rationally deal with the situation and find a better outcome.
  3. Respond intentionally. It’s natural to want to react when you’re stressed and lash out when you’re upset. But it will only cause more harm. Don’t let stress trigger you into going on autopilot or let anger control you. When you’re distressed, be aware of your thoughts and feelings about what’s going on. Whether you’re stressed or angry, when you have to choose a course of action, consider your options and and decide the best way to respond.
  4. Focus on your steps. It’s important to plan for the future, but also important to focus on the current steps you need to take to get there. Keep in mind why your goal is important to you. But instead of being overwhelmed by how far you have to go to achieve your goal, just work on the next step.

You can only impact this moment. The past is over, and the future is yet to be. When you are mindful about the present, then you’re making wise decisions and taking actions that will bring you a much better today and tomorrow.

Affirmation:

I practice being present in my life. The Universe guides and directs my attention and actions. When I accept the reality of the moment, I can decide how to handle it for my Highest Good. I choose my responses wisely, by consciously considering my options and taking action on the one that is best for the situation. Each moment builds on the one before, and by being mindful, I create a wonderful future.

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.

Deal with thoughts during meditation?

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Mar 032021
 
Question about affirmations

Question: How do I deal with overwhelming thoughts when I’m trying to meditate?

Answer: It’s normal to have problems with thoughts distracting you during meditation. It happens to those first starting meditation as well as seasoned meditators. It’s one reason why there are so many meditation techniques that use some sort of focus, like a mantra or staring at a candle.

When I use self-hypnosis at the beginning of a meditation, I go deeper than with any other technique. And because you’re focusing on relaxing your body, counting down and then imagining a special place, it helps to calm down the errant thoughts. However, it is a constant practice to keep them calm and not let them distract you.

Whenever you have a thought try to get your attention, bring your focus back to your special place, affirmation or any visualization you’re using. You’re in the process of training your mind. Letting it know that you’re going to take charge. Once you’ve practiced enough to get the thoughts quieter, the next step is to be able to simply observe them and let them go.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How to Become More Positive When Things Go Wrong

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Jan 072021
 

By Linda-Ann Stewart

Haven’t you had days when everything seemed to go wrong? You spilled your coffee on your proposal, the copier jammed, and you had a flat tire. Or maybe you’ve had times when the future looked dark and it was hard to see any light. When you’re down, it’s hard to see that there’s a way up. It becomes difficult to remember a time when things went well.

In these times, it’s challenging to stay positive, even when you know that being optimistic brings better results. You know shifting into a more upbeat frame of mind can turn things around and open doors for you. But when you’re down, it’s hard to focus on being positive. And this shuts down your ability to innovate.

What if you had a journal of evidence to remind you of times when things worked out? When you read about instances when you had good things happen, your mood lifts. Shifting your attention to something better changes your perspective and life flows more smoothly. You open to a broader range of possibilities and engage your creative mind to find solutions.

When you keep a journal of times when you were happy or when a situation worked out, it keeps you focused on the positive. And a journal gives you something to refer to when you need a mental boost. The more often you add to this journal, the more you train your mind to look for joy in everyday occurrences. You create an upward spiral of positivity that buoys you up when things go wrong.

There are several types of journals you can keep, and none of them take much time to update each day. Consider creating one of the following:

Gratitude. Evidence shows that writing three to ten gratitudes each day can improve your attitude within three weeks. People who keep a gratitude journal feel better about their lives as a whole and make more progress on their personal goals. Also, they better at bouncing back after adversity.

Falling Star. This is when you have something amazing drop into your lap. For example, you talk to someone in line at the store and gain a new customer. Or you mention that you need a plumber, and your neighbor gives you a great reference for one. By remembering that good things come when you least expect it, you prime your mind to seek opportunities for you.

Bright Side. This is when a situation looks grim, but suddenly turns around. For instance, I had to find a new home insurance policy after my old one had increased substantially. My new agent found one, with the same coverage, for almost half the price. This one could also be called “Dawn,” as in, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

Awe. What inspires awe for you? A beautiful sunset, a hummingbird hovering, or crashing waves? Awe can be found in the smallest of moments and can bring a sense of happiness and joy. When you take note of them, you remember how you felt at that time. Referring to a moment of awe can reduce stress and improve your well being.

Manifestation or the Law of Attraction. When have you successfully attracted or manifested something you were focusing on? Describe it in this journal so you can recall it in the future. Include your attitude and belief about the situation. Your item could be as simple as finding a great parking place or as complex as being offered the perfect job. This journal can encourage and support your spirituality.

Daily practice with any of these types of journals conditions your mind to seek out the positive, which keeps you more optimistic. And being able to refer to them when you’re down reminds you that things can, and will, get better. It brings you back into a sense of balance. It takes a bit of effort and dedication, but the rewards will be long lasting.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports all of my endeavors. When I keep my thoughts positive, I provide a clear channel through which the Universe can work. I stay positive by remembering times when events have gone well for me. In so doing, it creates an upbeat attitude and allows me to be more effective.

Watch the accompanying video, Use Journaling for Mindfulness and Success.

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.

How to Stay Mindfully Focused

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Nov 172020
 

It’s hard to stay focused and not get distracted in our frantic, fast-paced lives. But focus is the best way to achieve your goals and be productive. Focus is one of the most important skills a person can develop. Learn a simple technique to learn how to be more focused and get more done, more easily.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. In our frantic day-to-day lives, it’s hard to stay focused, isn’t it? We’re pulled in so many different directions. But being able to focus on a task or project is the way to get it done and done well. I’d like to share a simple technique for you to be able to hone your attention, to be more single-minded, and get more done, more easily. Wouldn’t that be great?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. The technique I’m going to share with you combines a couple of tactics. One is deep breathing, and the other is self-talk. Either of which is good to help calm you down and get focused. But together, they are an unbeatable combination.

Using this technique allows you to pay attention to what you want to pay attention to, to what’s important and not what’s trying to distract you. When you take care of what’s important first, you can deal with other things later.

When you want to focus on a task, first take three long, slow, deep breaths. This calms your brain and nervous system so you can focus. It also allows you to take a mental step back to make a decision on what to do next. Rather than being pushed by events, you can make a choice of what to do next. It’s the difference between reacting and responding. When you respond, you’re reclaiming your power over your actions. 

Next, engage in talking to yourself to keep yourself focused. Just saying things like, “Focus” or “concentrate” or “stick with it,” will rein in your thoughts to stay on task. You could also talk to yourself as if you’re a third person, like, “Linda-Ann, continue working on this for the next half-hour.” When you say your name, it catches your attention, doesn’t it? And you’re more likely to follow your own directions.

When you stay mindfully focused you’ll find yourself being more productive and efficient, while increasing your peace of mind. As a side benefit, you’ll also be training yourself to be more focused, so the more you practice, the better at it you’ll become. You’ll be developing a vital skill that you can use for the rest of your life, in all areas of your life.

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

Thank you for watching. How can you use this technique of deep breathing and self-talk today? Take care.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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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

Trending Articles of the Week

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Oct 022020
 

How the ‘Gratitude Effect’ Can Reshape Your Life and Its Direction

Expressing gratitude isn’t just a new age fad. There are multiple studies that show that it increases optimism, changes the brain, improves a sense of connection with others and much more. Learn just how important it is and how a small change in your focus can bring you massive rewards.   

Ancient wisdom reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

To be happier, you have to practice behaviors that lead to happiness. The teachings of the Stoics can help you become more mindful, objective and peaceful. They established some trainings that give you tactics to deal with challenges so you retain your mental and emotional balance.

Mindfulness Made Simple

Mindfulness can not only cause you to feel calmer, more optimistic and kinder, it can also help you professionally. The more you choose to practice this technique the more benefits you receive. This article breaks mindfulness down into three steps: Stop. Breathe. Think about your thinking.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Live in Expectancy of the Best

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Oct 012020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Elation

Whether positive or negative, your attitude impacts your outcome. Your mindset affects how you filter the world around you, and as a result, determines how you respond to situations. When you expect the worst, your behavior makes that belief a self-fulfilling prophecy. Expecting the best can do the same. And isn’t that a better way to live?

If you expect the worst, you’re braced against that possibility. Your mind rehearses how to deal with a crisis, what you’re going to do in the worst case scenario, and how you might avoid it. This means that all your mental resources are tied up with dealing with difficult situations that might never happen. You aren’t left with many mental resources for moving forward. Because you’re focused on the negative, you’re instructing the Law of Attraction to bring it to you.

The Universe wants the best for you. Therefore / However, if you expect the best, then your subconscious mind searches for opportunities to fulfill that belief. Your subconscious mind is a problem solver. When you set your intention to derive the best from a situation, then your subconscious mind seeks opportunities to create that reality for you. You’re creating the mold for your subconscious mind and the Law of Attraction to fill.

How to Create the Best Result

Life brings all sorts of experiences your way, positive and negative. You can always improve your outcomes through altering your perspective. There will be times when you’re working on a goal, or “shift happens” and your results don’t live up to your hopes. When that’s the case, use these tactics to extract the best possible outcome. Your attitude communicates your intention to the Universe, your subconscious mind, and the Law of Attraction, which responds accordingly.

Be aware of the negative, but don’t focus on it. This doesn’t mean that you ignore or deny the possibility for difficulties. You just don’t focus on them, or rehearse them. In “Psycho-Cybernetics,” author Maxwell Maltz uses the analogy of golf to be aware of negatives. A golfer needs to recognize where the sand and water traps are, but not dwell on them. Instead, the golfer puts their attention on where they want the ball to land. Notice the negatives, and make preparations to avoid them. Have a “Plan B,” if necessary. Then shift your attention to what you want to create and put your energy there. This puts you in the flow of the Universe.

Flip your attitude. If something untoward does happen, instead of giving up or getting discouraged, flip it to be more positive. This way you take charge of your response and it gives you more power to deal with the situation. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or, “How can I make something beneficial out of this?” This instructs your subconscious mind to find a way to extract something good from a disappointing circumstance. You open the way for the Universe to develop a new direction for you.  

Don’t take it personally. When someone hurts or offends you, instead of taking it personally, realize it’s probably not about you. They have their own issues that they’re taking out on you. It’s likely they’re defending themselves against a perceived threat, which is probably from their past. It doesn’t mean you excuse their behavior, but you can seek to understand their motives. Ask yourself, “What’s their agenda?” or “What are they trying to achieve?” That can give you valuable information on how to positively respond to the situation.

Achieving a goal. When you’re working on a goal, don’t just focus on the end result. This gives your subconscious mind a direction to follow, which helps you take steps towards it. For an even greater outcome, open your mind to the possibility of something even better happening than what you can currently conceive of. The Universe has greater plans for you than you know. Not only does this give your subconscious mind permission to find other paths to accomplish your goal, but it instructs your inner mind to “achieve this or something better.”

Living in the Possibilities

When you live in the possibility of your best case scenario occurring, you instruct your subconscious mind to put its resources to work to that end. You may not have the information to imagine what the best outcome could be. You can only provide your subconscious mind the image of what you can consciously conceive of at the present time.

There may be a greater outcome than you can imagine. Opening your mind to the possibility of something better means that your subconscious can override outdated, limiting beliefs. And when you choose to live in an attitude of expecting the best from every situation, you create a life of joy, abundance and success.

AFFIRMATION:

The Universe wants the best for me. Therefore, I choose to expect the best out of every situation. If there are challenges, I shift my attention to what benefit can come to me as a result. When I decide on a goal or outcome, I set the intention of, “This or something better.” Only good comes to me from every circumstance.

Watch the accompanying video, How to Achieve Your Goal More Easily.

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.

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.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jul 312020
 

Stress Makes It Harder to Recognize Danger

New research reveals that stress makes you slower to identify threats. To understand this, it helps to learn more about stress and how it impacts you. Stress disrupts how you think. This article explains how stress affects you and why it’s important to reduce it with common sense practices.

The Essential Resource We’re All Wasting

What you pay attention to creates your life. Your focus is fundamental to your relationships, your personal and professional lives. The good news is that your attention is a resource you can manage with some practice.

How to Stay Positive When Everyone Around You Is Complaining

It can be difficult to remain upbeat when other people around you are upset and dissatisfied. You have to learn how to balance empathy with taking care of yourself. This article gives you some ideas on how to create strategies to deal with the different types of complaining people.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jul 032020
 

Why Our Brains Like Short-Term Goals

Achieving goals is more than just staying the course and taking action. It has to do with your brain. Your brain likes the feeling of reward when you accomplish a task. The more you succeed, the more you’re motivated, encouraged and inspired. Learn what kind of goals to set to keep your brain happy and ultimately create more success.  

The Neuroscience of Savoring Positive Emotions

You are in control of your mood  by what you focus on. And you can turn a positive mood on or off, like a switch. Sustaining positive emotions is key to your sense of well being. Learn how you can take charge of your emotions and improve your well being.

Self Awareness Is Underrated: Why the Conscious Mind Leads to Happiness

Being self aware helps you improve your well being, behavior and success. It enables you to be more authentic. Follow these 5 tips to self awareness to help you to be more successful personally, professionally and emotionally.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart