Aug 092021
 

Be kind to yourself: How self-compassion can improve your resiliency

Self-compassion means accepting yourself as the imperfect person that you are. It means being kinder to yourself and, as a result, being kinder and more compassionate toward others. Learn 3 key concepts to promote self-compassion and follow the instructions on how to practice a loving kindness meditation.

The Voice Inside Your Head Is Playing with You

With every situation you encounter, you interpret it through your beliefs. Often, an inner  negative voice tears you down and sabotages your efforts. However, you can learn to replace that pessimistic self-talk with  more upbeat thoughts. Use these 4 steps to recognize and counter the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

What Is Optimism?

Optimists are those who expect good things to happen, where pessimists instead predict unfavorable outcomes. Optimistic attitudes are linked to a number of benefits. There are things you can do to cultivate an optimistic attitude. Even if you’re a pessimist, you can change the way you think about situations and learn how to become an optimist.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Guided Meditation for Kindness

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Dec 102020
 

Do you want to be happier, more positive, kinder and have better emotional control? Studies show that meditating on kindness and compassion can bring you all that and more. Linda-Ann leads you through a short meditation that induces a sense of compassion towards yourself and others. And you’ll also learn how you can maximize its effectiveness in your daily life.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. Do you want to be happier, more positive, kinder and have better emotional control? There’s a very simple way to do that. It’s by meditating on kindness and compassion. Within two weeks of practicing this type of meditation every day, you’ll notice an improvement in all that I mentioned.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist. This type of meditation will also cause you to feel better about achieving your goals. A meditation like this will actually change your brain to cause you to be more compassionate. Isn’t that amazing?

To give you an idea of how to do it, I’m going to lead you through a very short example of this type of meditation.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Bring to mind someone you love and care about deeply. As you think of them, imagine a warmth in and around your heart towards this person. Notice your feelings of love, caring, well being and good will towards this person. You want the best for them. Imagine a golden light surrounds your heart and contains all of these beautiful feelings. Imagine that light goes out towards that person, filling them with all these wonderful feelings.

As you do, say phrases like the following to yourself, feeling each one as a wish for that person:

May you be whole.

May you be well.

May you filled with peace.

May you be happy.

Take a deep breath. Now, imagine all the good wishes from that golden light directed towards yourself. Feel them. Again, repeat phrases like the following:

May I be whole.

May I be well.

May I filled with peace.

May I be happy.

Take a deep breath… and open your eyes. It feels good, doesn’t it?

You don’t have to use the phrases the I used. Find phrases that work for you. The best results happen when you do this type of meditation for 30 minutes a day. As you go through the process, you can add different types of people.

For instance, imagine an acquaintance or someone neutral, someone that you know but don’t really feel one way or the other about. Send them compassion. And then imagine someone that you’ve had a falling out with, a conflict with, or some other negative experience with. Send them good will. This meditation will help to free you from the burden of the negative emotions associated with that person.

Although the recommendation is to devote 30 minutes a day to the meditation, once you know how to do it, you can practice it at any time during the day. When you get up, you can send good wishes to your loved ones. On the way to work, you can send good will to your fellow commuters. And, eventually, when you have to deal with a grumpy boss or nasty customer, you can imagine sending them kindness. It may not improve their disposition, but it’ll do wonders for yours.

I’ll post links to a recordings that can help you. The first is a Compassion Meditation by the Greater Good Science Center that will lead you through the entire half-hour sequence. The second is a short song on Loving-Kindness,  by Karen Drucker. You can memorize the easy chant and use it during your daily life. It’s one I sometimes use when I’m walking or when I’m driving.

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 accomplishing your goal.

Thank you for watching. May you be filled with peace and happiness.  

Read the accompanying article, The Kindness Paradox: Give Kindness and Receive Joy .

The Kindness Paradox: Give Kindness and Receive Joy

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Dec 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

How do you feel when someone is kind to you? For instance, when a friend sends you a card, gives you a compliment or your spouse does the dishes for you. Don’t you feel uplifted? And how do you feel when you do something nice for someone else? Maybe you do an errand for a friend, call to see how they’re doing, or help a neighbor carry in her groceries. Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction? And what if you see someone be generous to a stranger? Doesn’t that give you a warm glow and motivate you to do something considerate, too?

When you see, do, or are the recipient of kindness, it releases hormones that cause you to feel good, inspired and happy. It stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Within a few minutes the hormones have stopped flowing, but by remembering the action, you can recreate the joy. Kindness is like a pebble thrown into a pond, with the ripples extending outward and touching places unseen.

The Benefits of Kindness

The paradox of kindness and compassion is the benefits it brings to the one who acts, as well as the recipient. Not only do you impact the person you’re giving to, you’re receiving good feelings in return. Remember what your mother used to say, “It’s better to give than receive”? In this case, you receive far more than you give.

Showing kindness and compassion to others bestows the following on you:

  • You’re more attractive to others, personally and professionally.
  • People like and trust you more.
  • You’re more creative.
  • Your self-esteem and self-worth increases.
  • Your optimism and positive thinking grows.
  • You feel calmer and happier.
  • Your stress, pain, anxiety, depression and blood pressure reduces.

Kindness Can Be Challenging

Sometimes being kind can be challenging. There are people who irritate you and you may want to lash out at them. But you don’t know what has happened in their life that has caused them to be annoying. These are times when being altruistic and compassionate can have the best results. You may just change someone’s life, in addition to your own.  

For instance, consider being kind in the following conditions:

  • Smile and compliment the grouchy clerk. They might have had a bad day full of grumpy customers and it’s rubbed off on them.
  • Let the aggressive driver into the lane in front of you. They may be running late to an important appointment that could be vital to their well being.
  • Don’t complain when the elderly gentleman cuts ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  He may have mild dementia and not have even noticed you were there.

In difficult situations, consider what the other person might be dealing with that’s caused them to be rude. You’re not kind just for them. You do it for you, because it’s better for your health, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Focus on Kindness

The more you focus on being kind, the more you want to be kind. And the kinder you are, the more you’ll grow that area of your brain. Pure altruism brings you all the rewards mentioned and more. As you’re being kind to others, don’t forget to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. You deserve to be treated well, too, by yourself and others.

In the Christmas season, we focus on peace and goodwill towards others. Why can’t we have this spirit all year long? Think of the life we’d all have. It begins with each one of us being kind, on a daily basis. It’s a very simple mindset that takes on a joyful life of its own.

AFFIRMATION:

Whenever I have a choice of how to respond to a situation, I choose kindness. Kindness allows the spirit of the Universe to flow through me, blessing my life and the life I impact. I cultivate a generous spirit and compassionate attitude towards myself and others. I generate peace and goodwill towards all people, every day of the year.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation for Kindness.

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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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

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Aug 142020
 

Managing Stress Requires a Sense of Control

How you respond to stress is greatly determined by whether you believe you are helpless or in control of your destiny. Your choices created your results, and you make them based on how empowered you feel. Discover how you can develop your personal power and take charge of your life.

People Constantly Underestimate How Much They Benefit From Being Kind

In general, people will defend any attempt to get them out of their comfort zone, whether it’s good for them or not. But people who think about others tend to make changes that are beneficial for them. Compassion unlocks your capacity for self-improvement.

It is easier to be “present” if you can master this one cognitive technique

Being “in the moment” reduces stress, pain and improves well being. It’s a form of mindfulness, where you are paying attention to what you’re doing and feeling at that point in time. But it’s a skill that takes some practice to develop, but the effort is worth it as it will leave you better off.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Aug 072020
 

To Feel More Productive, Take a Break to Do Something Selfless

In our pressured, hectic lives, it seems like we don’t have enough time to get everything done. Crossing an item off your to-do list gives you a feeling of accomplishment, but then you add three more items. Self-care is important for your wellbeing, but doesn’t make you productive. However, being altruistic gives you a sense that you have more time to get things done.

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

To accomplish your goals, you have to stay motivated, even for the tasks you don’t like. Here are 5 simple, yet effective, ways on how to get motivated and stay on course to your goal. You don’t have to use all of them to be effective. Mix and match the ones that work for you.

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing you can do about your stress. You may feel overwhelmed and powerless over it. But you have more control than you think. You can take charge of how you manage your thoughts, actions and how you handle your problems. Explore the 6 strategies in this article to manage your stress and discover a more balanced life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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May 292020
 

Top 10 Ways to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused

Focus is one of the skills you need it you want to get things done and be successful. But our fractured lives undermine this precious ability. The good news is that it is an skill that can be cultivated and learned. Using these strategies will help you build more focus so you can be more effective and productive.

Spiritual Intelligence: What It Is and How Leaders Can Use It to Thrive

Think of it as emotional intelligence taken to the next level. Essentially, it can improve resilience, empathy, calmness, and creativity. This contributes to higher morale and better customer relations, among other things. When leaders understand the 3 points in this article, they can take advantage of its benefits.

9 Tips to Help You Co-exist Peacefully With Difficult People

Everybody has to deal with a difficult person at some time or other. And it’s always a trial to figure out what to do to get along with them. Not only does this article give valuable tips on how to handle them, it includes suggestions from various leaders on how to do so.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 082019
 

Rainbow

How to Solve Problems Effectively and Ethically
Most people don’t clearly define or agree to what their conflict is. And often, they solve the wrong problem. Once you properly articulate the core problem, the solution often presents itself. Learn the steps to identify the correct problem you need to solve, so you find the solution that addresses the core issue.

Why Daydreaming Can Improve Your Mental Health
Contrary to popular belief, new research shows that a mental break can make you happier and more productive. Not only do you control it, but it can reduce stress and give you a break from your work demands.

Training compassion ‘muscle’ may boost brain’s resilience to others’ suffering
A new study suggests that as little as two weeks of compassion meditation training, which is intentionally cultivating positive wishes to understand and relieve the suffering of others, may reduce the distress a person feels when witnessing another’s suffering. Instead of being upset, the person can learn to be calmer and able to respond in a more balanced way.

Sparks of Insight

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Sep 172018
 

Sparks of InsightYou will always be aware of those less fortunate than you. Those who have lost their job, suffered a health challenge, or experienced some setback. It’s tempting to sympathize with them and their hardship, but that’s just feeding it energy. Empathize with the person, not the misfortune. When you share your compassion with the person, but not the misery, you remain aware that they have the power and ability to overcome their difficulty. Even if you don’t verbalize it to the person, you’re holding a higher view of them than they can do at that moment. You don’t become part of the problem, but part of the solution, even if you do nothing but hold this thought.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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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