Jun 112021
 

It’s all too easy to get distracted or not pay attention to what you’re doing. When you do, you make mistakes and miss details that you need. Learning how to be more focused is important if you want to achieve your goals. Learn 3 simple steps to being more mindful that will improve your productivity and your life.

Transcript:

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach for small business and entrepreneurs, and would like to share a tip on how you can become more focused, mindful and get more out of your life.

Last week, I was cooking a chicken dish that had an accompanying sauce. I minced some garlic for the chicken, and then another couple of large cloves for the sauce. I got distracted while I was cooking, and accidentally threw the garlic for the sauce in with the chicken, in addition to what was already there. Wow, was that a lot of garlic! It was almost overpowering. I thought I’d ruined the dish.

Have you ever been thinking of something else, and then made a mistake, like I did? Or been distracted when you’re talking with a friend or colleague and miss something important they said? This comes from your attention being diverted elsewhere and not being aware of what’s going on in the present.

In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to pay attention to what’s going on in the moment. But being able to focus on what you’re doing, or listening fully,  will mean that you are more efficient, more effective and will have better relationships, both personally and professionally.

There’s a simple way to bring your attention to the present, and stay mindful about what’s going on.

Your mindset tip has 3 steps to it:

  1. Become aware of what you’re doing, such as having a conversation or preparing a meal.
  2. Take a long, slow deep breath to slow your mind down and get focused on your priority.
  3. Decide what your intention is, and then act. It may be taking an action, or it may be listening fully.

This shifts your energy from being scattered and distracted to being focused and intentional. If I’d just followed my own advice last week, I wouldn’t have had a meal that I came close to ruining. As you practice these steps, notice how much more you accomplish and how much better you feel.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com.

Thank you for watching. Remember, become aware, breathe, and then act. Take care.

Read the accompanying article, How to Take Back Control When Stress Overwhelms You.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jun 032021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Stress and Overwhelm

Life can sometimes unexpectedly speed up and come at you fast. Suddenly, you have a cluster of challenging events to deal with. It could be a major health issue with the upheaval of all the medical appointments to schedule around. Or it could be several expensive home repairs at an inconvenient time (is there ever a convenient time for expensive repairs?). Or you may be trying to juggle extra work with family demands.

Any kind of turmoil like this can cause stress and feelings of overwhelm. You feel like life has spun out of control and you have no stability. Your mind narrows its focus and you start reacting from old habits that may not be helpful in the present situation. This also creates static with your connection to the Universe. It makes it harder to access your intuition and Divine Guidance. With your attention focused on immediate concerns, you can’t notice potential solutions.

Take Back Control

While it’s important to have your vision in mind, in times of overwhelm, your vision can be beyond your ability to consider. You have to find some equilibrium first. To get back into balance, there are some things to do, and not do.

Don’t multi-task. This just makes the situation worse. When you multi-task, you’re quickly switching your attention from one task to another, and that increases the stress hormones. You may feel like you’re being productive, but you don’t accomplish much, which just increases your feelings of frustration.

Slow down. Give yourself time to think and assess the situation. Ask yourself, “What are my options?” This allows you to stop reacting and being impulsive, and instead encourages you to make better choices and decisions. 

Focus on one thing at a time. You’ll be able to reclaim a sense of control. Wash the dishes. Do the laundry. Make that call you’ve been procrastinating. Once you’ve done one task, move on to the next. Stay mindful about what you want to accomplish and take it one tiny step at a time.

It’s all about being mindful, and creating an island of calm in the present, while re-establishing your connection to the Universe. Once you’ve taken charge and lowered your stress level, your mind can think more clearly. You won’t feel as pressured and can open your mind to handle a bit more. By re-establishing a sense of stability, you’ll have more resources at your disposal and be able to expand your horizons once again.

Affirmation:

I’m always connected with the Universe, and being guided and directed. When life gets hectic, I quiet my mind, slow down and assess what my best option might be. I focus on my next step, allowing my mind to become organized and clear. Peace and serenity flow through me and all things work out in the best way possible for my highest good.

Watch the accompanying video, 3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective.

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 You Improve Your Life by Being Mindful

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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.

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 092021
 

How to make friends with stress by Shamash Alidina

Stress is a complicated topic. A little bit of stress is good for you, too much is bad for you, and your attitude about it affects how it impacts you. Use the mindfulness exercise in this article to reframe how you view stress, and change the experience to be more positive.

The Trap of Emotional Nonacceptance

Does your inner critic take you to task when you feel an unpleasant emotion? The distressing¬† emotion doesn’t feel good to begin with, and the inner criticism makes it worse. Instead of fighting those undesirable emotions, use the steps in this article to start feeling better.

Types of Stress and Stress Relief Techniques For Each

There are so many different ways to relieve stress that it can sometimes be difficult to find the best technique for your personality and situation. However, it’s well worth the effort to find the right stress reliever for you. This list of stress management techniques are grouped in 4 ¬†categories that you may encounter in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Feb 162021
 

How Mindfulness Improves Strategic Thinking

It’s well documented that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, accept and handle difficult emotions. Now mindfulness meditation is being used to bring focus and intention into business decisions and leadership. Leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations can use three ways to help identify important ideas.

Why You Never Seem to Have Enough Time

Feeling pressed for time is more due to our own psychology of what we value and mindsets about time. When you can reframe your attitudes, you can lessen the pressure you put on yourself. Here are three scientific insights that can help create an inner shift that then eases your time crunch.

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else

To be successful, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs realized that they needed to focus on what was important. And that one mindset was vital for them to accomplish what they wanted. Learn what that lesson is, as well as 7 ways to put it to use in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Feb 012021
 

5 Ways to Stop Dwelling on Negative Thoughts

Constantly replaying negative thoughts is unproductive and can lead to depression. When you dwell on negative thoughts, they gain strength and the issue magnifies. It’s hard to break that cycle, but there are some simple tactics to shift your attention to more constructive ideas.

10 Things Incredibly Likable People Never, Ever Do (and Why You Love Them for It)

There are actions that people take that make them extremely likable. And there are attitudes they choose not to have that make them likeable. When you know what these actions and attitudes are, you can copy them and be more likeable, too.

Train Your Mind to Work Smarter

Work life is full of challenges that can drain you and create stress. Your mind can make all the difference in how you respond to your day. It’s a treasurehouse of untold resources and innovation. Why not put it to work for you? This article suggests four ways to make your work routine more mindful and productive.

~ 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.

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.

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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Nov 132020
 

Why willpower is overrated

Self-control, and all the benefits from it, may not be related to inhibiting impulses at all. People who exhibit more self-control may be structuring their environment so that there are fewer temptations. They also reframe temptations so they’re easier to dismiss. Learn more about how to train yourself to have more self-control, achieve your goals and have a better life.

11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power over other people. And it works all too well. It’s done slowly, over time, so that the victim doesn’t recognize that they’re being brainwashed. They begin to question their own reality. This article details how gaslighters use various techniques so that you can identify them and not fall into the gaslighters trap.

How to Use Positive Affirmations for Stress Relief

Positive affirmations are an effective way to reprogram your subconscious mind and align your beliefs with what you want in life. Affirmations can relieve stress, improve your self-image, increase motivation and keep you on course to your goals. This article highlights guidelines to creating and using your own positive self-talk statements to create the life you want.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart