Special or Safe Place Imagery

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Jan 312022
 
Sparks of Insight

Question: Does the “special, safe or happy place” in self-hypnosis or guided imagery have to be from a childhood place?

Answer: The peaceful, special, safe or happy place doesn’t have to be from childhood. When I’m leading a client into it, I tell them to imagine a vacation spot or someplace completely imaginary, where no one can bother them and they feel completely safe. It could be on a cloud, above the cares of the world, or on a deserted beach.

Only a few people have had a hard time with that, and usually it’s because they can’t remember ever feeling safe. In that case, I recommend that they think of a time when they felt a little safe, maybe with a trusted friend. I then tell them to continue practicing with it, because each time they’ll get a little closer to the feeling of safety.

Not only is a feeling of safety important for stress reduction, but also for any improvements in your life. If you don’t feel safe, the subconscious won’t to create anything new. It will still be in “survival mode” and consider that any change is threatening to your current tenuous sense of security.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude

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Jan 072022
 
Exuberant woman on beach

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Have you ever had a lousy morning, felt frustrated, upset or discouraged, and had the day go downhill from there? It can be hard to turn things around when your attitude is in the dumps. You don’t have much motivation, focus or creativity. Nothing goes right. And it doesn’t seem that you have any control over your mood. You think you just have to ride it out until it runs its course.

But what about the opposite, when you started out in a foul mood, then felt better after you encountered someone who was upbeat? It could have been a smiling server, a congenial person in line, or someone who opened the door for you. Didn’t their cheery attitude brighten your day a bit?

You Can Change Your Mood

You aren’t doomed to wait until chance improves your mood. Your attitude is influenced by your actions and by the actions of others. For instance, when my mother was young, she used to break her boredom on the bus by yawning, and seeing how many people yawned in response. Her deliberate act of yawning was contagious, just as someone else’s pleasant disposition is infectious.

Just as a stranger can impact your mood in a short time, you have the ability to shift your attitude, too. You don’t have to wait and hope it will change. You can become more positive by taking the following small, deliberate actions.

Take a walk. Many years ago, I was deeply depressed from a relationship breakup. Knowing a walk would make me feel better, I dragged myself out of the house. A half-hour later, as I was returning home, my mood had improved by about 80%. Studies find that walking is as effective as antidepressants to improve mental attitude. Walking is also good for creativity.

Write down gratitudes. At the beginning of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. That way, you start your day on a high note. When something goes wrong during your day, remember the gratitudes you wrote down that day, or find something new to be thankful for. 

Take small actions on a goal. Your mind loves to achieve things. When you accomplish something, no matter how small, you trigger the pleasure center of your brain. This gives you a flush of happiness and increases your motivation to continue.

Smile. Whether you feel like it or not, make yourself smile for at least a minute. Smiling tricks your brain into feeling better. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll spread good cheer to others. When you smile at others, you’re giving yourself and them a gift.

Watch a funny video. Find something that will make you laugh to bring you out of the dumps. Laughter reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and eases pain. Just a minute of it will brighten your outlook. Laughter is uplifting, and is also contagious, making other people respond in the same way.  

If you’re in a bad mood, use one of these tips to turn it around. When you’re feeling more positive, you’re more likely to take productive action. Your whole day flows more smoothly, harmoniously and you’re more effective. It takes a willingness to empower yourself and be proactive, but it’s well worth the effort. And as you become happier, notice how you’re able to spread your good mood and inspire others.

Affirmation:

I have the power and ability to keep a positive attitude, no matter what’s going on in my world. When I’m in a pleasant mood, my channel to the Universal Good is wide open. I listen to the still, small voice within that tells me that all is well. I am grateful for all that I have. The Divine Pattern for good flows through my mind, body and spirit.

Please watch the accompanying video, How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude.

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.
Dec 152021
 

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David Burns, MD

Here’s a book that gives specific instructions on how to change the way you think about your life. It was created to help people erase depression, anxiety, procrastination, guilt, pessimism, as well as perfectionism, anger, stress and low self-esteem. And it works. In a study of people with clinical depression, 70-75% of them were “cured” three months after reading this book and following the exercises.

By becoming aware of what you think, and then either addressing it or disputing the reasons, you begin to change the mental processes that have sabotaged you. Many people resist writing down their thoughts, for various reasons, but doing so allows you to view them more dispassionately. No longer are you controlled by your moods or negative thinking, you are empowered to confront it and change it.

Awareness and claiming your authority are key. When you take the time and effort to pay attention to what you’re thinking and write it down, you’re taking control. Then, by responding to it rationally, more positively, you’re accepting your authority over your own thoughts. This will begin to change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Focus, the Power Behind Success

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Nov 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

"Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop." Brian Tracy

“Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.” Brian Tracy

In today’s world, it’s hard to stay focused. It seems that every minute, there’s something to divert your attention. You probably check your email several times a day. Every time there’s a notification from your phone, you have to see what it is. That’s in addition to interruptions from co-workers, family and friends. After a distraction, studies show it takes at least fifteen to twenty minutes to get focused again.

Also, your mind can focus on only one thing at a time. Each time you shift your attention from one thing to another, you’re “task switching” and it burns up extra mental energy. When the entire day is filled with these intrusions, you end the day feeling drained and exhausted, with very little to show for it.

Benefits of Focus

However, when you’re more focused, you feel more in charge of your world, get in the flow and get more done. You also have less stress and overwhelm, because your mind has one thing to do at a time. In addition, you have more clarity, so you make better decisions, as well as being more efficient, effective, and productive.  

Therefore, to achieve your goals and dreams, your ability to focus is vital. Fortunately, it’s a skill that you can cultivate and develop. The more you focus, the more you’re able to focus. It’s just like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

How to Create the Habit of Focus

You can’t be focused all the time, because the unexpected does happen on occasion. But you can set aside time each day to pay attention to your most important tasks. Schedule time into your day to focus on important projects. Here are some ways you can get started and cultivate your ability to focus.

Motivate yourself to focus. Decide how having increased focus benefits you, and remind yourself of that incentive when you set aside time for it. As you build your motivation, and act on it, focusing becomes a habit. Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Once you establish the habit of focusing, your mind will automatically know what to do when you want to do it.

Use visualization. Choose one task that will move you towards your vision or goal. What is it you want to focus on and achieve in this period? Before you get to work on it, take a couple of minutes to visualize yourself performing your task and accomplishing what you want. This increases your motivation, and primes your subconscious to start solving any issues you might encounter. You’re rehearsing your actions, which then makes them easier to execute.

Eliminate distractions. Find a way to minimize the effects of whatever can intrude on your focus time. For instance, research shows that if your phone is in the same room as you’re in, your mind is always tuned to it. Even turning your phone off doesn’t work. Therefore, put your phone in another room, where you can’t see it or hear it. Turn off your email. Close your door.

Minimize multi-tasking. Constant multi-tasking trains your mind to hinder your focus. However, you don’t have to completely avoid multi-tasking. When you’re performing automatic behaviors, such as doing dishes, watching television doesn’t drain you. Or you can pay bills and listen to a podcast. But when you do activities that need you to think, multi-tasking uses up mental bandwidth and exhausts your energy. Your mind is always seeking something new, and when you multi-task, you jump from one attention getting novelty to another. Multi-tasking triggers the reward centers of the brain, therefore gives you an incentive to repeat the process, which makes multi-tasking addictive.

Strengthen your focus muscle. Set aside time to focus on one task without distractions. Start off with as much time as you can before you need a break. You may need to begin with only ten or fifteen minutes. Each week, increase the time. Aim to have a sixty to ninety-minute stretch of focusing on one topic or chore before you take a break. When you take your break, do something that rests your mind for several minutes, such as going for a walk, getting a drink, or something to eat. This gives your mind time to replenish its energy and get ready for your next work period.

Being able to focus is an inherent talent that we all have. But it’s not an skill that is exercised much, so most people have gotten out of practice with it. With the above tactics, you can cultivate your natural ability, strengthen it, and develop it into a habit that will support your success.

Affirmation:
I have a natural ability to focus and pay attention to what’s important to me. It’s a skill that I can develop and grow through practice. The Universe flows Its energy through my focus, supporting my endeavors and smoothing my path to maximize success.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More.

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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Nov 012021
 

Reduce Stress and Improve Your Life With Positive Self Talk

Self-talk is the way your inner voice makes sense of the world around you and the way you communicate with your inner self. Self-talk influences your experience of stress, positively or negatively. You can stop yourself from using negative self-talk and use your mind to boost your productivity and self-esteem and relieve stress. Use these 7 ways to take charge and change your negative self-talk to something more constructive.

Most Productive People: 6 Things They Do Every Day

This article is based on six tips from Tim Ferriss, author of the international bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek. It describes the science behind why the tips work, and insight from the most productive people around. And much of it has to do with being calmer, more focused and happier.

17 Ways You Can Develop New Habits and Improve Your Life

Trying new things makes you healthier, happier, and more creative. It also builds new neural pathways in your brain. It’s possible to adapt to new ideas and habits if you’re open to the possibilities and willing to try new activities.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Aug 262021
 
Sparks of Insight

Whenever you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, practice being in the now. Don’t worry about the future, just deal with the one thing you have to do in this minute. Studies show that people who practice mindfulness have more mental, physical and emotional resources. When your mind is constantly darting around, trying to solve problems while you’re working on a project, it’s exhausting and counter-productive. Being in the moment can give your busy mind a rest and allow you to focus all your energies on what you have to do right now. When you’re done with that, you can go on to the next thing. Studies show that this can also improve your mood, memory and well-being.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How to Approach Change

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Aug 182021
 

Most people don’t like change. It triggers our fight-or-flight response and we resist it. This prevents us from being able to move forward or make good decisions. There’s one way you can shift from being a victim into taking control. This opens the door to new opportunities for you.

Transcript:

Most people don’t like to have change thrust on them. Change triggers our fight or flight response, because we feel like we’re going to lose something we value by moving forward. And sometimes, that’s true. And sometimes, that thing we value isn’t working for as well as it could.

When we’re in fight or flight, we resist the change, trying to keep our old, familiar ways. All of this prevents us from thinking clearly, and making good decisions that are for our benefit.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach. In over 30 years as a hypnotherapist, I’ve helped scores of people embrace change. I’d like to suggest a way to help you get out of the fight or flight response, become proactive and respond better to change. In other words, a better way to approach change.

Look for any positives that could come from the change. This may seem too simplistic or airy-fairy, but it’s effective. When you shift your attitude and reframe how you approach a situation, the outcome of the situation changes. You open doors for your subconscious mind to seek out, and find, opportunities for you. It may be a cliché, but look for the silver lining.

By adjusting your attitude to accepting the change and looking for advantages, you stop being a victim or feeling helpless. Instead of being in a boat being tossed about by the waves, you’ve set your sails to use the winds of change. Once you’ve taken control of your attitude, you can then make wise decisions and take positive action.

If this has been helpful, please like this video and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tips to reach your goals and improve your life.

Thank you for watching. What positive can you find in the change you are  dealing with?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

If you’d like to achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, register for a FREE training video and accompanying action planning guide, Set Your Course to Success.

Trending Articles of the Week

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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

How to Cope with the Inevitability of Change

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Aug 052021
 
Zigzag change

by Linda-Ann Stewart

The world is changing all the time. Sometimes, it sedately plods along, but other times, change explodes and disrupts the status quo in a major way. When this happens, it’s normal to resist change, especially because it’s imposed on you.

Whether your choice or not, change is threatening and scary. Nothing will ever be exactly the same as it was. You don’t know what you may lose, and no one likes to leave their comfort zone or feel out of control. But there are times when massive change happens whether you like it or not.

How Change Affects You

For instance, a deadly pandemic creates a major upheaval in everyone’s life. As a result, you could have to find another job, or you need to move to a new location, or a loved one may become chronically ill. Unwelcome and unexpected change brings uncertainty, which leads to stress and ultimately to anxiety.  

The Universe often nudges you out of your comfort zone with unwelcome conditions. If you don’t take the hint, it pushes more forcefully. The Universe wants you to keep expanding and evolving, and you can’t do that by staying in your old habits. You’ll have to let go of what no longer serves you to flow with the Universe and adjust to the new situation.

When change is sudden and affects your personal life, your normal response is to go into shock. Shock gives you time to process the reality of what’s happened. When you begin to emerge from the numbness, you may get anxious because you don’t know what to do. Or you do know what to do, and it’s overwhelming.

How to Handle the Uncertainty

When you find ways to handle the uncertainty, you feel more in control. Here are four steps you can do to take charge of your life.

1. Accept the change. The more you resist or deny the change, the less energy, resourcefulness or time you have to adjust to it. If you can’t accept the change yet, acknowledge that it has affected you. This is your first step to coping with it and moving forward.

2. Grieve the loss. For every change, something has to be left behind. There can also be opportunities, but often they come later in the process. At this point, if you have a sense of loss of what you valued, allow yourself the space to mourn. Only after grieving can you seek how to extract some good from the situation.   

3. Deal with the anxiety. What can you do in the moment to reduce your anxiety? Maybe it’s to learn a new skill, do some research, or go to a caregiving support group. Or maybe all you can do in the moment is take some deep breaths to ground yourself.

4. Make a plan. No matter how small the steps might be, or even one tiny step, make a plan. This will bring you a sense of control, lower your stress, and allow you to think more clearly. When you take one step, figure out what the next two might be, and take them. Keep doing this until you build up momentum.

When you become proactive, you take charge and begin to adjust to the change that’s affecting your life. As you chart your course through the troubled waters, you can find a way to survive and thrive with the changes that have happened.

Affirmation:

I acknowledge that change has altered the course of my life. The Universe will guide me in my direction and give me definite insight into what to do next. I take the actions I know to take, and the next step now appears. Everything is in Divine Order and works out in my best interests.

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.

Book Review: Bex Beltran’s Journals

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Aug 042021
 

Bex Beltran’s Journals

I love journals that you write in. Research has shown that writing by hand is more effective than typewriting or using a keyboard. Using a pen or pencil engages the mind more, allows more inner communication, processes information better and remembers the material better.

Bex Beltran has created a line of journals to cover all sorts of issues, from intuition to lists, manifestation to a crystal journal. Some are for business and business development, like the networking followup, client record, or social media content creator. And others are for personal use, like one for goal setting, reviewing accomplishments, or self-care for a highly sensitive person.

I especially love that some have questions to inspire you, for insight or help you overcome blocks. In a way, some could also be called workbooks. At this writing, there are almost ninety of them, and she continues to add more. I’m sure there’s one that you’ll find valuable. I’ve linked to the page that lists them, so you can browse through these amazing, inexpensive journals.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart