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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



52 Tiny Changes

You've done it before. Tried to change your whole life in 30 days. Only to fizzle out at day 10 because it take too much time. Join me in making a small change each week and by the end of the year you will have made 52 improvements to your life!

52changes@encouragingcoach.com with 52 changes in the subject line. Or come here each week for a new change and some steps to help you along the way.

Tiny Change #21 Whenever you feel yourself getting tense, slow down and breathe

How many times have you been working on something and getting more and more frustrated? Nothing seems to be flowing. You are getting uptight. But, you keep plowing through. You figure if you just keep going harder at this project, it will work out.

Try an experiment. Next time you start feeling frustrated and tense, stop. Take a few deep breaths. Slow down your mind till you are more relaxed. Try to catch yourself when you first start feeling tense, so you can relax quicker.

Now you can ask yourself some questions.

"How am I feeling right now?"
"What do I need to feel better?"
"What is the present situation?"
"What is good about this situation?"
"What would make this work better?"
"What am I missing?"
"Would it help to collaborate with someone else?"
"Do I have all the information I need?"
"Does this need to be broken down into smaller bites?"
"Will this situation matter in a month?"
"What is the real reason for my frustration? Am I worried someone will find me incompetent or unintelligent?"
"Do I need to change my thinking pattern here?"

You don't need to ask yourself each of these questions every time. Each pause gives you a chance to ask yourself questions that are important to your particular stressor. It is helpful to ask about the present situation and what you can do to improve it. Even if it just changing your mind set. Instead of being annoyed at being stuck in traffic, acknowledge that you can't do anything about it and enjoy a moment of quiet in the car from your hectic day.

We all get these frustrations throughout the day. If we just stop, breathe and think we may find ways to make these moments better. Maybe you will discover you need a break to walk around the block. Maybe you realize you are stuck and need to ask for help. You might decide you need to restructure your time and priorities. Or you find once you relax, that the answer to your problem pops into your head.

To remind yourself to stop, breathe and think, you might want to put a message on your computer desk, on your to do list or your dashboard. You might also want to print out a list of questions to ask yourself when you are under stress, that you can carry with you.

Managing Stress More questions to ask yourself
Strategies for Managing Stress From the author of running on empty
brelaxed The relationship between stress and breathing

How will you remember to stop and breathe?


52 Tiny Changes Archive


PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis