Archive for life coach – Page 2

Stress Relief by Using Square Breathing

The company goes through yet another downsizing and your job might be one of them. The cost of food and gas climbs. The kids need shoes for school. The mortgage is past due. The older kids called to tell you they’re moving back home because they can’t find a job. The doctor left an urgent message to call back. The everyday pressures of life can get overwhelming if you don’t have a plan and practice to deal with them.

Regardless the source of stress, we know it can be damaging to both your mental and physical health. Everyone needs a way to blow off the steam that everyday activities create in the pressure cooker world we live in. Keeping the stress levels on high for too long will make you blow your gaskets in more ways than one. So how do we handle stress effectively?

For some people, the answer to stress relief is their hobby. They may head to the golf course and whack golf balls until the pressure of the day disappears. Some choose painting or reading or a million other distracters to help take away the tension and run down feeling that overwhelming stress brings. Often people try to just live through it and hope relief will come soon. Perhaps its just getting away from the object that brings on the stress is the right answer for some.

The bad news is that stress will continue to be part of everyone’s life. We can’t get away from it. Some things will always set us on edge because of the realities of life. The good news is that there are ways to handle stress with some relatively simple techniques. The generator for stress may not change, but the way you handle the situation, event, person, or whatever causes the stress can make a world of difference in your mental and physical outcome.

One easy way to reduce the effects of stress in the moment is to use “square breathing.” Square breathing is a simple means of clearing your head, relaxing the body, and finding some relief from the events of the moment. Here’s the technique you can try for yourself. Breathe in slowly counting to four. Hold that breath counting to four. Breathe out counting to four. Hold your exhale for another count of four. Then repeat the process four or five times.

By concentrating on slowing your breathing down just a little, focusing on your breathing instead of the immediate problem, and getting increased oxygen into your brain, you can ease the tension you’re feeling in the moment. It won’t change the situation. It won’t be a cure-all. But it can help you in a crisis moment and help reduce the immediate stress reaction.

If you want to learn more about stress relief, coping skills, and resilience, call me at (210) 854-3978.




Frustrated with Work? Find Your Life Purpose

frustationAre you frustrated with your job? Can’t stand to do the same old thing another day?

If that describes you, it might not be the job that bothers you, but the way you look at the job and the world around you. I’m not saying that every job is perfect and you should stay in your current position for the rest of your life, but sometimes we lose sight of why we took the job in the first place. We get so wrapped up in the hum-drum every day cycle of routine actions that we forget what the tasks are about.

That’s the importance of discovering your life purpose. Knowing why you are you and understanding your purpose can bring enjoyment to almost every situation.

Finish two sentences to make a huge difference in how you view everything around you. First, my life purpose is (fill in the blank). Second, I fulfill my purpose by (fill in the blank).

You will be amazed at the variety of things you can do and where you can do them to fulfill your life purpose. You will probably find that you can fulfill at least part of your life purpose in the position you hold right now. Can you fulfill your purpose better in another position? Maybe, but first look at how you can live out your purpose just by taking a different view of how and why you work where you do. Something pulled you there in the first place. Something enticed you to seek out and accept the position.

Discover your purpose and you look at life in a new way. Find why you exist and you’ll begin to work through every avenue of life with your purpose in mind. Fulfilling your purpose brings joy to the most mundane tasks when you know your direction in life is not dictated by others, but a mission unique to you.

So how do you discover your life purpose and create plans to fulfill it? Pour all your skills, talents, desires, experiences, and even your weaknesses together in a pile. Top with your values and the legacy you want to leave. It won’t take long before your life purpose comes out of the mix.

Need some help with discovering your life purpose? Give me a call today for a free session.



Build Good Habits for Success

We’re half way through the year. How many of your New Year’s Resolutions are still on track? The problem with most of us is we try to kick habits without replacing them with healthy ones. The void left by the unhealthy habit gets filled with something. If we don’t replace it with a healthy habit, the old one returns, sometimes with a vengeance.

Whenever you set goals to stop something, always replace it with something else. The something else doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, but it needs to be something. That’s why former smokers often fiddle with pens or pencils, hold them in their mouth, and tap them aimlessly on the table. These physical idiosyncrasies replace the physical habits formed while smoking. Without them, the cigarette finds its way between the fingers far too easily.

Psychiatrists tell us it generally takes 21 days of consistently doing the same thing to build a habit. That’s really not very long…except the 21 days you’re doing it. Just because of the way we’re built, it seems so easy to slip back into old patterns. Make notes to yourself and put them in places you’re sure to see them. Put reminders of your new habits in your calendar, on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on the steering wheel of your car, on your computer screen. Put them everywhere. Remind yourself every day for at least 21 days of the actions you’re taking and the benefits of the new habit you’re trying to build.

The three-week investment is worth the effort. People may think you’re a little crazy during the process as they see your sticky-notes pop up everywhere, but the new you revealed will show the value of the 21 day journey.

Like the approach? Share it with your friends.



Tree of Life Provides Life Balance

I’ve been looking for the right way to visually display my thoughts about life balance and how what I’ve called five dimensions of life play such an important role in helping us keep that balance right. Over the last few weeks, I’ve coached a few folks with this approach and confirmed its value. The central thought came from some study I was doing on the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. As I put the my thoughts together about the Tree of Life and the five dimensions of life seen elsewhere in this site, it was easy to build the model below with the five dimensions represented by the five roots of the tree. Each of the roots has a corresponding branch that creates a well balance, enriching, fulfilled life as long as each of the five roots are nourished and nurtured properly.

tree of life

Tree of Life

Like a tree, branches sometimes need pruning to create the best fruit. Change in some areas of life may take some painful work to transform some old, bad habits and bring about the best you for the future you desire. Each branch has tips, techniques, and tools available to help with areas of life in which many others found the need to exercise constraint or focus for improvement. You’ll probably find nothing new or exciting in these areas, but often a coach can point out things in us we do not see in ourselves, or hold us accountable when we find it hard to hold ourselves accountable in some of our weakest moments.

In the next few weeks, you will see some changes on my home page as I change the approach from dimensions to roots and use this model to better explain how these five roots or pillars collectively determine who we are every day.

Write back and let me know what you think of it.

The Importance of Relationships

planeLosing a friend this week reminded me again of the importance of relationships and nurturing the roots of our life. My friend, August was 84 and died of cancer he didn’t know he had. His suffering at the end was quick, going into the hospital on Tuesday, losing consciousness on Wednesday, and passing into eternity on Saturday morning. I knew he and his wife for fourteen years. They were married ten years ago, she lost her first husband in 1988 and he lost his wife not many years after that.

August was a sailor, a Navy Warrant Officer, proud of the uniform, proud of his country, proud to have served his nation. We shared war stories often. He honored those in uniform whenever given the chance. Every Memorial Day, every Flag Day, every 4th of July, every Veterans’ Day, whenever an opportunity came for special recognition of veterans in church or public events, he humbly stood with the crowd of veterans, but looked around and applauded the young men and women who stood with him, the volunteers who are protecting our nation today.

August was a father. He made mistakes along the way as we all do. In getting to know August over the last few years, especially as his prayer partner the last three years, he reflected on “redo” he’d like to have with his children. But growing up in an abusive home, never seeing how love and discipline should be expressed, he did what he thought was right, even knowing there was a gnawing feeling that it wasn’t. Regrets and long past memories are difficult to overcome without nurturing the spiritual root. Over the last three years in focused discipling, August did that. He found peace with himself, his God, and longed to share the same peace and joy with his children.

August was a husband. He loved his wife. At our weekly breakfasts together he spoke most often about her. He shared about their trips together and the joy they found in those. He share about her painting and the drive she has. He share about her faith and the way she manages to weather every storm that come into life. He shared so many stories and events that showed how much he cared for her. Sometimes he talked about the work he did for her in the flower beds, in the house, in the art gallery, in other places. He found it hard to keep up with her sometimes, but he worked hard to do it because he wanted to be where she was and aid her in whatever way he could.

August was a friend. He took time for people. He didn’t get in a hurry. He talked to anyone who wanted to talk. He would share time with the waitresses at the restaurant where we ate each Wednesday. He stopped to talk at the register. He talked in the grocery store or in the lobby at the church. Wherever he went, he was ready to spend time with people. He understood that people need relationships and was just ready to be there to lend whatever hand he could, even at 84.

We will miss August, but because he nurture the five roots of his life – physical, family, spiritual, emotional, social – in the end, I think he felt fulfilled. I think his last years were filled with joy and a peace that comes from knowing who you are and living life to the best you can each and every day. He did that. He couldn’t do much about the past except ask forgiveness and forgive himself. He had taken those steps and found peace. Now, in his faith belief and mine, he is at rest with his Lord.

Enjoy your celebration, my friend!

be the best w. arrow