"Coping With Stress" by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I LOVE the following essay/list of Sarah Ban Breathnach's from her Simple Abundance book... It is one of my absolute favorites and one I try to remember to turn to at least once a year. I cherish the opportunity to go inward and try to re-align my sense of SELF, and this book, this entry especially, helps so much with that task. (The ones I am particularly drawn to this time have an asterisk beside it):


Coping With Stress

Is there a woman alive who doesn't suffer from stress? If there is, seek her out, ask her to share her wisdom. When you find her, I'd be willing to bet she'll offer the following suggestions:

* Cultivate gratitude.
Carve out an hour a day for solitude.
Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, reflection.
Keep it simple.
Keep your house picked up.
* Don't overschedule.
* Strive for realistic deadlines.
Never make a promise you can't keep.
Allow an extra half hour for everything you do.
Create quiet surroundings at home and at work.
Go to bed at nine o'clock twice a week.
* Always carry something interesting to read.
Breathe--- deeply and often.
Move---walk, dance, run, find a sport you enjoy.
Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.
Eat only when hungry.
If it's not delicious, don't eat it.
* Be instead of do.
Set aside one day for rest and renewal.
*Laugh more often.
Luxuriate in your senses.
Always opt for comfort.
If you don't love it, live without it.
* Let Mother Nature nurture.
Don't answer the telephone during dinner.
* Stop trying to please everybody.
Start pleasing yourself.
Stay away from negative people.
Don't squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
Nurture friendships.
Don't be afraid of your passion.
Approach problems as challenges.
Honor your aspirations.
Set achievable goals.
* Surrender expectations.
Savor beauty.
Create boundaries.
For every "yes", let there be a "no".
Don't worry; be happy.
Remember, happiness is a living emotion.
Exchange security for serenity.
* Care for your soul.
Cherish your dreams.
Express love every day.
Search for your authentic self until you find her.


After a particularly upsetting month of August, I have been seeking peace and asking for answers... And while I still have a ways to go, I have set foot on a new path that I am feeling so RIGHT about... A new paradigm I am trying to live my days in. An attitude adjustment, if you will. Because it turns out, you're never too old to change and grow and learn something new about yourself. And this is my time for it.

I hope this little entry soothes and inspires at least one other soul today. I hope it give your the fuel for YOUR changes as it has for me. Which ones are calling YOUR name? What are YOU going to try to be more aware of in the coming weeks? I'd love to know! Let's strengthen each other along the way!



  1. Oh my word. . . SO many of those. The things I'm trying at this very moment:

    -Don't overschedule.
    -Stop trying to please everybody.
    -Start pleasing yourself.
    -Stay away from negative people.
    -Don't squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
    -Create boundaries.
    -For every "yes", let there be a "no".

    What a fantastic list! I needed that today.

  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Simple Abundance!! Emily, I am beginning to think we have soooo much in common! Sark and Simple Abundance, I am so excited to learn more about you!

  3. Judie2:39 PM

    This is definitely a list I will keep nearby and refer to often! And I would probably put an asterisk next to each one of them, but the ones that really struck a cord with me are:

    *Keep your house picked up. (I feel the most "centered" in a tidy environment)
    *Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.
    *Eat only when hungry.
    *If it's not delicious, don't eat it.
    *Always opt for comfort.
    *Don't answer the telephone during dinner.
    *Laugh more often.

    Hmmm... I'm noticing a theme here that most of mine revolve around food.


  4. Love this post. Thanks Emily. Glad to hear you are on a good path.

  5. :) Beth8:20 PM

    I'm right there with you sista! Simple Abundance changed my life! I have passed my copy around to many, many hands to keep the good karma flowing and just the other day went hunting for it. Tomorrow I'm going to hunt it down and ingest some more of that soul wisdom - your sneak peek whet my appetite!

  6. I agree with what Mel said -- I am so glad I got this book at your recommendation -- it helps center me and reminds me of priorities. We can always use a little time to step back and look at our lives from a different angle.

  7. I just discovered your blog, and I'm glad. That header at the top is ADORABLE! I love that pic of you and Noah. There were so many on that list that I need to focus on, but the most important two at this time are probably as follows:
    -Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, reflection.
    -Remember, happiness is a living emotion.

  8. Yup. You covered it well.

    My most recent revelation was to stop comparing myself to others. I do it subconsciously. I think everyone else's family is a measure for how mine is instead of realizing mine is exactly the way God intends.

    And with that, I have to stop being so hard on myself. God has me where He wants me for a reason, so I need to figure out what that is and then get to work! lol

    Ah, life can be tough but finding others who make you laugh and carry you along {sometimes whether you want them to or not} can be such a blessing.



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