Reducing Stress

Reducing Stress

We've all been there. Slept through the alarm clock, car is low on fuel, forgot to pick up coffee, the baby won't stop crying, etc. Minor things can trigger bad days. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have found it's best not to catastrophize. Don't let the small things ruin a perfectly good day. In our society it is easy to focus on the negative. All you have to do is watch the news. Here are five tips that can help you turn around a bad day:

  1. Start your day by stating five things you are grateful for. No matter how small or big they are. For example, be grateful for having sunshine. Remember, to keep in mind what you are grateful for throughout the day.
  2. Play with your pet. Not only is this good for you, this is also good for your pet. This will help relieve stress. Your pet loves you no matter what.
  3. Practice deep breathing. You can start your day with five minutes of deep breathing. You can also set aside five minutes during the day for deep breathing. This will also help clear your mind. A lot of people think they don't have time for this. But, in the long run it will help you be more productive.
  4. Go for a walk. Make sure to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Leave your work behind, meaning don't bring your cell phone. Clear your mind, don't think about all the things you could be doing. It's important to get natural light throughout the day.
  5. Give and get a hug. We often overlook the importance of touch. Reach out to your partner, friend, or family member and share a quick hug. This will send positive energy through your body.
These are just a few ideas to help turn around a bad day. If you feel you are having more bad days than good days, then it may be time to try therapy. Life is short and it's meant to be enjoyed by everyone. For more help, please call me at (650) 892-0357.

Read more: How To Turn A Bad Day Into A Good Day

You Are What You Think


I went out to dinner with a couple of friends last night, and as we were chatting one of my friends made a comment that she needs to change the chatter in her head. She needs to stop putting herself down and telling herself that she is stupid and ugly. I immediately complimented her. She is a smart and attractive woman. She thinks this way because she is single. Now, is there any truth to what she is saying? I know plenty of smart and attractive single people. As a Therapist, it amazes me how many people tell themselves horrible things about themselves. People are often harder on themselves than they are on others. So, where does this all come from? It can come from conditioning that happened in the early years of our life. It can also come from comparing ourselves to others and believing we are never good enough. Here are three simple tips to change what you say to yourself:

  1. Stop trying to predict the future. Nobody can predict the future. People spend a lot of time trying to predict the future and they always expect the worst. If you are going to try to predict the future, then at least have a positive outcome. For example, if you have an important presentation predict it will go well because you spent…

Read more: You Are What You Think

10 Things Mentally Strong People Do


Let's face it life doesn't always go our way. Regardless, of who you are life is full of surprises. It's best to embrace change and keep moving on. Here are ten tips that can help when life get's tough:

  1. They keep in control. They don't give away their power. 
  2. They stay happy. They don't complain. They don't waste energy on things they can't control.
  3. They celebrate other people's success. They don't resent that success.
  4. They enjoy their time alone. They don't fear being alone.
  5. They expend their mental energy wisely. They don't spend time on unproductive thoughts.
  6. They tolerate discomfort. They accept their feelings without being controlled by them.
  7. They invest their energy in the present. They don't dwell on the past.
  8. They are kind, fair and unafraid to speak up.
  9. They are willing to take calculated risks. They weigh the risks and benefits before taking action. 
  10. They reflect on their progress every day. They take time to consider what they've achieved and where they are going. 
Start these habits today and little by little you will see your life change. Remember, small steps lead to big steps. Don't waste your time comparing yourself to others. This will only bring you down in the long run. For more help, please call me at (650) 892-0357.

Read more: 10 Things Mentally Strong People Do

"Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale." Stephanie Meyer

We're all searching for balance, although this may sound simple, in our work hard culture. We hear about people burning out all the time, maybe, you feel burnt out. We can't go back, so there is no point in dwelling over the past. Here are four helpful tips for balance in The New Year:

  1. Pick your priorities. Many of us grew up with our parents telling us we can have it all. Although, I'm for having a fulfilling life: rewarding career, happy family life, running marathons and an active social life. It's important to find what is fulfilling and works for you. Stop trying to impress everyone else and take care of yourself. Remember you have your whole life to fulfill your dreams.
  2. Take a broader view of what balance means. A lot of conversations about balance focus on the balance that people can find on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, this isn't always in our control. Work and family can be demanding. Remember, there is always tomorrow and don't be too hard on yourself. A lot of the time things have a way of working themselves out.
  3. Stop and take a breath. I know this sounds obvious. Of course you…

Read more: It's All About Balance

Practice Gratitude During The Holidays


It's no joke; the antidote for depression is gratitude. Remember the small things and be grateful for them. The Holiday season isn't just about receiving it's also about giving. Studies show that people feel good when they volunteer for those that are less fortunate. I challenge you to pick one non-profit to volunteer for during the holiday season. Make sure to include your family and friends. Here are five tips to help you practice gratitude during the Holidays:

  1. Focus on what you do have. Stop comparing yourself to others. This will only make you feel bad. Remember, there is always someone with more and always someone with less. Be thankful for having a roof over your head, regardless of how big or small it is.
  2. Help others. This will help you shift your focus. Even if you don't have a lot you can still benefit by helping others. Working through stressful events which are similar with others, often helps ease the burden.
  3. Turn the simple into the special. People tend to underestimate the simple joys of life. Adopt a childlike attitude and turn simple blessings into joy. Enjoy your time with your family, laugh and play games together. Be grateful to have one another.
  4. Keep the holidays in perspective. Just because it's on sale doesn't mean you have to buy it. Make a budget…

Read more: Practice Gratitude During The Holidays

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

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