Reducing Stress

Reducing Stress

Don't Let Your Emotions Control Your Life


"Remaining optimistic will help me experience joy."

Is it time for a new outlook on life. Don't worry; many of us have done it. We let our mood take over and let go of our rational side. It's never too late to change. Just as negative behavior is contagious, so is positive behavior. Start by surrounding yourself with positive people. Write positive affirmations and place them on your night stand, in your car and on your desk. Make sure you place them where you will see them throughout the day. Here are five helpful tips to help control your emotions:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others. It's easy to get caught up in what others look like and how they are doing in life. Remember, you are not them and they are not you. Don't let society define your life, create your own.
  2. Don't beat yourself up. We tend to be hard on ourselves and not take the time to recognize our strengths. I often tell my clients to go easy on themselves. I think we are wired to beat ourselves up. You need to stop this, it will only bring you down.
  3. Take time to relax. We live in a busy world that never stops. That doesn't mean you don't have to stop. Make sure you get plenty of rest and take breaks during…

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Five Ways to Build a Positive Attitude


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Life is much more enjoyable when you have a positive attitude. Believe it or not, it's actually not that difficult. When you stop beating yourself up with your internal dialogue it will change your outlook on your life. Here are five tips to help improve your attitude:

  1. The choice is yours. Your life is the result of your choices. You can choose to let the balance in your back account bring you down or you can look for opportunities for challenge and diversity. Choose to focus on what you have rather than what you don't have. The way you choose to see the world creates the world you live in.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people. Surround yourself with people that support you, have a positive influence on your life and speak the truth. Expand your circle of friends with people that are further ahead than you in personal and professional development. Stop associating with negative people that impede your progress.
  3. Develop a "Givers Gain" mentality. Stop keeping score. Give away what you seek without expectation or measurement. For example, if you seek happiness, then help others find it.
  4. Let go of anger, resentment and judgment. Hanging on to old resentments and negative emotions is not good for your emotional health. Negative emotions…

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Let Love Grow


"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." William James

We live in such a fast paced world. We are always in a rush. We are always looking for ways to make things faster and more effective. Speed is key in our society. As a result, this has taken a toll on our relationships. We have seen the divorce rate sky rocket and we have more disease than ever. Many doctors have told us this is because of stress. Here are five tips to help lower the stress in your life and help build the friendship in your relationship:

  1. Sleep. Sounds obvious, but in our fast paced world we have given up much of our sleep. Get at least eight hours of restful sleep a night, or however much sleep you need to feel rested. I know when I don't get enough sleep I am more forgetful and less effective. I know this true for everyone. Start getting enough sleep and you will find the quality of your work will improve.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Doctor's tell us we need at least eight glasses of water a day. It's hard to believe how many people suffer from dehydration. The remedy is simple, drink plenty of water. 
  3. Take breaks during the day. Many people feel there aren't enough…

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Give Up Stinkin' Thinkin' For Lent


"You must manage yourself before you can lead someone else." Zig Ziglar

Yeah, daylight savings time is here, and if you can't tell, I absolutely love it. Lent has also started. I'm sure you've thought about what you're going to give up for Lent. Some people give up sugar, chocolate, wine, bread, etc. I could go on with a list of things to give up. I've been telling people to give up give up their cognitive distortions (aka stinkin' thinkin') for Lent. Here are ten cognitive distortions you absolutely must give up for Lent:

  1. All-or-nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black-and-white categories.
  2. Overgeneralization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Mental filter: You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positives.
  4. Discounting the positives: You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities "don't count."
  5. Jumping to conclusions: (A) Mind reading - you assume that people are reacting negatively to you when there's no definite evidence for this; (B) Fortune-telling - you arbitrarily predict that things will turn out badly.
  6. Magnification or minimization: You blow things way up out of proportion or you shrink their importance inappropriately.
  7. Emotional reasoning: You reason from how you feel: "I feel like an idiot, so I really must be one." Or, "I don't feel like doing this, so I'll put it off."…

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It's not always about being right. In the Gottman's research we have found that in order to gain influence you need to accept influence. This means trying new things that your partner suggests or trying things the way your partner does things, for a change. Relationships don't need to be difficult or about power struggles. They need to be about nurturing the friendship and accepting one another's differences. Nobody is perfect; this is not an expectation you should have in a relationship. If you do, then you are setting it up for failure. Whenever we see a couple we give them survey's to fill out. This helps us learn crucial information about the relationship. One of the surveys is the Accepting Influence Questionnaire. The questions are listed below; please take a few minutes to answer them.

Read each statement and answer true or false.

  1. I am really interested in my partner's opinions on our basic issues.
  2. I usually learn a lot from my partner even when we disagree.
  3. I want my partner to feel what he or she says really counts with me.
  4. I generally want my partner to feel influential in this marriage.
  5. I can listen to my partner, but only up to a point.
  6. My partner has a lot of basic common sense.
  7. I try to communicate respect even during our disagreements.
  8. If…

Read more: Sharing Power and Accepting Influence in Your Relationship

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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