Reducing Stress

Reducing Stress

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…

Read more: Let Love Grow

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

Five Tips to Help You Through the Holiday Season


It's hard to believe that December is already here. The holiday season can be a wonderful season, but it can also be a crazy season. The media has really taken over. Stores open on Thanksgiving, sales everywhere and lines of people waiting to buy that one last gift. Sometimes, we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we forget about ourselves. This can also be a time where people get run down and stressed out. Here are five tips that will help make the holidays more enjoyable:

  1. Loneliness? Plan a date with You. Many people don't have family to spend the holidays with. If this is the case for you, then treat yourself to something you normally wouldn't do. Help the less fortunate and volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Find an organization to go caroling with or go to church.
  2. Gifting on a budget. Take advantage of this time to get in touch with your creative side. Hand crafted gifts can be more cherished than store bought gifts. Baking, knitting, homemade art and framed photo cards are a few examples of inexpensive, yet very thoughtful gifts. 
  3. Social Anxiety? Plan ahead. Many parties allow you to bring a plus one, don't hesitate to bring your partner and if you are single invite a friend. When you are at the…

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

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(650) 892-0357

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