Reducing Stress

Reducing Stress

When going through treatment for breast cancer, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.


If you are going through treatment for breast cancer, or you have gone through treatment for breast cancer, then you know how physically and emotionally draining it can be. When I think back to the days that I had chemotherapy. I wanted to keep going but eventually it did catch up. I felt like I had to put my life on hold and that I wouldn't accomplish anything while I was going through treatment. That was back in 2001. I now realize I was really hard on myself during that time. When it was all over I realized life still goes on and I could pick up where I left off. I also met some amazing people during the process, and even became closer to some friends and family. I also realized that I did accomplish something, I fought my hardest to beat cancer and I did. I am writing this article to help people that are like I was, while I was going through treatment. Here are five tips while going through treatment for breast cancer:

  1. Go easy on yourself. Work will always be there, the laundry will always be there, and the house doesn't have to be spotless. 
  2. Turn off the negative tape in your head. This is not your fault. No one plans for breast cancer. There is nothing you…

Read more: When going through treatment for breast cancer, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.

Unexpected Detours: Three Tips for Breast Cancer Patients


"It's the not knowing aspect of breast cancer that increases the emotionality in regard to all your relationships." Katherine Puckett 

Breast Cancer's Relationship Toll: For many women breast cancer is not only a major physical battle but it is also an emotional battle. It can affect every relationship in your life. From friendships to romance, from being a parent to being a daughter, the way your relate to everyone and the way they relate to you - can be affected. 

For some women, breast cancer can be the catalyst that turns casual friendships into deep meaningful friendships, it can bring couples closer, and help family units bond and become stronger. Although, for others it can be a lonely and isolating time. It can be a time where the people we counted on most disappear. 

So, what determines how breast cancer will affect your life. Some of the experts have said, it's often linked to a willingness to share your burden with others. For many women, this is not easy. Women are the caregivers. We are used to taking care of everyone else and it can be difficult to give up of some of that control. Even when women have breast cancer they still want to handle everything. Here are three tips that can be helpful if you have breast cancer and you are in…

Read more: Unexpected Detours: Three Tips for Breast Cancer Patients

Don't Believe Everything Your Mind Tells You


We've all heard the saying, 'don't believe everything people tell you.' But, what about everything your mind tells you? I hear this all the time in my practice, 'I'm a bad parent, I'm a bad student, or I'm a bad spouse.' Is this really the truth, or is this your mind playing tricks on you? Here are five tips to help you stop believing everything your mind tells you:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Especially actors! Learn to love yourself for the person you are. Life is full of ups and downs. This will help you through the difficult times in life.
  2. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. It's best to own up to it when you do and to stop hashing it through your mind. This will only make matters worse. 
  3. Stop all-or-nothing thinking. Also known as black and white thinking. Have your ever met someone that thought this way? How long did you want to be around them? 
  4. Give up on being perfect. Accept being good enough. For example, if you are studying for an exam, then study to learn rather than getting a perfect score. We all know that after college, people don't ask for your exam scores, they want to know what kind of a people person you are.
  5. Stop emotional reasoning. Just because you think…

Read more: Don't Believe Everything Your Mind Tells You

"Don't confuse having a career with having a life." Hillary Clinton

I hear this all the time in my practice, 'I wish I had more balance in my life." It's so easy in our fast-paced society to lose track of time and forget some of the obvious things. Here are some tips to help get your life back in order.

  1. Plan - I always ask my clients if they have a planner and are they using it? Most of the time they have one but aren't always using it. Start your week by looking at your planner. Schedule work commitments, physical activity, personal and family time. Remember to leave time for yourself. Then, look at your planner daily and make any changes that need to be made.
  2. Prioritize - This means deciding what is most important, and then doing what is most important for achieving balance. What needs to be done first? With who or whom do I need to spend my time with? What are the consequences of not doing an activity?
  3. Organize - This means bringing more structure to your time and space. We can waste a lot of time looking for things. Create a system for storing things. It will take some time in the beginning, but will pay off in the long run. Use memory aids: put something in front of…

Read more: Living Your Life in Balance: 6 Tips to Balance Your Life


How to Break Out of a Bad Mood:

Believe it or not, how you feel can affect how your partner feels. When you wake up in the morning are you excited for the day, or are you thinking here we go again? When you come home at the end of the day do you know your partner is excited to see you, or do they ignore you? While you are away from your partner do you know they are thinking fondly of you, or do you wonder if they are thinking negatively about you? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then this is the article for you. 

Here are 10 cognitive distortions that could be causing your partner to turn away from you:

  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…

Read more: Are We Feeling Good?

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

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