"A loving and caring touch is a healing balm that soothes away the stress of the day." unknown

Stress impacts our relationship more than we are aware of. If you try and ignore it, then it only gets worse. Stress, is also contagious. It can bounce back and forth between partners. This makes it difficult for partners to enjoy one another and spend quality time together. If stress goes too long ignored, then it can turn into depression. This will leave you feeling isolated and alone. Here are four tips to help you overcome stress as a couple:

  1. Recognize stress symptoms. It's easy for couples to become accustomed to unchecked stress. They will overlook how destructive it can become. Some signs of stress are when you are snappy, withdrawn, moody, restless or overly excited. You may self-medicate by using drugs, alcohol, food, etc.
  2. Approach your partner. In a kind way ask your partner, what's going on? Make sure to be compassionate. Listen with empathy.
  3. Have the stress reducing conversation. This is where each person has a chance to be the speaker and the listener. Set aside some time where you won't be interrupted. This is not about giving your partner advice or trying to persuade them. This is where you allow your partner to talk about what is stressing them out. You validate what they…

Read more: Relaxation Is In

Five Signs You're Depressed But Don't Know It


Depression affects many people. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 million Americans suffer from it. At some point in their lives, 10% to 25% of women and 5% to 12% of men will become clinically depressed. The ever changing economy and job market doesn't help. Depression is real and needs to be taken seriously. Here are five signs you're depressed:

  1. Conflicts quickly escalate into fights. One dumb way to dull to dull the feelings of helplessness that accompany depression, is to show people you aren't one to be run over. Get cut off on the freeway, run that person down. Be opinionated in everything you do. If you're lucky you'll have enough bruises to distract you from emotional pain.
  2. You have trouble accepting praise or goodwill. If you find yourself ignoring compliments or even feeling annoyed by them chances are you are depressed. Psychologist, Martin Seligman, studied the behavior of dogs that were given electric shocks. Eventually they would lay helplessly in their cages, not responding to tugs on their leashes that would have moved them safely from the shock. When you are depressed, sometimes you just don't see the obvious.
  3. You can't concentrate. We all suffer from scattered thoughts now and then. Those who are depressed but don't realize it may act out in fantasy. How do you distinguish a healthy daydream…

Read more: Five Signs You're Depressed But Don't Know It

Tips For Online Dating
 




This week I am devoting LessonsforLove to singles. You don't need to be embarrassed or ashamed if you are single. There are a growing number of singles these days and sometimes it's for good reason. I do a lot of work with couples in my practice but I also work with singles. One question I get a lot is 'Where can I meet the right person?' Sure, there are nightclubs, work, church, or maybe meeting someone at a party. For some people this has worked, and for other's it hasn't. One thing I always tell people when dating is to be open. This is a time to meet new people. There is nothing wrong with online dating; a lot of people are trying it. I have several friends that have met their husband online. Here are five tips to help when dating online:

  1. Make sure you know what you are looking for. If you are looking for a long term relationship, then don't be scared to say it. It's important to be honest, that way no one gets hurt.
  2. Choose a website that has respect for you. There are many websites out there these days. Make sure you find one that is right for you. Do a little research about the website. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. 
  3. Post a recent photo and…

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Want the Life You Have

 




"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
Arthur Ashe

I have seen a lot of people in my practice and many of them come in, because they want to make changes in their life. They aren't happy with the life they have. They may feel anxious or depressed. I tell them to live in the present, stop dwelling about the past and stop predicting the future. Here are six steps to help you want the life you have:

  1. Begin and end each day with gratefulness. When you wake up in the morning take a minute to remind yourself of what you are grateful for. Remember a special person in your life that you look up to. It can be a grandparent or a friend that helped you out. Before bed, make a list of 25 things you are grateful for.
  2. Stop resisting change. The truth is, many of us are afraid of change, because it's unknown. Your current situation may not be one that you like, but you know it and know how to handle it. The first step is to control your fear. Change is a risk we need to take to change our life.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. We live in a county where the media has a great influence. Everyone is rich and beautiful…

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The New Normal

 


Hello and welcome back. You may have noticed that I took a long needed break during the Holiday season, to enjoy time with family and friends. It's hard to believe that 2013 is over and 2014 has begun. The year flew by and after I had surgery in September, it seemed like 2013 was over in the blink of an eye. I'm glad to say I'm feeling much better and I'm excited for the New Year. This can be an exciting time, a time of new beginnings, or it can be a time to reflect back on the past year. Here are four tips to help you for The New Year:

  1. Spend time with good friends. Have a cup of tea or coffee with a friend. If you haven't heard from one in a while, then give them a call. Don't be shy; instead of looking up your friends on Facebook spend time with them. Make sure to ask questions and take a genuine interest in their life.
  2. Get some sunshine. Most people work inside all day in fluorescent light. They are also staring at a computer screen all day. Remember, to take a break and get some fresh air. This will help clear your mind, which will help you focus when you are at work. I recommend taking a ten minute break every…

Read more: The New Normal

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

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