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Reduce Stress + Savor Your Healthiest Life

March 5, 2024

Breast cancer awareness is much more than just an occasional self exam in the shower.

It’s a lifestyle.

Prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought breast cancer awareness month was simply a reminder to check for lumps in the shower. 

However, by the time I discovered a lump in my own breast the cancer had already spread throughout the whole breast and lymph nodes, requiring a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and 5 years of hormone suppressant treatment. 

I was in shock. How could this happen to ME

I had always prided myself on my healthy lifestyle of exercising regularly and eating well so it wasn’t immediately obvious to me what I had been doing (or not doing) to cause my cells to mutate and grow out of control. 

This set me on a journey of profound introspection, revealing that chronic stress is a major obstacle to my body’s capacity to defend against severe illness. 

As a ‘Type A’ New Yorker, I viewed stress as just a normal part of living. If I wanted to accomplish my goals, I would have to endure the stress that came along with it. 

What I never accounted for was the damage chronic stress was having on my body. Stress weakens the immune system, causes chronic inflammation, and creates hormonal changes that compromise cell growth and repair…all major contributors to cancer and other serious illnesses.

In my effort to reduce stress and its impact on my health, I’ve overhauled the following 4 areas of my life. My hope is that what I’ve discovered can help you in substantially diminishing stress and increasing joy in your day-to-day life too.  

#1 Mindset

My parents modeled a mindset of apprehension, anticipating the worst and providing sharp criticism when things deviated from the plan. I grew believing that this was not just the most effective approach to navigate the world but also the wisest. 

It wasn’t until much later that I came to understand that my perspective on a situation had a more profound impact on generating stress than the actual event. 

Research shows adopting an optimistic + hopeful mindset (towards yourself + others) motivates you to make healthier choices, increases your immunity, builds resilience, improves pain tolerance, decreases stress and increases the likelihood you’ll achieve your most treasured goals. 


  • When you make a mistake how do you talk to and/or treat yourself? 
  • When your mind “time travels” to another time and place, does it add to or reduce your stress? 
  • Do you tend to look for glimmers of hope in a situation or whiffs of doubt? 

#2 Boundary Setting 

When boundaries are too loose we take on the burden of the other person. Women in particular have been conditioned to serve, rather than be served. Overextending ourselves for others not only feels normal, it feels right

Boundaries can also be too rigid, shutting out the healthy intimacy that is essential for receiving support when needed most. 

If you’re like me your boundaries are both too loose and too rigid. Overextending yourself to help others, while not allowing yourself to receive help when offered is a recipe for chronic stress that can lead to severe illness overtime. 


  • Are there people in my life who take more than they give? 
  • If so, ask yourself: “why do I maintain relationships with people who consistently take more than they give?”  
  • Do I reject or discourage efforts from others to help me? 

#3 Overworking + Under Self Caring

Most of us have been programmed to believe we should be hard at work for at least 8 hours a day. If I started late, ended early or focused on anything other than work between 9a and 6p, I felt lazy and unworthy of rest. 

Even after my diagnosis, I found my own self care to be an unaffordable luxury. Little by little I challenged myself to interweave things like yoga, meditation, baths, essential oils, soothing music, good friends, therapy throughout my whole day to the point where half of my day is now filled with nourishing activities that leave me feeling calm, assured & surprisingly more productive. 


  • Where do I fall on my daily to-do list? Am I even on the list? 
  • How do I relax and recuperate when I’m drained of energy? Do these activities truly rejuvenate me, or do they merely serve as a momentary distraction that numbs my senses? 

 #4: Unprocessed Emotions

Everyone lives with unprocessed emotions that consciously and unconsciously impact our mindset, immunity, mental + physical health, relationships, sleep, choices, and chronic inflammation. 

As a therapist, I’ve always prioritized the importance of therapy to process things I cannot do on my own. However, even the most skilled therapist cannot get me to process emotions that I’m unwilling to face and feel. 

Unprocessed emotions are unprocessed for a reason. They’re either scary and painful or feel too irrelevant to address. But with the right tools painful emotions can be felt and processed with ease and relief. 


  • Do you notice your mind often wanders to the same time, place, person? 
  • Are there certain memories or thoughts that trigger uncomfortable feelings?
  • Have you detected an unexplained hesitation in pursuing your goals?  

If you believe that unprocessed emotions may be affecting your health, don’t hesitate to seek assistance. Our experienced therapists can offer the support and the resources you need to let go of what is preventing you from living your healthiest life. 

Schedule a free consultation today! 

Allow me to guide you through short and simple daily exercises in breath, energy, sound, mindfulness, and movement to enhance your pleasure, confidence, and connection.

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