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More than a year after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Christina Applegate has a new outlook on life.

"Right away, you kind of go gung-ho -- you don't let any stress in your life, you don't eat any crap, you do a total 180 from where you were," she told at the EIF event benefiting the Women's Cancer Research Fund in Beverly Hills on Wednesday. "You look at life a little bit differently."

The Emmy-winning actress, 38 -- who underwent a double mastectomy in August 2008 to prevent her breast cancer from returning -- admitted that her perfect behavior didn't last long.

"Then life happens and it eases up a little bit, but it's always in the back of your mind that you get one shot at this," she told Us. "So try to be as joyful and forgiving as you can, eat beautiful foods that come from the earth -- not so much from other places."  

Her other tip? To laugh.

"I have to or else I'll just cry all the time," the star -- who launched Right Action for Women to promote early detection of cancer through MRIs -- said. "Laughter is so healing ... I think that it frees up your body to heal, too. Humor has always gotten me through the toughest of times."