4.19 Use the Four A’s

The four A’s of stress relief are Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accept

Avoiding stress completely is the obvious easy way to be sure your stress level is manageable. Unfortunately, not all stress is avoidable, but you should give it a shot. Look at your list of stressors that you identified. See what you can avoid and simply eliminate it from your life. It’s that easy. Avoid people who stress you out. Learn how to simply not take on extra work or extra projects that will add stress to your life.

Altering your stressor or situation can reduce stress. Make it known if something is stressing you out, like a certain person’s behavior or a certain task that you have to do at work. If you keep your feelings inside the stress will just grow. Think of ways to make the unavoidable stressor less stressful.

Adapting to stress can help as well. Simply approaching a stressful situation or task with a different mindset can give you a whole new perspective. Stay positive, no matter how difficult it is. Having a negative attitude will not help your stress level, but will just make it worse. Try to think about the long-term and the “big picture”, meaning will this stress be there forever? What can you learn from this situation to make you a better person or perhaps help you avoid it the next time? Is it time for a major life change, such as a change in career to reduce your stress level?

Accepting that stress is going to be there and may at times be completely unavoidable, can get you in the right mindset to deal with the stress better. Denying the stress or not addressing it will not make it go away. Some examples of stresses that you may just have to accept include the death of a loved one, loss of a job, a natural disaster or an injury. Again, just stay positive and focus on the long term.

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