The 4 A’s of Stress Management
In the first part of our stress management blog, we suggested simple tools to help identify and moderate your stress. In today’s blog, we will discuss the 4 A’s of stress management: avoid, alter, adapt and accept. When reacting to stressors, remembering the 4 A’s and choosing one to apply to the scenario on hand will help you better mange stress.
While we are not suggesting hiding from problems that need to be solved, there are actually numerous stressors in daily life that can be eliminated. Learning to say “no” is healthy and necessary. Know your limits, and stick to them. Take control of your to-do list- everything on there is most likely not necessary.
While you cannot always change a situation, you can change the way you communicate and react. If you always bottle up your feelings, work on communicating more and expressing your needs. Compromise might be necessary, but you may feel better simply by being heard.
Perhaps you have a long commute to work, and there is no possibility of changing that in the near future. You can still adapt to the stressful situation, and look at it with a new perspective. Instead of yelling at other drivers and getting upset over traffic you cannot control, look at your commute as a time for yourself. Listen to music, books or a podcast. When you cannot change a stressor, see how you can reframe it in your mind.
There are many things in life that we cannot control, such as the death of a loved one. While this is very stressful, trying to control situations such as these will only many you more stressed. Share your feelings with a trusted friend or therapist, and make sure to schedule time for yourself. It’s important to find a balance between doing things for others, and doing things for yourself.
If you are still struggling with stress management, consider making an appointment with our health coach. We can help you to identify causes of stress and find real solutions to dealing with stress in your daily life. Stress might be common, but it does not have to necessary.
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach