You may feel like the stress in your life is out of your control, but you can be aware of the way you respond. Managing stress is all about being aware of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment and the way you deal with problems.
Managing stress: the four A’s that save you
Managing stress involves changing the stressful situation when you can, Mindfully changing your reaction when you can, taking care of yourself and making time for rest and relaxation.
Remember the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt and accept that can help you managing stress:
- Avoid unnecessary stress: not all stress can be avoided, but by learning how to say no, distinguishing between ‘shoulds‘ and ’musts’ on your to-do-list and steering clear of people or situations that stress you out, you can eliminate many daily stressors.
- Alter the situation: if you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter the way you look at it. Be more assertive and deal with problems head on instead of bottling up your feelings and increasing your stress, respectfully and assertively let others know about your concerns, or be more willing to compromise and try meeting others half-way on an issue.
- Adapt to the stressor: when you can’t change the stressor, try changing yourself. Reframe problems or focus on the positive things in your life. If a task at work has you stressed, focus on the aspects of your job you do enjoy. And always look at the big picture: is this really something worth getting upset about?
- Accept the things you can’t change: there will always be stressors in life that you can’t do anything about. Learn to accept the inevitable rather than getting angry at a situation you can’t change and making it even more stressful.
Look for the upside in a situation: even the most stressful circumstances can be an opportunity for learning or personal growth. Learn to accept that no one, including you, is ever perfect and use these situations to practice non-judgement.
Managing stress is easier when you have some guidance because if you are on your own, it’s hard to break through your habits and going from negative to positive. Contact me so I can help you!