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The Four A's of Stress Relief

Stress is inevitable. We all experience it in some way, probably every single day. Small amounts of stress can actually help motivate and encourage us to do our best, but it must be managed so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Here is some great information provided by the Mayo Clinic on how to manage daily stressors.

Avoid- Avoidance isn’t always a bad thing! You can choose to take control of your environment, make different choices, stay away from negative people, learn to say “no,” and give yourself permission to leave some less important tasks undone. This is a healthy way to avoid some daily stressors. Some problems can’t be avoided, so in those situations, try a different strategy.

Alter - Changing a stressful situation can sometimes be a helpful solution. You can alter your thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and feelings about a situation. Also, you can respectfully ask others to do the same. Communicating your feelings to others, using “I feel” statements, helps them see your point of view and is part of how people compromise.

Accept - In reality, there will be times that we can’t avoid or alter a situation. We may have no other choice than to accept things as they are. If this is the case, try talking about it with a friend, use “positive self-talk” (instead of berating yourself), try to forgive and move on, or see the situation as a “teachable moment” and learn from mistakes that occurred.

Adapt - By changing your expectation of a situation and adapting to a new, healthier version of it, you can reduce the stress you feel. Try to: redefine goals; stop replaying negative outcome; reframe the issue and looking at it from a different point of view; repeat encouraging messages to yourself; focus on the positive elements; and look at the big picture (by putting things into perspective.)

Keep in mind that everyone experiences stress. Most stress is manageable. However, if you notice that you’re not able to bounce back from a stressful event, or that you aren’t feeling better within a few days or a week, it may be an indication that you need some extra support. Feel free to call Boca Behavioral Health at 561.961.9077 and speak to a professional who can help you determine if counseling will be helpful.


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