Changing the Situation or your Reaction

Each stressor, person, and situation will vary. It is important to identify the stressor and what stress management method or coping strategy will work best for your needs. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, and accept.

       Avoid Unnecessary Stress
       Alter The Situation
       Adapt to the Stressor
       Accept the Things You Cannot Change
Avoid Unnecessary Stress:
Not all stress can be avoided, and it may be unhealthy to avoid stressful situations that need to be resolved. However, when appropriate, try to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Learn how to say “no” and stick to your boundaries
  • Avoid people who may foster a stressful environment when possible
  • Take control of your environment, such as establishing a low-stress study space
  • Prioritize your “to-do” list and drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary
Alter The Situation:
Think about ways you can change the way you communicate and operate in your daily life to minimize stressors.
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Be more assertive about your needs
  • Manage your time efficiently
Adapt to the stressor:
Sometimes you can adapt to the stressor by changing your attitudes and behaviors.
  • Reframe problems with a more positive perspective
  • Look at the big picture
  • Set reasonable standards for yourself and others
Accept the things you can’t change:
In some situations none of the other As work, and as hard as it may be, it is best to accept your circumstances and work with them.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
  • Look at challenges as opportunities for personal growth and learning
  • Share your feelings
  • Learn to forgive