The 4 A's of Stress Management

Stress is a natural part of everyday living. However, too much stress may result in adverse health outcomes including serving as a catalyst for various psychiatric illnesses and substance use. Although stress management is individualized, some methods have been shown to be universally beneficial.


In this week’s Stronger Together module, we dive into managing stress during graduate training. Do you know the 4 A's?

Graphic on the 4 A's to stress management, Avoid unnecessary stress, alter the situation, adapt to the situation and accept the things you cannot change.

1. AVOID

Sometimes, it’s easier said than done but you can avoid situations that cause you stress. This can be achieved by being proactive with your life, taking charge of your surroundings, avoiding individuals that cause you unnecessary stress. Incorporate these simple mindfulness tricks into your daily life.


2. ALTER

If you find yourself in a stressful situation that couldn’t be avoided, a helpful way to navigate the situation is to attempt to alter the situation. How does this look like in a work environment? Communicate your limits in advance by learning to effectively say no without feeling guilty. Kindly ask individuals to change their behaviors, and practice time management skills.


3. ACCEPT

Even when you’ve done everything you could to avoid stress, sometimes it just happens. If this happens, know that IT’S O.K. Learn from previous errors on how to better avoid stressors but don’t be too hard on yourself. Talk it out with someone because sometimes a sweet phone call with a trusted friend or acquaintance can melt away worries and practice positive self-talk because no one needs more nurturing talk than your stressed-out self.


4. ADAPT

Changing your standards or expectations can help you navigate stressful situations by reimagining how better substitute. Reframe the situation or reframe your thoughts on a specific situation.

Sign up to our Stronger Together section here to take part in this week's module on Stress Management and the rest of our Health & Wellness modules!