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November 2014 – Adapt to Stress

The Four A’s of Stress Reduction – Adapt to the Stressor

This month will provide more background on the four a’s of stress reduction with adapt to the stressor.  I use the four a’s in my coaching and my own life.  In many situations they have helped me tremendously.  Here is the link to the website page if you want to look at last month with alter.  Click here

• Avoid the stressor

• Alter something about the stressor

• Adapt the way you think about the stressor or my addition is to adapt your lifestyle to help you cope

• Accept the stressor and let go

Adapting to the stressor is changing the way you think about a situation.  Look for a rainbow and try to find something positive in any situation.  As with the other a’s adapt might not be the right choice for all situations.  For example when dealing with loss of a job or a relationship we might need a long healing process and looking at the good will not be the best option.

Using a traffic stressor example, avoiding would be either not driving or taking a different route.  Altering the traffic stressor would be driving the same route at a different time with less traffic.  Adapting would be thinking at least I have a car, there are many people in the world who consider a car to be a luxury. Adapting is easier when you practice gratitude as a way of life.  One exercise I practiced was to find one thing to be thankful for every time you stop for a red traffic light.  A useful book with exercises is “Growing the Positive Mind” by Dr. William K. Larkin. Look for the beauty and good in the world around you and this technique will become second nature.

In dealing with Holiday stress, avoiding could be not celebrating and alter could be getting help with cooking or shopping.  Adapt would be thankfulness for family or friends gathering.  A lot of people I coach are making the Holidays centered more around people and interactions with not as much focus on presents or the food.  Many people are creating new traditions that are meaningful at this time of year.  The Holidays can be a difficult time for some people, especially those who have experienced loss, remembering the good things about past years can help.

My personal take on adapt to stress includes building up our resilience.  During this Holiday season keep up your workout routine, eat more fruits, vegetables and less sugar, also don’t sacrifice sleep.

Next month accept the stressor will be discussed.