December 2014 – Accept the Stressor

This month will provide the final “a” of the four a’s of stress reduction with accept 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 the other a’s.  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

Accepting a stressor is in some ways the most difficult.  Part of the Merriam Webster definition for this word is “to receive or take (something offered)”.  Sometimes in life we are offered things we don’t want.  The loss of a job or relationship can be very difficult to accept.  The five stages of grief are denial, bargaining, depression, anger and acceptance.  Some people never fully reach acceptance and many people believe acceptance is where true healing begins.

Traffic is a major stressor for many people.  Using the avoid method in traffic 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 gratitude for having a car.  Accepting would be I live in a big city heavy traffic is just a part of it.  I can’t change traffic patterns, so I am not going get upset about it.

Using the Holidays as an example, avoiding would be saying I’m just not going to celebrate this year.  Altering would be asking for help with the cooking or shopping.  Adapt would be thankfulness for family and friends gathering.  Accept would be thinking I am just busier around the Holidays.  Everything will get done and I am not going to stress about it.

My yoga practice is also about accepting where I am on my life path.  I accept there is a higher power like a project manager in the sky that will guide me if I connect to the project plan.  It is easier for me to accept some things when I know I have that guidance.

Accept also means letting go of how our society promotes an image of what I should be.  Women have a hard time liking their image in the mirror and don’t even see their true self.  According to the Social Issues Research Centre in the UK,  up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and more than half may see a distorted image.”  Give yourself the gift of accepting and liking who you are this Holiday season.