It may seem like stress is part of life and there’s nothing you can do about it, but you have more control over stress than you think. Follow the Four A’s and start becoming less stressed today!

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Avoid the stressor:

  • Learn how to say no! Know your limits and stick to them. Taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out. If any of your relationships are stressful and you can’t improve them, try spending less time with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Control your environment. Steer clear of places and situations that get you worked up or make you feel stressed.

Alter the stressor:

  • Manage your time. Planning ahead helps to stay calm and focused and to avoid spreading yourself too thin.
  • Be assertive. Deal with problems head on, and do your best to anticipate and prevent them.
  • Compromise. Look at change as a give and take. If you want something to change, you may have to change as well.

Adapt to the stressor:

  • Look at the bigger picture. Will this problem matter in a week? In a month? In a year? Change perspective, and focus your time and energy on the things that really matter.
  • Adjust your standards. No one is perfect! Set reasonable standards for yourself and the people in your life.

Accept the stressor:

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Focus on the things you have control over, rather than stressing about the ones you don’t.
  • Look on the bright side.  Try to turn challenges into opportunities for personal growth. Remember, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
  • Share your feelings. Venting to a friend can really help get things off your chest and help you feel less stressed.

Written by Sam Tatulli, Peer Educator