Stressed Out? Try 4 A’s of Stress Management

4 A

Stress is part of everyone’s everyday life and it has increased substantially high during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But stress is not always bad for your health or life. Psychologists have confirmed that good stress is necessary for building a happy and successful life. On that note, we can categorize stress into two types – good or healthy stress and bad or unhealthy or acute stress.

Later we will be discussing the 4 A’s of stress management, but before that, let’s get acquainted with Good Stress and Bad Stress and the symptoms of bad stress.

Good Stress – Best example of good stress will be the examination period; a healthy dose of stress keeps students’ adrenaline high and help them to focus and work hard for their papers. Whenever you challenge yourself in a good way, it can be either a promotional pitch of your ideas or adrenaline junky activity. In both cases, a healthy amount of stress helps you stay sharp and careful.

Bad Stress – You experience this kind of stress when you undermine small responsibilities and keep ignoring them or let small issues get bigger. Rather than solving those issues, you focus on the HOW & WHY of it. For example – some students ignore studying till the last minute and end up stressed out, which could have been avoided. Or it can be long ongoing family issues and work stress.

4 A’s of Stress Management

Symptoms of Bad Stress

  • Health issues like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart problems
  • Less, or too much eating
  • Avoiding social gatherings
  • Short temper and less patience
  • Lack of concentration
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular sleeping hours or Amnesia ( Can be some other symptoms, as it varies from person to person)

Now, let’s focus on avoiding being too stressed out and being optimistic during those situations by applying the 4 A’s of Stress Management which are Avoid, Alter, Accept and Adapt.

1. Avoidance – The 1st A in 4 A’s of Stress Management

You can avoid a lot of stressful situations by planning or ignoring them. You can use some of these ways:

  • Take control of your situation – Ignore colleagues at the workplace who gossip during work-hour, leave home early, take a different route to avoid traffic, you can get your kids ready for school to avoid the morning rush at home.
  • Learn to say NO – If you are charitable, some people can take advantage of you. Avoid such colleagues who always make excuses and ask you to do their share of work.
  • Plan ahead – Always prepare a to-do list for the day; that way, you can plan ahead and not stress later.


2. Alteration – The 2nd A in 4 A’s of Stress Management

When you are unable to avoid a certain stressful situation, try to alter it. For example –

  • Even after your avoidance technique, your colleagues keep trying to involve you in office gossip, ask them politely not to do that.
  • Learn to compromise – If any of your husband’s habit is annoying you, rather than fighting over it every day, ask him to avoid it and in return ask him to tell which bad habit of yours he wants to change. It’s a win-win situation for both.
  • Multitasking – If you are baking, which can take around 15 – 45 minutes to finish, you can do other errands during that period, like office work or laundry or preparing your clothes for the office tomorrow.
  • Maintain open communication in any relationship to avoid stressful situations.


4 A's of stress management
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3. Adaptance – The 3rd A in 4 A’s of Stress Management

When you cannot avoid or alter stressful situations, you need to mould yourself according to them. Let’s see how.

  • Adjust your expectations – Don’t always try to be a perfectionist; when the wind is blowing against you, try to lower your expectations and not be too hard on yourself.
  • Look situation from a new perspective – If you are stuck in a stressful situation for a while, try to solve it differently. Talk to whoever you think can guide or help you.
  • Practice pep-talk – Let’s assume someone is uncomfortable with public speaking, but it’s part of his/her work-life. So pep-talk yourself, do whatever motivates you before going in front of the crowd. Better adapt yourself according to it as it’s part of your everyday work.
  • Stay focused on the result – Don’t forget, ‘NO PAIN, NO GAIN.’

4. Acceptance – The 4th A in 4 A’s of Stress Management

Sometimes you can’t avoid or alter or adapt to stressful situations; you will have to accept and make peace with them as they are. You can do it in many ways:

  • Forgiveness – Let’s assume, if there were heated arguments between you & your partner and you both said pretty ugly words in the heat of the moment, don’t let it fester or make your relationship bitter. Talk to one another and forgive each other.
  • Talk with someone you’re comfortable with – Take this as an example – If anyone in your family is chronically ill, spend as much time with that person and cheer them up. Talk to someone you are close to if the situation gets too heavy, and take care of yourself.
  • Stay motivated – Let’s take an example – You made some blunders during your pitch presentation. Because of it, you lost your chance at promotion, don’t start to panic before every presentation, or sell yourself short. Access what went wrong during 1st time and overcome it, practice it time and again. Remind yourself of the end goal; it will help you get through your next presentation.
  • Don’t forget the happier memories or the end goals – Whenever life gets tough, either in a relationship or at work, don’t forget the good times you had with the person or why you choose the particular job in the first place.

4 A's of stress management
Image from Unsplash

Beat the Stress With the Right Technique

Whatever kind of stressful situation you are in, you can handle it with these 4 A’s of stress management. Meditation, Yoga, and regular exercise can also help to cope with the stress level. But don’t forget, stress are not always bad. Try to find positivity in hard situations; life will get easier.


While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.



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