Managing Stress can be as easy as saying your ABC’s!
All you need to do is to remember—and practice—the ABCD’s and E’s of managing stress.
Like the alphabet, the ABCD’s and E’s are in sequence. However, like the alphabet you can use these in combinations. For example, it is helpful to be aware of your Self-talk (“B”) as well as your choices (“C”) at any point along the way.
These steps are valuable in all situations. Apply as needed.
A: Activation of Stress—Stressors.
Stress can get activated by a situation or by a thought, then referred to as “stressors. “A” is about noticing your stressors as well as what you feel in your body, in your mind, and in your emotions.
B: Beliefs—Self-talk affects your stress.
What you tell yourself affects the amount of stress. Whether you think in negatives or positives, your body and emotions respond accordingly. “B.” is about considering upbeat perspectives and possibilities without denying the stress. Even in difficult situations, you can believe in your own potential for strength and wisdom.
In every situation, there are choices to make.
Effective choices can lead to stress reduction with lasting effects.
Some choices give immediate stress relief, but may lead to longer-term issues. Smoking, for example, can be an immediate reliever, but the negatives consequences are well known. You can continue to use “C.” along the sequence. Always include consideration of your intentions in thinking over choices.
D. Decisions—Action or Non-action.
Having considered choices, you are prepared to take action. Even non-action is a decision.
E. Evaluate—How did it go?
After deciding what to do, and doing it, give some thought to the results. Were they in line with your intentions? Did things go the way you thought they would? If you did not like the outcome, you can think about what you would do differently in a future situation. As you practice applying the ABCD’s and E’s you will grow wiser and more resilient.