What Are the “5 A's” to Help Manage Stress?

Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2022
What are the 5 A's to help manage stress
Learn the “5 A’s” to better manage stress, which includes avoiding, altering, adapting, accepting, and being active.

Almost everyone will encounter some level of stress regularly, so it is crucial to discover healthy strategies to manage and minimize its effects. While stress can feel overwhelming at times, you can control it once you understand what generates it.

The brain responds automatically to stress. You can anticipate stress due to a previous experience, such as a doctor's appointment, a traffic delay, or a monthly work meeting. You can lessen the stress caused by these situations (stressors) by changing how you react to them.

In order to better manage stress, you should utilize the “5 A’s,” which include:

  1. Avoid
  2. Alter
  3. Adapt
  4. Accept
  5. Active

“5 A’s” to help manage stress

  1. Avoid
    • Some types of stress are unavoidable, such as stress-induced by death, disease, or an accident. Other stress caused by carelessness or postponement is avoidable. You must address an issue or a task as soon as it raises. If it is postponed, an important task may turn into an urgent one, increasing stress levels in your body. Prioritizing important tasks avoids unnecessary stress.
    • Take control of your environment and make changes if they are causing you stress. If that bit of news stresses you out, close the app, set your phone away, and drink some water.
  2. Alter
    • Stress may be caused by situations that you usually address as your daily routine. For example, you handle various meetings in a day. However, situations, where you have back-to-back meetings arranged and discover that one of them will take place across town will spike your stress levels. Rather than becoming stressed, seek for variables that may be altered to change the situation, such as postponing one meeting or changing the venue of one appointment.
    • 2 ways to achieve this:
      • Have a well-balanced schedule: When the level of stress exceeds your ability to cope, you enter a state called burnout. The reasons could be you want to accomplish so much in less time, manage something that is out of your hand or do all things on a long to-do list that you are unable to fulfill. Making a schedule for your day is the greatest method to get this straight. Make sure it is well-balanced with work, family, pleasure, and some solo activities.
      • Express your feelings out: It is crucial to express your emotions rather than keep them bottled up. Do not end up using 'I' statements. For example, if you are being disturbed by any activity done by your sibling, such as playing loud music when you need your utmost concentration to finish your office work, you may ask them to put on earbuds and let them know that you are doing something important rather than stressing yourself.
  3. Adapt
    • Recognize that things happen, plans alter, and emergencies occur. Take a big breath, keep calm, and deal with it when they occur. If a stressor cannot be avoided or changed, adjust as best as you can and continue regardless of the circumstances.
    • Adapting to stressful conditions can help you gain control of the situation.
      • 5*5*5 rule: Though it is ideally an anger control method, it helps you see the big picture. Before you become stressed, wait for 5 minutes and consider whether it will matter to you in the future 5 years. Do not waste another 5 minutes if your answer is “no.”
      • Bend a little (compromise): It is acceptable if things did not go as smoothly as you had hoped. Don't worry about it. On some days, lowering your standards can help you feel less anxious about a specific issue.
      • Change your perception: Sometimes, you may perceive a scenario as stressful, but if you adjust the way you see the situation, you may get a different perspective on the circumstance. You will undoubtedly feel less frustrated and more joyful and content in each scenario if you do this.
  4. Accept
    • You must be ready to accept mindfully that you may experience stress from any source or situation. Instead of opposing or getting affected by an unchangeable situation, accept it and take steps to overcome it.
    • The following are some measures that can help you become more accepting:
      • Know your power: Know what you have control over and what you don’t. Resolve the things that are under control and not fret over the latter. Because things over which you have no control should not be stressed on, rather accepted as they are.
      • Look for opportunities: If the stressful situation is caused by anything outside of you, see it as a chance for personal growth. If it is caused by your own poor decisions, learn from it.
      • Learn to forgive: Forgiving is an act of liberation from all negative or negative energy. It is pointless to carry that sack of rage and hatred on your shoulders. Simply let go of it and you will feel lighter and kinder.
  5. Active
    • A brain, like a muscle, needs to be exercised to function optimally. Being active enhances your memory, mood, and sleep and reduces tension and worry. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the brain.
    • According to some experts, a walk for 10 minutes may release endorphins, which reduce stress.
    • Other strategies to stay active and boost cognitive processes include meditation, cooking, dancing, singing, listening to or playing music, playing cards, puzzles, and board games, and attempting to learn a new language.


17 Everyday Ways to Ease Depression See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

PainScale. The 4 A’s of Stress Management. https://www.painscale.com/article/the-4-a-s-of-stress-management

Rachel. The 4 A’s of Stress Management. Minute School. https://www.minuteschool.com/2017/10/the-4-as-of-stress-management/

Eneriz A. 5 Tips for Managing Stress in College and Staying Healthy. Azusa Pacific University. https://www.apu.edu/articles/5-tips-for-managing-stress-in-college-and-staying-healthy/