Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

Remember your ABCs

Here is one way to understand stress and work to master it, the ABC approach.

  • A is for the "activating event" (or stressor)
  • B is for your "Belief system" and is what controls the emotion that we have in response to the activating event. Since we are in control of our beliefs, we can alter our consequent emotion.
  • C is for your "consequent emotion" (or stress response).

For example:

A, the activating event: A little old lady jumps ahead of you in line at the grocery store.

If B is "How rude! She is completely inconsiderate."

Then, C is likely to be a response that is angry and emotional.

BUT, if B is "How cute, she is so old, she doesn't realize she jumped ahead of me. It reminds me of my grandma."

Then C is likely to be a response that is warm and endearing to the little old lady.

Try to work with beliefs (or attitudes) that are empathetic to others and less judgmental.

More about becoming aware of your stressors and reactions

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