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Mark Gorkin, LICSWMark Gorkin, LICSW
A Blog about reducing Stress in our lives.

Natural SPEED: Stress Resiliency Shrink Rap™: Safe Stress Survival Strategies

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc") Updated: Aug 4th 2014

musical notesWriting lyrics allows me to "do more with less": incorporating numerous ideas and images using fewer words. The challenge, of course, is to be clear and creative (with a touch of the comedic) while also being concise. This is a revised version of "Stress Resiliency Shrink Rap"™ that I shared recently. I've now expanded the "Five 'P"s of Passion Power" - being Purposeful-Provocative-Passionate-Playful along with the synergistic synthesis, being Philosophical.

Natural SPEED:  Stress Resiliency Shrink Rap™: Safe Stress Survival Strategies

Are you the "poster child" for stress and duress?
Should you try Prozac? Is it time to confess
To Ebay shopping - which may be a warning
When you're clicking madly at three in the morning?

But relax, have no fear...
The Stress Doc is here. So lay worries to rest…
Now listen and learn to Practice Safe Stress!™

As you sprint to the wire with blood pressure higher
Timeless mind-body tips to heed
For slowing down, getting feet on the ground
And building Natural SPEED - Sleep-Priority-Passion-Empathy-Exercise-Diet.

Now don't be cheap with your need for "Sleep."
Maximum learning must be REM deep
To be a beauty with mental acuity
Not that snooze-button bashing BLEEP!

For when it comes to daily slumber
All night gaming is dumb and dumber.
You may call me a grouchy old toad:
"Pull the d_ _n plug on 'just one more' download."

Chorus: When it comes to stress - it's a lock
Who you gonna get - the Stress Doc!

Did you know that sleep adversity
May be related to obesity?
Does sneaking and snacking mean values are lacking
Or a health issue needing attacking?
Forever "burning the candle" is not just a scandal -
More a waxy shellac that fuels brain-clogging plaque.

And who knew the "S"-word was also allied
With that tempting "S"-pair - a deadly Bonnie and Clyde.
Alas, "S & S" mania oft riddles sleep criteria
As sly friends "Salt & Sugar" excite one's insomnia
While Old Father Time and your family history
Weave deep-rooted drama and medical mystery -
Perhaps diabetic disorder, a staged trifecta:
First act, silent high blood pressure
Next, a warning: mini-stroke ischemia.
(Resist lifestyle changes…risk another seizure.)
And last, who can forget early onset dementia.
Tell me…have I finally captured your attentia???

So, can you get seven hours, at least
Without an Ambien or Bud-Lite feast?
(Or make one for the road a pie a la mode.)
Why not mind travel down a pine-scented road.
Or let sounds of the ocean sing a lullaby potion.
Gently sway to the chords - "deep sleep of peace"
Fast food for thought brings no dreamy release…

When stress from your head still crawls into the bed
And virals as a nightmarish beast...
Despite what you think you'll need more than a shrink:
How do you find - without losing your mind…?
Hey, it's a snap, there must be an app
For a "multi-HYPER-texting 'n tubeing-always on-Facebooking-
Virtual nutritionist-Skype-savvy exorcist (just for the hell of it) Priest!

Chorus: Ready to confess - join the flock
Who you gonna get - the Stress Doc!

"P" stands for "Priority"
You can't do it all every day.
Urgent means now but important can wait.
Do you know how to "N & N"? -
Just say "No and Negotiate!"

Now I hope you'll pardon my asking:
"Must you always be multi-tasking?"
Oh, it's just me, honey, your Energizer Bunny.
Running from quiet, your life is a riot.
Hmm…what is that "ADD" masking?

Chorus: Is your life a mess? - you need a rock
Who you gonna get - the Stress Doc!

Another "P"-word is "Passion"
And we're not talking sex, shoes, or fashion.
Don't try to impress, better…
Learn to play chess
Or dig, dream, and dance in your garden.

"E" is for the "Empathy"
Found in a caring shoulder.
But all give without take is a big mistake
For now you shoulder a boulder.

Find a stress buddy who knows TLC
Someone honest and self-aware -
One who gives "Tender Loving Criticism"
Yet also takes "Tough Loving Care!"

Chorus: Doing more with less - better take stock
Who you gonna get - the Stress Doc!

The second "E" is for "Exercise"
Start pumping iron or those thighs.
You may not need SSRIs.
Try thirty minutes of non-stop spin
For your mood uplifting endorphin.

Being fit physically
Goes beyond stress resiliency.
Try this new math for a more vital path:
Pumped up brain agility
Times emotive tranquility
Now equals mind-body integrity!

And, finally, "D" is for a healthy "Diet"
Alas, many would rather die than try it.
To manage foods so often craved
Grieve, "let go," and then be brave
Sending diet fads to an early grave.

So eat those fruits and veggies
Try omega fish and bean protein.
For too much fats and sugar
Excess alcohol and caffeine
Is a rollercoaster formula
For a brain-fogged and artery-clogged machine.

Chorus: When it comes to stress - you're on the clock
Who you gonna get - the Stress Doc!

It's time to end this Shrink Rap
With final tips for you -
"A firm 'No' a day keeps the ulcers away, and the hostilities too."
So to lessen daily woes, "Do know your limits; don't limit your 'No's!"

Ponder this Stress Doc wit and wisdom
Try to live it day after day:
Burnout is not a sign of failure
You simply gave yourself away.

Remember, sometimes less is more
And more is really less.
Balance work and play, faith and love
And, of course...Practice Safe Stress!


Mark Gorkin, LCSW (

Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, acclaimed Keynote and Kickoff Speaker, Webinar Presenter, Retreat Leader and Motivational Humorist, is the author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger. A former Stress & Violence Prevention consultant for the US Postal Service, the Doc leads highly interactive, innovative and inspiring programs for corporations and government agencies, including the US Military, on stress resiliency/burnout prevention through humor, change and conflict management, generational communication, and 3 "R" -- Responsible, Resilient & Risk-Taking -- leadership-partnership team building. Email for his popular free newsletter & info on speaking programs. Check out his popular website -- -- called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). Stress Doc Mantra: "Think out of the box, perform outside the curve (the Bell Curve) and be out-rage-ous!"

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