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

Stress Resiliency and Brain Agility through Sleep-Priorities-Passion-Empathy-Exercise-Diet Part I

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc") Updated: Jan 29th 2015

This is a "diversity in unity" poem: each letter of the SPEED acronym has a somewhat different poetic style and structure yet provides a united pathway for stress resiliency and brain agility (for kids of all ages).

Are you the "poster child" for stress and duress?
Do you need a lesson on "Practice Safe Text?"
Or is it too late…it's simply time to confess
To all night gaming - 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.

S is for Sleep

Don't be cheap with your need for sleep
For mind-body rest, sleep must be deep.
Turn off that tablet!!!
Fight "one more text" creep
If you must, go wail and weep
Then settle down…count virtual sheep
Just don't cheat your need for sleep!
P.S. I may not know your latest gadget
But I know about games under the blanket!

The Human Stain of Caffeine Brain

Have energy drain? Beware caffeine brain
Don't be a "Coke"-head or "Red Bull" pain
And your sugar highs give me "brain strain."
Is it ADD or
A craving for the fast lane?
The Energizer Bunny routine
Is getting lame.
I know one of us will go insane…
No more "Purple Heart Burnout Game"!

A Reflection on Meditation

Pull the plug on this crash & burn trap…
Why not short "Meditation" naps:
Close your eyes, hands in your lap.
Now deep breaths
While not a snap, do your daily laps…
Mind chatter clouds drift away ASAP
As inner peace fills your mental map
Pull the plug on that manic trap.

Nap Time: It's Not a Crime

"Naps are for kids"; don't buy that crap
Naps bridge the "kids of all ages" gap.
If at your school
The "M"-word causes flap -
"Meditation"…"airy-fairy claptrap"
Simply smile; no need to snap:
I'm getting tired from the same old rap
It must be time for my power nap!

Follow and Flow to Your Rainbow

Some final thoughts you might follow:
A good night's sleep consolidates info
At times revealing an Aha! "brainbow."
Give your mind-body time to lay low
Bring on that test…perform like a pro!
Burning both candle ends
Not the way to go…
Explore nightly dreams - your deep secrets show
Uncover a world of light and shadow
Learn to grow with nature's ebb and flow!


Editor's Note: You can find the other parts of the poem here:

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI


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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