time, I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. That was the wake up call that I needed to change
some things in my life. Along the way, I have chosen some good techniques and some bad ones as
well. What follows are the techniques I use to keep the stress in my life under control. All of the
techniques do not work for everyone. When you search the Internet, you will find a lot of lists of
techniques on how to cope with your stress. I suggest you start by trying some of the techniques
that sound appealing to you, see if they work, and then expand on those techniques and add others
1. Nurture Yourself: What I mean by this is find time to do some things you enjoy. Get a
hobby, read, listen to music, be creative, have fun, or even volunteer. Take time out of your
daily grind and hectic schedule to do something that brings a smile to your face and warms
2. Take Advantage of Mini Relaxations: I have become a master of the power nap. A quick fifteen-minute nap and my system resets, reboots, and refreshes. This may not be the ideal
technique to use at work, but when you get home from a stressful day, a quick power nap
can revitalize you to spend time and focus on the people most important to you: your
3. Identify Sources of Stress: Learn to identify what people, things, or situations are causing
your stress level to increase. Find ways to limit or even eliminate these stressors from you
4. Breathe Easy: When you feel like you are about to blow your stack, STOP, and take several
slow, deep breaths. I usually give an eight count to one breathe in and one breathe out. You
should use deep breathing from your diaphragm at this time. Make sure your stomach is
rising, not just your chest cavity.
5. Address Tensions Head On: When you feel your muscles tensing up, nip it in the bud right
then with some relaxation techniques. A good immediate technique is progressive muscle
relaxation. Starting with your toes, relax every part of your body systematically until you
reach your head. Do not move from one part to the next until that part feels relaxed. Also
try a hot bath, Jacuzzi, massage or the sauna to help relax those tired, tense muscles.
6. Laugh It Off: One of the best ways to deal with stress is to find something funny and
just laugh the stress away. Laughter releases endorphins to improve your mood while
decreasing cortisol and adrenaline, tricking your nervous system into making you happy.
7. Be Mindful: Mindfulness incorporates physical and mental exercises that prevent stress
from becoming a problem in the first place. Yoga and Tai Chi are great programs that
teach this mindfulness. Mindfulness also means being aware that your stress management
techniques are not being detrimental to you while relieving your stress. Make sure you are
not over eating or binge drinking to help deal with your stress.
8. Focus on the Moment: The present is a gift; treat it as such. Take time to notice the things
each day that most people take for granted. Live each day as if it is on purpose.
9. Get Help when Needed: No person is an island. Know your limitations and live within in
them. When you need help, ask for it or learn to delegate when you can.
10. Exercise: I know it is the one word we all hate to hear and the one activity we will come up
with the most excuses to avoid, but exercise everyday even for a minute. If you are a cubicle
clone take a few minutes every hour to stretch something. Every couple of hours, get up
and walk around for a few minutes. These small moments will allow your body to reset and
Find what techniques work for you and start reducing the stress in your life. I live my life by two
simple rules now: 1. Don’t sweat the small stuff and 2. It is all small stuff. Life will continue to
move forward whether you are stressing about your situation or dealing with it. So just deal with
it. We make the choice everyday how we are going to live our lives. Choose to live your life in a
positive way and make the world a better place for someone else.
Leadership Team Member
Choe's HapKiDo Karate of Cumming and Suwanee
3020 Old Atlanta Rd.
Cumming, GA 30041