Stress Management: Strength That Comes From Within

Stress Management

stress management:

strength that comes from within

Aaron Pylinski | Community Writer
Stress is a bodily response caused by mental, physical, or an emotional factor. The second century Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius said, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Power is a tricky thing. Some feel too much power is problematic, some feel powerless at the hands of someone else. Ultimately, you have the power to control your reactions to stressful situations.

“You can’t control anyone but yourself,” says Angela Finley, MPA, Prevention and Education Specialist of MCCS Iwakuni Behavioral Health.

One great tenet of military leadership is to know yourself and seek self-improvement. Within that, comes knowing when you are reaching your threshold in a stressful situation and dealing with it in the proper fashion.

Whether you are a military leader or not, you are the keeper of your own personal domain and no outside entity should hold sway over your disposition.

All that said, there are ways to identify stress, seek the proper solution, and move on.


General Stress:


Life Stress:

Death of a family member or friend
New additions to the family
Abuse Marriage or divorce
Interpersonal problems
Physical changes
Financial problems
Environmental changes
Changes in responsibilities

Work Stress:

Job demands
Lack of support
Relationships with coworkers or superiors
Poor communication
Lack of feedback
Lack of clarity
Changes in organizational structure Promotion/demotion
Long hours
Overall job dissatisfaction

Altogether, stress is caused predominantly by things you personally cannot control. Life is full of choices, though and when it comes to stress management, the choice is simple: let go of trying to control the things you cannot. Sounds easy enough, right? Not every time. When stress is reaching its zenith, it’s time to seek help. It may not always be easy to ask for help, but it is overall the best solution.


Not all solutions to stressful situations are found lying on your back in a counselor’s office. Here are some easy steps you can take to eliminate stress in your life.

  • Take time out at work. You don’t always have the time (or more importantly take the time), but getting that
    15-minute break away from your workspace and shooting the breeze at the water cooler can make a difference.

  • Deep breaths. It’s that easy, take deep breaths. If you’re not sure the proper way to do it, believe it or not, there
    is an app for that. We all have smartphones. Download a breathing technique app and zen away.

  • Step outside and take a break. Sometimes the best way to beat stress is to remove yourself from the situation.
    Get outside and get some fresh air, take a walk, or just sit on a bench and listen to the squirrels be merry.

Getting that immediate stress relief is great. Your head is clear, your energy levels are up, and you’re ready to tackle the rest of the day.

"You can’t control anyone but yourself."
- Angela Finley, MPA, Prevention and Education Specialist, MCCS Iwakuni Behavioral Health

But what about when you’ve been harnessing stress over time and you’ve reached that moment of release? Instead of lashing out at the world (or worse a co-worker or loved one), dig deep into yourself and see what you can do to improve that which you can control.

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, or even live a relatively stress-free life. Our gyms have an abundance of exercise options available. Everything from fitness classes to various weight rooms there’s pretty much a workout option for anyone.

Diet goes hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re cooking at home or eating out, the proper diet can also help eliminate or reduce stress.

Getting plenty of sleep is also something to take into consideration when looking to relieve stress. Anywhere from five to eight hours a night will make a huge difference in your disposition.

Add relaxation and meditation to your health diet and you’ll
be well on your way to a happier life. Taking 20 minutes out
of your day to meditate or just focus on relaxing will do
the trick.

Another stress relief tip that some may not think about is
social support. Humans are social creatures and having
that strong circle of friends goes a long way. It always helps
to have somebody on your side, someone who can help
you cope with the bad times, and be a sounding board
when you need it.

Sometimes all you really need is a like-minded individual to
listen to music with or get out with one of our Single Marine
Program functions. We’re a tight community here, it’s our
job to lend a helping hand to our neighbors and friends and
pick them up when they may need it most.


1. Take 40 deep breaths a day.

2. Regular undisturbed relaxation periods.

3. Exercise at least three times a week.

4. Eat sensibly. Remember, caffeine and alcohol add to stress just like gasoline to a fire.

5. Plan for growth in all aspects of your life.

6. Keep that PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).

7. Protect yourself from negative co-workers and relationships.

8. Remember, you can only control yourself.

9. Give compliments and smile. Sometimes being nice to others helps reduce stress.

10. Learn to listen.

If you still think you need assistance to get through stressful times, first off, good on you for recognizing the situation, and second, reach out to Family Advocacy or Behavioral Health to get help from the pros.


Anger Management Classes is for servicemembers and civilians and is provided by Family Advocacy.

“Got Your Back” is a new class with 5-6 sessions dedicated to creating a resilient life, provided by Family Advocacy.

“Within My Reach” is a Family Advocacy class that focuses on couples and individuals.

Schedule an appointment with a counselor. Sometimes it's best to just get things off your chest.

Marine Corps Family Team Building (MCFTB) offers Personal Development Workshops that include: basic anger management, basic stress management, conquering stress with strength, interpersonal communication, and conflict management.

The Single Marine Program (SMP) hosts numerous events throughout the year for single and unaccompanied servicemembers.


Counseling services are located in Bldg. 411 in Rm. 201 and are open 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday.
Community Counseling Program (CCP) Phone: 253-6553
Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Phone: 253-4526.
DSTRESS Phone: 253-7734.

Health Promotions is located at IronWorks North and can assist with finding the best exercise outlet for stress management. Their number is 253-6359 and their hours are 8 AM - 5 PM, Monday - Friday.

MCFTB is located in the Community Support Center in room 304B. Their number is 253-3542 and their hours are 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday.

SMP has two locations:

Hornet’s Nest is in Bldg. 1347 (by the Northside Marine Mart). Their number is 253-3585 and their hours are:

Monday - Thursday 4 AM - Midnight
Friday 4 AM - 3 AM
Saturday 8 AM - 3 AM
Sunday 8 AM - Midnight

Marine Lounge is in the Crossroads and their number is 253-5368. Hours are:

Sunday - Thursday 10 AM - 10 PM
Friday & Saturday 10 AM - 3 AM

Stress is manageable. Though you may not be able to control your environment, you can control how you react to it. Find your inner strength and take the power back, get out and enjoy time with like-minded individuals, and make the world a happier place because you’re in it.