A Tip For Managing Stress – Put The Glass Down

How long do you carry your glass?

On a wall in my office there is a sheet of paper that is pinned up on a board. This paper has a short story that is related to how we tend to manage stress throughout the day. It’s very simple, but I find it to be a nice piece of imagery and it can serve as an ‘easy to digest’ resource to help others understand the impact that their stress has on their mind and body. There’s something beautiful about expressing a complicated idea in a simple way, so I wanted to share it with you…

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 to 20 ounces.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continues, “The stresses and worries in our lives are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. If you think about them all day long you begin to feel paralyzed and incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

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