It depends on how long I hold it

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 oz. to 20 oz.

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 an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. 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 continued, “The stresses and worries in life 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. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

It couldn’t be more simply and vividly put across than the short passage above. One of my junior college teachers once said to us during a lesson that 70% of our worries will never come true. Don’t ask me, I have the slightly idea where she got the 70% from. She was my Physics teacher and yet she taught me a lesson in life which I will never forget.

Isn’t it true enough? Most of our worries are a waste of time and they didn’t come true most of the time. Worries can be useful especially those which we can do something about them. Instead of wasting time worrying, we might as well make change if it is within our abilities. If there is nothing we can do about them, we might as well accept them and do our best to make good use of them.

As for stresses, what have always been said is that a little stress is actually good and it gives us motivation to take action and move forward. Yet a lot of stresses, if not handle properly, do have their detrimental effects on our lives. This short passage is a wonderful illustration which I would make use of to remind myself about not holding on to stresses for too long; the glass of water will just get heavier and heavier.

Are you currently holding on to your glass or even glasses of water?

Photo Credit: Yogesh Mhatre
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