She told me her middle name was “stress.” Two days of phone messages and emails to return, computer problems, missed deadlines. Kid issues. Spouse woes. Her list went on and on.
He said he glanced at his reflection on his computer monitor and noticed he had no neck. “No neck?” “Yep, my shoulders were so tight and clenched up, my neck disappeared." Ouch.
Haven't we all been there? Life situations creating such physical and emotional reactions that we become so wound up, we’re existing, not living.
It seems to be epidemic lately. The past few weeks, I’ve heard so many stories about stress that I thought is was a good time to share the following story with you….
REMEMBER TO PUT THE GLASS DOWN
(Credit: Knowable - Adrian Ionel and Jimmy Harmon)
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."
Remember to put the glass down.
I love this story. The hair on my arms raised with I first saw it. And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
Someone challenged the story, saying not all our problems can just be “put down.” And that’s true. There are some things that are BIG and need a lot of attention. But the vast majority of the time, there is a practical application to the tale.
We can Stop, Pause, Step Away and Distract Ourselves, even if just for a moment. We can recall something, however small, that we are grateful for - a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, sunshine, a beloved pet, the $4 won playing the lottery, that our kid needed stitches - only stitches.
Just like the glass of water, by stepping away you are putting it down. And even though you may only be able to put it down for a short while, that “awhile” refreshes, rejuvenates and gives us strength to go a little further, until we can “Put the Glass Down” again.
Know someone who would like this story? Feel free to pass it along. And as always, I welcome your comments!
Wishing you remember to “put the glass down,”
P.S. The stresses of life affect EVERYTHING. That’s why I work as an Integrative Health Coach, helping my clients sort through what’s going on around them, impacting the choices they make for their health, and their life. I can help you too figure out what’s getting in the way between you and better choices. Let’s have a chat about how coaching works and find out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now