When we’re stressed and worried, the advise to “just let it go,” can be easier said than done. It’s no secret that long-term stress poses a serious risk to our mental and physical health. But how do we minimize the effects of stress and “just let it go?” Is it even possible? I think it is very possible.
A short story I read about stress is quite apropos for this very topic. The story centers on what is perhaps the reality of stress, as well as a potential solution. Read on to learn more:
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!
– Author unknown
The lesson I learn from this story is that its more about dwelling on stress and ruminating over it, than it is on the actual source of the stress. If we allow ourselves to become consumed with stressing out, then we’re letting it rule our lives.
The simplest solution seems to be that at some point, we have to set our glass down — we have to stop worrying for as long as we can and let our minds and bodies heal a bit. I’m a firm believer in getting outside help when it’s needed. If ever stress should be too much to bear, we should never be afraid to get professional guidance.
I hope you’re not stressed, but if you are, try to set down the glass for a while. Take some time for you and clear your mind of what ever is causing you stress and anxiety — relax, breathe, rejuvenate!