Friday, January 9, 2015

The Glass

A psychology professor walks around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raises a glass of water, everyone expects her to ask the typical “is the glass half empty or glass half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asks, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shout out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.

She replies, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shakes their heads in agreement, she continues, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed - incapable of doing anything else until you drop them. It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries. No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you. If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down."

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