In a stress management class, the instructor came in with a glass half-filled with water. Almost everyone thought that they’d be asked whether the glass is half empty or half full. Instead, the instructor asked the audience to give their best guess as to how heavy the glass of water is.
Answers varied within the range of 10 to 20 ounces of water. Some even guessed absurdly, saying that it may weigh up to a liter. When everyone has the chance to give their rough estimates, the instructor explained:
“The exact weight of the water isn’t really important because that will depend on how long you will hold it. For instance, if you hold this glass of water for a minute, it doesn’t seem to heavy, does it?”
Everyone in the room agreed.
“However,” continued the instructor, “If you will hold it for an hour, your arms will start to ache. If you will hold it for the entire day, your arms will feel numbed and paralyzed. In reality, the weight of this glass with water doesn’t change at all, but the longer you’ll hold it, the heavier it will be.”
She then concluded, “The stresses and worries of our lives are like this glass of water. If you will think about them for a while, it won’t affect you that much. But, if you will think about them a bit longer, they will start to hurt a bit. Ultimately, think about these stressful situations all day long and you will feel paralyzed; that is, incapable of doing anything.”
So, the best way to deal with stress? Don’t think about it too much. Put the glass down, so to speak. For the next day will have its own stressful situations, today’s stresses are enough for the day.