smilingrid: how heavy is your stress?

January 19, 2014

how heavy is your stress?

My mom sends me some really awesome emails. I often initially scroll past them (because they contain the ever-dreaded FWD that still makes me cringe in preparation for chain mail), but when I do get around to opening the little treasures, they seem to be exactly what I need. 

The most recent piece of electronic inspiration came in the form of a story:

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'.. She fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. 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, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow.
This is incredible advice... mostly for its simplicity. It's only the first week back on campus, and I have already fallen prey to different stresses in classes and at work, even about how much sleep I'm going to get and when I'm going to work out this semester! 

I know I'm not the only student to react this way- to feel as though we have to do everything, all the time, and at a manic speed for fear that all of the things we've worked so hard for up to this point will crumble and float away like so much dust on the wind. We really need to put the glass of water down for a bit, and not feel guilty about saving ourselves that call for an ambulance. 

Remember this story with me this semester, okay? Let's start the year off with a healthy mentality!

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