One thing I’ve learned over the years is how damaging stress can be in your life. I’ve watched people get so weighted down by stress that it made them physically ill, turn to addictions, and/or steal all joy from their lives just to name a few. I am no exception when it comes to the negative effects of stress. Mastering the art of a stress free life is not an easy task. Sometimes understanding how stress works helps us learn to deal with it better, perhaps this short explanation can offer some insights.
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
It makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? It also makes you begin to think about how you can change the way you deal with stress. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I find comfort in these scriptures. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 6: 25, 26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 10:30 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Meditating on scripture helps as does sitting in silence, focusing on your breathing and listening to God whisper to your heart. Everyone’s comfort level and stress factor is different and what works for one may not work for another. Please share what works for you as it may help someone else find a new way of managing their stress. It may be just what they need to put their glass down.