We can all benefit from taking an occasional break from our daily stress. Think about how much stress you are carrying around every day. While stress is inevitable in today’s world, how much you carry with you, and for how long, can have significant negative effects on your health.
I once heard the following analogy, which really put this topic in perspective.
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 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, “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.”
With this wisdom in mind, I offer you the following challenge: As early in the evening as you can, place all your burdens down in a lower kitchen cabinet so you won’t carry them through the evening and into the night. If you would like, pick them up the next morning when you are refreshed.
While this won’t completely eliminate your stress (which is virtually impossible anyway), it will give you a much-needed mental break, which can reduce the negative effects stress imparts on your health.
Teaching, parenting, and simply living can be stressful at times. That’s why I wrote my newest book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. If you’re looking for stress management advice, check it out. The book is available as a print book (Buy one and get a second copy free to give as a gift), as an eBook, and as an audio book at PiperPress.com.