Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stress (from Cancer and Other Things)

I saw this on a lymphoma group on Facebook this morning, though it's made the rounds for a few months (and it's usually cited as "source unknown," so I can't give proper credit):


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!


I know that's easier said than done for lots of people -- maybe most people. But sometimes I think it's easy to worry about what might happen, rather than what it happening. There's a difference between preparing for what comes next and focusing on the worst possible outcome.

I've written many times before that, with a wife, three double-digit-aged kids, a full-time job, and an insane dog, I am a very busy man. And I consider myself very lucky to be so busy. I have all of those people and things to care about, and to care about me, and the good health to stay busy enjoying them.

I wish all of you the good health and busy-ness to not have time to stand around holding a glass of water.

(That story is aimed to two people in particular -- you probably know who you are....)


Anonymous said...

hey I think this is aimed at me too as Im the biggest worry wart! thank you for this inspiring post, i'll make sure that i remember this whenever i start to dwell on my negative thoughts - Jeanne

Lymphomaniac said...

I'm still trying to get my own wife to do it....