Carol and Sarah met for lunch at least one day a week. They were sitting in the park chatting, the sun was out, and it was a lovely day. Sarah noticed that Carol seemed particularly stressed today.
“What is wrong Carol?” Sarah asked.
“This and that,” then Carol went on to tell Sarah all the issues that she was having. Verbalising them sounded a little trivial, but all together they were causing her to be very stressed.
Sarah let Carol talk until she had nothing more to say.
Then she said.
“You know Carol, stress is like holding a glass of water”.
Carol looked puzzled.
“Stand up and hold one arm out, please. Carol”.
Carol stood up and held her arm out.
Sarah picked up her drink bottle and asked Carol to hold it in her outstretched hand.
“How heavy is the bottle of water in your hand”?
Carol looked at the side of the bottle. It was a 500ml bottle but it wasn’t full, so the water should weigh about 350grams plus the weight of the bottle, she thought.
“About 400grams I would say”, Carol said.
Sarah laughed as her friend tried to calculate the weight in her head.
How much do you think the bottle would weigh in 1 hour if you were still standing here holding it? And what about in 24 hours?
“The weight would not change,” Carol said thoughtfully, “but my hand would cramp. I probably wouldn’t be able to hold it at all in 24 hours”.
“Exactly,” Sarah said with a smile.
How Does This Relate to Stress?
Your stress is just the same. All those small little things by themselves weigh very little just like the water. For a short time, you can generally deal with them, and nothing much happens. As you hold on to them longer and add more too, they start to build and cause you great pain, just like a cramp would.
Your stress starts to build, and you start worrying too. It is important that you learn to deal with your stress. Find out the things you have control over, the things that need to change and the things that you need to let go.
If your arm is cramping because you are still holding onto yesterday’s bottle of water, (stress), it is time to decide to put that bottle down.
“You are a very wise friend,” Carol said. Feeling better for talking about the things that had bothered her.
Do you need help dealing with your stress?
Coaching is a great way to sort through the things that you can control, the things you need to let go of, and the things that you need to find ways to manage.
Pm me if you would like to know more about how coaching can help you!