Overcoming Stress-Learning To Let Go
September 11, 2023
During the weekend gone by, I was in a conversation with one of my coachees. He was grappling with interpersonal issues at his workplace, particularly ruminating over some troubling discussions with colleagues. He was feeling overwhelmed as the stress from obsessively replaying those interactions weighed him down.
As I listened to his concerns, I couldn’t help but think of a powerful analogy that holds the key to managing such situations.
Imagine you are holding a glass of water. In the beginning, it feels light, almost insignificant. If you hold it for just a minute, no problem at all. An hour passes, and your arm starts to ache. Hold it for an entire day, and your arm becomes numb and paralyzed. Here’s the irony: the weight of the glass itself hasn’t changed, but the longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes.
My young friend’s stress and worries were a bit like that glass of water. Clearly, he had fallen into the trap of obsessively holding onto those negative thoughts, allowing them to dominate his mental space.
“Stop holding on to the glass,” I told him. “Just as you wouldn’t hold a glass of water indefinitely, don’t hold onto negative thoughts and stress for longer than necessary. Put that glass down, release the burden of those troublesome interactions, and shift your focus to something pospuitive and productive.”
Stress and negative thoughts, much like the weight of that glass, can become increasingly burdensome the longer we hold onto them. Learning to let go, shifting our focus, and finding a more positive perspective can be the key to lightening the load and achieving a healthier, more balanced state of mind.
Learning to let go. It’s easier said than done, but something we should all look to do.