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A psychology professor stood in the front of a class holding a glass of water, the students anticipated the typical “glass half full, or half empty?”

To their surprise, the professor asked, “how much does this glass weigh?”

Students shouted answers ranging from 200 – 600 grams.

She replied, “From my perspective, the weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for one or two minutes, it’s light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight may make my arm ache, if I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp and feel completely numb, forcing me to drop the glass on the floor.

So, the conclusion is, the longer you hold it, the heavier it feels.

The stress and worry in your life are like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens, think about them a bit longer, and you begin to ache. Think about them all day, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything until you drop “them.”

As a human, we are all familiar with stress and how this may feel, whether that stress is paralyzing or the stress is consuming all thoughts in your mind.

Stress is our natural response to danger, and if not managed – can lead to long-term health effects. If you can feel stress in your body, listen to your body because it is RIGHT.

As Coach Liane had discussed in a recent newsletter, stress is a hormonal response from the body. Stress starts in your brain (hypothalamus) and sends signals through your nervous system, into your kidneys. This ultimately leads to the release of stress hormones into your entire body, which is why stress may feel paralyzing at times.

If you allow “the glass to remain full in your hand for long periods,” this will eventually lead you to the most common types of mental health issues linked to stress, depression, and anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

3 Ways to Reduce Stress Immediately

1.     Accepting Your Needs

Recognizing what situations or triggers are making you feel like this, awareness allows you to reason and cope with it.

2.     Managing Your Time More Efficiently

Prioritizing, creating a routine, and a schedule ensures that you don’t feel overwhelmed by tasks or deadlines.

3.     Exercise and Relaxation

Fresh air, movement, and time to breathe before or during your day ensures you are calmer and are in more control of what you are thinking and feeling.

Stress is a controlled response to internal and external stimuli, and we have the choice of how we manage our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions.

Alicia Williams | High Performance Coach 

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