Think about a time when you have been overwhelmed by stress. Was it easy to think clearly or make a rational decision? Probably not. In order for you to engage your emotional intelligence, you must also be able use your emotions to make constructive decisions about your behavior. When you become overly stressed, you can lose control of your emotions and the ability to act thoughtfully and appropriately. What should one do in this situation? Read on…
A trainer walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she did so, she raised a glass of water. Everyone expected they’d be asked the old “half empty or half full?” question. Instead, she asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”
The answers ranged from 8 oz to 16 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. What’s important is how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not heavy. 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 be numb and feel paralysed. 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 paralysed—incapable of doing anything”.
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. Put your burdens down when you can. Don’t carry them for hours and days and months.
Remember to put down the glass!