A client sent me this insightful story [I am unable to give credit since there was no reference]:
“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?’ The answers called out ranged from 8oz 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 stress and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for 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.’ Always remember to put the glass down.”
She was inferring that worries are as important as we make them; they get heavier the longer we hold onto them. Does this match your experience?
Remembering to “put the glass down” especially when worried is the hard part, isn’t it? Here are a couple of options:
Identify what you are worried about
Take an inventory of your current worries. Without bothering to prioritize them, record all your worries that bother you right now. For example: I am worried about ___, and the worst case scenario is ___; I am also worried about___, and the worst case scenario is___.
Then, consider this list of worries as thoughts that can be challenged, rather than as facts to be lived. Is the imagined worst case scenario real?
Block out a time to worry…. Then move on
To interrupt a worry cycle, designate a block of time today to worry about your concerns. At the end of the allotted time, say, “That’s enough!”, and move on with your life. You can always choose another small block of time devoted entirely to worrying. When the time is up, pull the plug on it.
Please share what have you found helpful to interrupt a worry cycle.