Mental health

How heavy is the glass of water?

At the start of a stress management class the psychologist taking the class opens the lesson by raising a glass of water above her head and proceeds to walk around the room.

After several minutes of silence, she poses a question to the students.


 How heavy is the glass of water?


 Students enthusiastically reply with a variety of answers to which the psychologist replies the weight isn’t really that important. The important issue is how long you decide to hold the glass of water for.

Holding it for a couple of minutes it is fairly easy to do without any real physical effort.

If you hold it for a couple of hours your arm will start to get sore.

If you hold it for a day your arm may go numb and you will probably be exhausted and find it difficult to function properly.

So, what’s the point of the story you may ask.

In each situation the weight of the glass is irrelevant.

In fact, the weight of the glass doesn’t change in each situation but the longer you decide to hold the glass for the more uncomfortable it becomes for you physically and mentally.

The stress that you face in your life is like the glass of water-the longer you decide to hold onto it the more uncomfortable it becomes and if you continue to hold it every day you will feel exhausted and incapable of functioning to your optimum level.

So, here’s a number of simple tips to help you stay calm and in more control.




  1. If you need caffeine swap your daily coffee for green tea-as well as containing caffeine green tea also contains a calming substance called theanine.


  1. Eat three meals a day and never miss breakfast. Remember breakfast is about ‘breaking the fast’ every morning to give you the energy to start functioning. Three meals a day helps to keep your blood sugar balanced. Your blood sugar dips either from not eating at all or snacking on sweet stuff. This triggers adrenaline release and creates stress.


  1. If you are going to snack avoid sugar loaded treats-instead opt for healthy snacks, fresh fruits, yoghurt, oatcakes and peanut butter or why not try hummus.


  1. If you are not a great sleeper then avoid caffeine after midday-this will improve your sleep.


  1. Meditate at night just before bedtime-this is when the mind goes into theta brainwaves which causes deep mental and physical relaxation which in turn reduces stress and anxiety levels.