A Glass Full of Water

You all know about the half empty or half full glass of water. By saying how you see it, you will understand if you are an optimist or not.

And if you would like another perspective on a half empty or half full glass, you can read Wynne’s post The Glass Is Refillable.

But what you are going to read here is something different that I saw recently in a simple, short but very effective video.

A professor during a lecture surprised his students by showing a full glass of water in his hand.  The students, who thought he would talk about the classic concept of a glass half empty or half full were amazed when he asked them about the weight of the glass. His intention was quite different, in fact he did not want to explain the concept of glass half empty or half full.

The answers were different and most of them could be considered acceptable. However, the explanation given by the professor was different and much deeper.

The weight of the glass depends on the time you will have to hold it. If you hold it in your hand for 5 minutes, it is very unlikely that you will have troubles. However, if you hold it in your hand for 2 hours, the arm will get tired. And if you hold it even longer, let’s say one day, the arm will be as if paralyzed and eventually the glass will fall.

The same happens with stress.  If you are under stress for a relatively short period of time you will have no side effects. But if you experience stress for weeks and months, you may eventually get sick.

The disease in this case would be of psychosomatic origins.

What is a psychosomatic disorder?

The word psychosomatic comes from the Greek psyche “soul” and soma “body”. A psychosomatic illness occurs when the mind creates an alteration of the body.

For example, imagine that you have a colleague, or a person you know, who often criticizes you.

Their criticisms are not sporadic, on the contrary they are recurrent enough to become a habit. This behaviour also creates a negative environment around you.

If you can’t get rid of this stress in time, you’ll accumulate so much negativity that it could cause side effects on your health. It would be like holding a glass full of water for a whole day.

This reality is unfortunately so common that it is even believed that some physical illnesses can worsen due to mental factors such as stress and anxiety. It is believed, for example, that conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, gastric ulcers, hypertension and many heart diseases can occur due to psychosomatic problems such as stress or anxiety.

I would like to recommend some techniques to reduce stress that could help you avoid health issues.

Physical activity, especially aerobic, such as walking, swimming, and cycling, is undoubtedly one of the best remedies for stress.

Breathing control, like using the diaphragm and slowing the respiratory rate, is another useful tool against stress.

Other activities may be: yoga, tai chi and meditation. In recent years, mindfulness has become popular. Mindfulness, by increasing the level of personal awareness, carries out an anti-stress action.

Obviously, a good massage that helps you increase the level of oxytocin, a hormone capable of counteracting cortisol – a stress hormone, is certainly effective.

As regards food supplement, magnesium is the anti-stress mineral for excellence, also because we are chronically deficient. Remember that a supplement is such because it must be complementary to a healthy diet. Therefore, don’t eat junk food!

What about you? What are the solutions you adopt to fight your stress?

For more antidotes to stress, please visit my blog Crisbiecoach.


29 thoughts on “A Glass Full of Water

  1. For some reason, the topics discussed here remind me of the Song Surface Pressure by Jessica Darrow from Encanto.

    Pressure, like a drip, drip, drip that’ll never stop, whoa🎶
    Pressure that’ll tip, tip, tip ’til you just go pop, whoa, oh, oh🎶

  2. I love the analogy of holding a glass of water for too long. That makes sense when thinking about the conditions I worked under for the past two years. Eventually the glass fell, so I walked away. I would add good time with friends – just going out to have some fun. Sometimes people forget to make that a priority. We are social creatures who need social interaction. Great post Cristiana 🙏

  3. What an interesting post! I love the different view on the glass of water – it’s brilliant. And you have such great actionable remedies, as always! Thanks, Cristiana!

  4. Super interesting!
    But what I couldn’t stop wondering… does standing two hours with a half-full glass in your hand, turn it into half-empty? Or maybe, after two hours, the half-empty glass seems more optimistic than the full one? Something to think about the rest of the day! Thank you!

  5. Fascinating take on the weight of the glass. I’ve experienced some of what you mentioned, so can confirm first-hand what you described about prolonged stress leading to health impacts. Love the suggestions you gave to counter that! We can’t always control the situations we’re in, but we can take action to improve our responses to them. Thank you for this great post!

    1. You are right when you say we can’t always control the situations we are in, but we absolutely can take action to improve our responses. Thank you for commenting!

  6. I’ve actually heard this theory before amd it’s so true. Some people can hold the same weight for longer periods of time but in the end it’s all about how we carry things. We all need to do the best we can to take care of ourselves and one another. 🥰❤️

  7. Your post is eye opening, thank you for that.

    The way I deal with stress is;
    1. Accepting that am stressed, so I limit the activities I take part in.
    2. Removing myself from the stressful environment if possible.
    3. Trying to distract myself by watching something funny.
    4. A good rest always gets me back on the right track.

  8. What a wonderfully rich post, Cristiana; thank you so much for sharing it with us! Meditation has long been my “go to” when it comes to alleviating the effects of stress, but it’s never to combat it; for I believe that what we resist, truly does persist. I’ve also found that self-inquiry into the nature of the “i” experiencing stress (and not relenting until a true answer is found) invaluable. The thought of who “i” am, when investigated deeply, falls like a shakey house of cards.
    I’ll be looking forward to your next post!

  9. Great analogy of the effect of long term stress. A fun way to experience that effect is to watch or join in a stein holding contest. Contestants must extend their arm holding a full stein of beer and see how long they last. Things get interesting pretty quickly 🙂

    1. I didn’t think about a glass full of beer. Maybe you just can’t wait and drink it without hesitation! I think you won’t be stressed afterwards! Thank you for the idea 😉

  10. Psychosomatic disorders are amazing. I am always impressed by how important our state of mind is, to the point where it can even cause physical illness if our mind isn’t in the right place. I know a lady, a friend of my mom’s, who felt so so sad after a tragedy in her family that it literally hurt her heart. LITERALLY. She complained that her heart was breaking both literally and metaphorically. She finally went to the doctor for this persistent chest pain and it turned out she was suffering a mild heart attack. Her grief had triggered a heart attack! That just blew my mind.

    1. It happened the same to me for a different reason. Apparently heart is very fragile, both physically and metaphorically. Thank you for sharing this story!

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