A professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students.

As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question.

Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?” Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it.

 If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.

In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.

She continued. “Your stresses and worries in life are very much 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 a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries. No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you.

If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to “put the glass down”. 

Today: Putting the Glass Down

One: What Are the Most Common Worries/Cares?

A survey by Beneden Health in the U.K. – The Top Ten Worries (counting down from #10 to #1) according to their survey: 

10. Diet
9. Job security
8. Rent/mortgage payment
7. Credit card debt
6. Low energy level
5. Overdrafts and loans
4. Overall fitness
3. Lack of savings/financial future
2. Growing old
1. Overweight

Three observations about the list:

Matt. 6:31 Therefore DO NOT BE ANXIOUS, saying, ‘What shall we EAT?’ or ‘What shall we DRINK?’ or ‘What shall we WEAR?

Matt. 6:32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father KNOWS that you need them all. ’(ESV)

Two: How Much Time Is Spent Worrying?

The SAME survey from the UK asked people how much time they spend worrying. Here’s what they found out:

It causes trouble with sleeping.

Three: How Do I Know If I Am Worrying 

We all like to be in control – Worry gives the illusion of control – We can wrongly think, “as I’m worrying about it, I can do something about it”.

Four: What Does Stress Do to Us?

Smithsonian Magazine 

We all feel stressed from time to time – it’s all part of the emotional ups and downs of life. Stress has many sources, it can come from our environment, from our bodies, or our own thoughts and how we view the world around us. It is very natural to feel stressed around moments of pressure such as exam time – but we are physiologically designed to deal with stress and react to it.

When we feel under pressure the nervous system instructs our bodies to release stress hormones including adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These produce physiological changes to help us cope with the threat or danger we see to be upon us. This is called the “stress response” or the “fight-or-flight” response.

Stress can actually be positive, as the stress response help us stay alert, motivated and focused on the task at hand. Usually, when the pressure subsides, the body rebalances and we start to feel calm again.

But when we experience stress too often or for too long, or when the negative feelings overwhelm our ability to cope, then problems will arise. Continuous activation of the nervous system – experiencing the “stress response” – CAUSES WEAR AND TEAR ON THE BODY.

Luke 12:25 And which of you by being anxious CAN ADD A SINGLE HOUR TO HIS SPAN OF LIFE? (ESV)

Five: God Knows What We Need – He Made Us

Is. 41:10 FEAR NOT, for I am with you; BE NOT DISMAYED, for I am your God; I will STRENGENTH you, I will HELP you, I will UPHOLD you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me YOU MAY HAVE PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV)

2 Tim. 1:7 for God gave us a spirit NOT OF FEAR but of power and love and self-control. (ESV)

Six: How to Put the Glass Down 

A: Become convinced that God doesn’t want you to worry 

Matt. 6:34 “Therefore DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)

Matt. 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST.

Matt. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Phil. 4:6 DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Phil. 4:7 And THE PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Rom. 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and PEACE AND JOY in the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

B: Know both God’s and your responsibility

Psa. 55:22 CAST YOUR BURDEN on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (ESV)

1 Pet. 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

1 Pet. 5:7 CASTING ALL YOUR ANXIETIES ON HIM, because he cares for you. (ESV)

Look at the different words that are used for the problems of life:

C: Think and talk the right stuff

Is. 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON YOU, because he TRUSTS IN YOU. (ESV)

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS. (ESV)

D: Give Him the Cares for Good 

Whenever care or anxiety comes, take it to Him quickly. Throw it all on Him and no longer carry it. He can cope with anything. Nothing is too big for Him to undertake or too small for Him to care.

EXAMPLE: Heavenly Father, I have been carrying this…