Stress Management

Manila Bulletin, July 30, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Stress Management


Byline: Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

A LECTURER, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20 grams to 500 grams. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

* * *

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management.

* * *

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

* * *

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can." So, my friend, why not take a while to just simply RELAX.

Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

* * *

In the gospel, we read how the Lord Jesus Himself realized the need for Himself and His disciples to take a break. He thus invited His disciples to "a lonely place by themselves, and rest awhile" (Mk 6:30).

They had been so busy, the evangelist St. Mark tells us, that they had no time even to eat.

No one had a more important and urgent mission than did Jesus, and yet He knew that important things cannot be accomplished overnight and without quiet. That was Jesus' idea of "stress management."

And if Jesus, the miracle-worker, did it, how much more we weak mortals.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. Homily's Worth. One beautiful Sunday morning, a parish priest announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands three homilies -- a R200 homily that lasts five minutes, a R100 homily that lasts 15 minutes, and a R20 homily that lasts a full hour.

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