Using just a glass of water, a teacher teaches a powerful lesson in letting go

“How heavy is this glass of water?”

It was a simple question posed by a professor to his students. This video originally came out in 2019 but was recently reposted by @thementorhouse on TikTok and went viral again.

The students started guessing. 8 ounces? 12? 16?

Their answers all received a nod from the professor, as the lesson was not about physics. It was a matter of stress.

With gentle sincerity, he told the class, “The absolute weight of the glass doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, nothing happens. If I hold it for an hour, my arm will start to hurt. If I hold it all day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. Although the weight of the glass has not changed, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

Nods fill the room and the professor continues.

“Life’s stresses and worries are like that glass of water. If you think about it for a little while, it’s okay. You think about it a little longer…it starts to hurt. You think about it all day long and you’ll feel paralyzed, unable to do anything.”

Placing the glass on his desk, the professor concludes: “Never forget: put the glass down.”


POWERFUL story about stress.

♬ original sound – The Mentor House

This video appears to be a staged recreation of a lesson originally taught by a female psychologist (or at least that’s how the story goes). However, the moral remains the same: carrying the burden of past memories – or fears for the future – causes unnecessary pain. Find a way to lighten the emotional load or you will be weighed down and unable to move freely.

Letting go sounds easy in theory. But that’s often easier said than done. PTSD, chaotic homes, and unfair systems make stress almost inevitable. There are, however, tried-and-tested ideas for “putting the glass down”, even when it’s difficult. Things like:

  • Write down your negative thoughts
  • Call a trusted person
  • Walking in nature
  • Cuddles with a four-legged friend
  • Listen to stimulating and inspiring music

Whatever glass of water you’re holding back at the moment, putting it aside, even momentarily, whenever possible, might be the best way to overcome it. After all, everyone deserves a lighter load these days.

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