Free Training Resources, Games, Roleplays, Activities & Downloads

Current Articles

Get Updates to Exercise Database by Email  

Stress Management: Glass of Water

Stress Management: Glass of Water
Exercises, Stress Management, Goal Setting, Change Management

Article Rating:::: 67 Ratings :::: Monday, October 5, 2009


In this exercise, delegates explore the implications of stress and how it affects their workflow. In 1936, Hans Selye carried out extensive research on stress. He found that the body goes through 3 stages during distress:

  • The body is alarmed
  • The body’s resistance is increased
  • The duration of the distress causes exhaustion.

These three stages are present in any stressful activity. If we want to get over our stress and reduce its impact, it is ideal to know which one of these is causing most of the problem so we can take steps to improve it.

This exercise uses a simple example to demonstrate the three phases.


Use a glass of water at arm’s length and observe your behaviour.

What You Need

  • A glass of water for each delegate.


  • Ask each delegate to pick up their glass and hold it at their arm’s length.
  • After about 2 or 3 minutes people start to experience the stress on all categories.
  • Ask them to observe their own stress and think which category is the strongest.
  • Some people like to boast about the fact that they are under stress. A bit of stress is good (which is known as eustress) and it focuses the mind. However, beyond a certain point, stress works against an individual’s productivity. The categories of being alarmed, resistance and exhaustion all apply to workplace stress as well.
  • Ask the delegates to provide an example from their workplace when they were stressed and compare that with their own experience when holding the water. What are the similarities? Was their workplace stress caused by exhaustion, body resistance or was it simply an alarmed state?
  • Run this exercise informally and encourage discussions.


Explaining the Test: 5 minutes.

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes.


What did you learn in this exercise? How can you manage stress? What do think of eustress versus stress?

Post Rating

Did You Find This Useful?

If you did, then please help others benefit from this too:

 Subscribe to Skills Converged   1. Receive updates to exercise database by Email.  
 Like Facebook   2. Like this training resource on Facebook.
 Circle Skills Converged   3. Share on Google Plus.
 Tweet Trainig Resources   4. Tweet this training resource
 Share Linkedin   5. Share this training resource on Linkedin


Islam Ahmed   By Islam Ahmed @ Wednesday, November 4, 2009 10:32 PM
i did not feel that this exercise will deliver the needed meanings.

SYED NAVEED UL ZAFAR   By SYED NAVEED UL ZAFAR @ Tuesday, January 12, 2010 12:44 PM
I second the islam's observation

Post Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)


Enter the code shown above:

Rate = 2.34 out of 5 :::: 67 Ratings.


Full Index of Training Exercises 

Browse the collection of 500+ exercises divided into 7 main groups. 

Download Free Exclusive Training Resources and Join Our Mailing List:

Train the Trainer Courses

Attend Our 2-Day Train the Trainer Course

Only two spaces left at the discounted early bird price for the September course. Save £150

Train the Trainer Book

Train the Trainer - Book Front Cover

Available on Kindle and as Paperback

Train the Trainer Self Study Course

Body Language Guide

Free Giveaway Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Download Free Training Marterials