One of our favorite — and very practical — mindfulness teachings is that of the ‘two arrows.’
The reality is we have actual stress in our daily lives. For example, a looming work deadline.
This is the ‘first arrow.’
But then what do most of us naturally tend to do? Yup. We start freaking out about it.
I’ll never make the deadline. My boss will be mad. The kids keep interrupting and I’ll never finish. This isn’t my best work.
The stressful thoughts are seemingly endless.
These are the ‘second arrows’ we keep shooting at ourselves.
So, while there are very real circumstances (first arrow) that certainly do contribute to our daily stress, it’s our reaction (second arrow) to these conditions that primarily send us into overwhelm.
Mark Twain perfectly summed this up when he said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
The silver lining here is that this means we’re more responsible for our stress levels than we may have thought.
And, we can use our meditation practice to train our mind to better control our responses and reactions. We have a “Stress Less” program to help you master this in a week’s time. If you start today, you’ll be seeing things differently by next week — promise!