Two Arrows

On Good Friday my whole family agreed to stay completely offline for the whole day. It’s actually easier than one would think it would be. It is after all, only one day.

I decided to use the day to relax and read one of the books I have recently read called “The Book of Joy”. If you follow my instagram and facebook account you’ll find that I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It was recommended to me by my little sister and my friend Eric.

The book discusses how to be joyful and how to tackle things that are difficult and how important it is that we respond mindfully to our circumstances rather than just reacting. To help the reader understand what is meant by this, the Dalai Lama related a tale of a man hit by an arrow. He discussed that no doubt, the man will feel that pain, but he can choose how to respond. If the man gave into his fears, these would cause him more pain, it would be like he was hit by a second arrow – of his own making.

It got me thinking – how often do I hit myself with that second arrow after I’ve been hit by the first? More importantly, what is my role in creating my own suffering? And how do I respond to my stress triggers in a more positive way – so to avoid hitting myself with the second arrow. One thing I found, that worked, was just going through the 8 pillars of joy – and weirdly – or perhaps not so weirdly – i found myself – happier. I think perhaps the first thing one should do to stop themselves from reacting badly is to identify what it is that stresses you out. Here are my 5 common stress triggers.

Stress Trigger #1: Something unexpected comes up on my to do list/ and unexpected change in routine

Stress Trigger #2: Fatigue

Stress Trigger #3: Overwhelm – Too much to do.

Stress Trigger #4:  Disagreements with others

Stress Trigger #5: Clutter

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