How To Manage Stress Calmly Without Making Things Worse

If you are a human being living on this Earth then you know that avoiding stress completely isn't a realistic goal.  But what we can do is make sure that we get through it with as little pain and suffering as possible.  In this week's vlog, I'm going to talk to you about how to handle stress calmly without making things worse, so that you can spend your time and energy doing what you really love, rather than wasting it on worrying or stressing!  So, if you tend to be one of those people like me who has a very busy mind that runs around like Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling, then this video is for you.

There is a concept that I learned about in grad school which I believe was originally derived from the teachings of the Buddha.  And what he talks about is this concept called "First Dart, Second Dart". What that means is that there is a certain amount of stress and difficult things that everyone is going to experience in life just as a matter of being human. And those are kind of unavoidable, so let's take an example of stubbing your toe. No matter how careful you are, at some point in your life you are going to trip, fall, stub your toe, etc. And that part of life is just inevitable. That's the first dart. I can't help you with that, I'm sorry.  Unfortunately, those things are just going to happen sometimes.

What I can do is help you with what happens after that.  Oftentimes, what happens next is that we create additional pain and stress for ourselves with the stories that we tell ourselves about something that happened after the fact. So the first dart is you fall and you stub your toe and it hurts. The second start is, "Darn it. I'm such a clumsy idiot. Now I've broken my toe. And I'm not going to be able to walk, and then I won't be able to go to work, and then I won't be able to make any money, and then I'm going to lose my apartment or my house, and I'm going to end up on the street and die alone, being the lonely bag lady pushing a shopping cart." Right?  That's where our internal Chicken Little takes over.  

Instead of just the first dart, which was the pain of stubbing my toe, how many extra darts have I now thrown at myself? What often happens is that life gives us an ounce of water to pour into our emotional sink, which is a measure of how much stress, anxiety, depression, etc. that we can handle.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, download the free guide below where I talk about how to create balance in your life, so that you don't end up with an overflowing emotional sink.)

So, life will hand us an ounce of water to pour into our sink and what we do is we throw all these additional darts at ourselves and we end up adding a gallon of water to where there was only an ounce. And so if you're one of those people, that has a very busy mind, and notices that those stories happen after something painful occurs, take a look at my free guide below.  It contains a whole lot of tips and tricks for how to deal with stress: how to catch yourself when you're throwing extra darts, how to calm your busy mind when you notice that you're throwing extra darts, and how to put the darts down, when you notice that you are adding extra water to your sink that you don't need to be adding.

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If you notice that you often spend time throwing darts at yourself and that's causing your emotional sink to overflow, check out the tips in this free guide to help you put down the darts and calm your busy mind.