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By acceptance, I don't mean resignation. I don't mean, 'If you think you can't do something, accept it' - that would be giving up rather than accepting. I'm talking about your experience from moment to moment.

For example, when you feel pain, whether it's physical, such as a painful shoulder, or mental, such as depression or anxiety, the natural reaction is to try to avoid feeling the pain. This seems very sensible, because the sensation of physical or mental pain is unpleasant. You ignore it, distract yourself, or perhaps even go so far as turning to recreational drugs or alcohol to numb the discomfort. This avoidance may work in the immediate short term, but before long, avoidance fails in the mental and emotional realm.

By fighting the pain, you still feel the pain, but on top of that, you feel the emotional hurt and struggle with the pain itself. Buddha called this the 'second arrow.' If a warrior is injured by an arrow and unleashes a series of thoughts like, 'Why did this happen to me?' or 'What if I can never walk again?' that's a 'second arrow.' You may inflict this on yourself each time you feel some form of pain or even just a bit of discomfort, rather than accepting what has happened and taking the next step. Avoidance - running away - is an aspect of the 'second arrow' and compounds the suffering. Acceptance means stopping fighting with your moment-to-moment experience. Acceptance removes that second arrow of blame, criticism or denial.
A useful formula to remember is

Suffering = Pain x Resistance

The more your resist the pain you're experiencing, the more you suffer. The pain is already there. Resisting the pain compounds your difficulties. Acceptance teaches you to let go of the resistance and therefore ease your suffering.

Perhaps when you're mindful, you feel bombarded by thoughts dragging you away again and again. If you don't accept the fact that your mind likes thinking, you become more and more frustrated, upset and annoyed with yourself. You want to focus on your mindfulness practise, but you just can't.

In the above example:

First arrow: Lots of thoughts entering your mind during mindfulness practise.

Second arrow: Not accepting that thoughts are bound to come up in mindfulness; criticising yourself for having too many thoughts.

Solution: Acknowledge and accept that thoughts are part and parcel of mindfulness practise. Let go of your resistance. You can do this by gently saying to yourself, 'Thinking is happening' or 'It's natural to think' or simply labelling it as 'thinking thinking.'
Find the balance of eating enough while still being able to lose weight. If you eat too little, your body will freak out and plateau, and if you eat too much, your body will store the extra calories and you will also stop seeing results. While it sounds frustrating and complicated to try to figure out your body's equation, keep in mind that this climb is not a race! It's okay to take your time when making your way up Mt. Weight Loss. What matters is that you're moving in the right direction, not how fast you reach the top. Another food-related factor that can contribute to a plateau is not eating the right things. Not all calories are created equal. <br /><br /> One hundred calories from an apple is not the same as one hundred calories from a candy bar. While some people like to argue that fifteen hundred calories of fast food is no different from fifteen hundred calories of healthy food . it is different. What makes up the calories is important and contributes to how your body breaks down and uses them. You can't outrun a bad diet. Some individuals are blessed with lightning-speed metabolism, and no matter what they eat, they will always have a six-pack under their shirt. <br /><br /> Sometimes life just isn't fair! But my guess is you are not that person. And what you eat matters. It matters a lot. Because if you're like me, fifteen hundred calories of fast food will not have the same impact on your body as fifteen hundred calories of healthy food. If you've never been one to watch the types of food you eat, and you simply pay attention to portion control and count calories . <br /><br /> can the types of food you're consuming really be the reason you're now at a plateau? Absolutely! Remember, our bodies change. And your body could be telling you, "Hey! I'm not a ten-year-old boy. I need real food. <br /><br /> Not fifteen meticulously counted cheese crackers." Think about what you're eating. It might be within the numerical equation your body responds well to, but now the type of food might need to be upgraded. A thousand pounds of dirt do not hold the same value as a thousand pounds of gold. Calories work in a similar way. What are you feeding your body, gold or dirt? Some academic once asked Demosthenes what the three most important traits of speechmaking were. <br /><br /> His reply says it all: "Action, Action, Action!" Sure, Demosthenes lost the inheritance he'd been born with, and that was unfortunate. But in the process of dealing with this reality, he created a far better one--one that could never be taken from him. But you, when you're dealt a bad hand. What's your response? Do you fold? Or do you play it for all you've got? <br /><br /> There's an explosion, metaphoric or otherwise. Are you the guy running toward it? Or running away from it? Or worse, are you paralyzed and do nothing? This little test of character says everything about us. And it's sad that so many of us fail--opting away from action. <br /><br /> Because action is natural, innate. You trip and fall right now, your body's instincts protect you. You extend your hands to break your fall, so you don't break your face. In a vicious accident, you go into shock but still manage to get your arms up around your face. That's where the term defensive wounds comes from. We don't think, we don't complain, we don't argue. <br /><br /> We act.
We have real strength--more strength than we know. But in our lives, when our worst instincts are in control, we dally. We don't act like Demosthenes, we act frail and are powerless to make ourselves better. We may be able to articulate a problem, even potential solutions, but then weeks, months, or sometimes years later, the problem is still there. Or it's gotten worse. <br /><br /> As though we expect someone else to handle it, as though we honestly believe that there is a chance of obstacles unobstacle-ing themselves. We've all done it. Said: "I am so [overwhelmed, tired, stressed, busy, blocked, outmatched]." And then what do we do about it? Go out and party. Or treat ourselves. Or sleep in. <br /><br /> Or wait. It feels better to ignore or pretend. But you know deep down that that isn't going to truly make it any better. You've got to act. And you've got to start now. We forget: In life, it doesn't matter what happens to you or where you came from. <br /><br /> It matters what you do with what happens and what you've been given. And the only way you'll do something spectacular is by using it all to your advantage. People turn shit into sugar all the time--shit that's a lot worse than whatever we're dealing with. I'm talking physical disabilities, racial discrimination, battles against overwhelmingly superior armies. But those people didn't quit. They didn't feel sorry for themselves. '' <br /><br /> They didn't delude themselves with fantasies about easy solutions. They focused on the one thing that mattered: applying themselves with gusto and creativity. We're all complicated people. We have multiple sides to ourselves--conflicting wants, desires, and fears. The outside world is no less confusing and contradictory. If we're not careful, all these forces--pushing and pulling--will eventually tear us apart. <br /><br /> We can't live as both Jekyll and Hyde. Not for long, anyway. We have a choice: to stand with the philosopher and focus strenuously on the inside, or to behave like a leader of a mob, becoming whatever the crowd needs at a given moment. If we do not focus on our internal integration--on self-awareness--we risk external disintegration. It is sad to consider how much time many people spend in the course of a day doing things they "have" to do--not necessary obligations like work or family, but the obligations we needlessly accept out of vanity or ignorance. Consider the actions we take in order to impress other people or the lengths we'll go to fulfill urges or sate desires we don't even question. <br /><br /> In one of his famous letters, Seneca observes how often powerful people are slaves to their money, to their positions, to their mistresses, even--as was legal in Rome--to their slaves. "No slavery is more disgraceful," he quipped, "than one which is self-imposed." We see this slavery all the time--a codependent person who can't help but clean up after a dysfunctional friend, a boss who micromanages employees and sweats every penny.
. I'm talking physical disabilities, racial discrimination, battles against overwhelmingly superior armies. But those people didn't quit. They didn't feel sorry for themselves.
This can also help with anxiety, something I've struggled with for years. A good reason to identify sub-groups is to provide the right supports to the right people. For example, we might identify in childhood those who would be most likely to experience anxiety or depression in adolescence and put in place efforts to increase their resilience and coping strategies. However behavioural sub-types haven’t proved very successful, beyond a simple characterisation of autism plus or minus intellectual disability and/or language impairment.