Life throws difficulties at us daily, sometimes hourly. When we face these difficulties it often seems as if a switch gets flipped, and we have a hard time coping. Dr. Russ Harris, author of the Happiness Trap, calls this the Struggle Switch. As soon as an uncomfortable emotion, painful feeling, or hurtful memory pops up in our mind or body, it’s like the struggle switch gets turned on, and we start to struggle with our experience.
Imagine anxiety rolls in. We often say something like… “Argh!! I have anxiety! I don’t like anxiety! I have to get rid of this anxiety!” Now, not only do we have anxiety, we have anxiety about our anxiety. It grows and grows. Then we often start to have anger about our anxiety (WHY IS THIS ANXIETY HERE?!), sometimes sadness about our anxiety shows up (I wish I didn’t have so much anxiety), and even guilt wants to get involved (There are people who have it much worse than me, I shouldn’t have this anxiety). The emotions build on each other and become increasingly amplified, creating a larger impact and influence on our lives. These out of control, larger than life emotions often lead us even further away from living the life we want. If we can learn to turn off the struggle switch, we can return to living a life that is based on our values, allowing us to pursue our dreams and goals. There’s no such thing as a life without anxiety or any of the other emotions for that matter. Emotions are natural, it’s a part of life for all of us. Next time a distressing thought, feeling, or emotion shows up do your best to just sit with it, not ask it to be anything different than it is, place no judgments upon it, and turn the struggle switch off. By giving your emotions space to exist, you are better able to take actions towards creating the life that you want to live. I help turning off the struggle switch. Contact me today to begin your healing journey!