It often seems like we've got a struggle switch at the back of our mind.
And as soon as an uncomfortable emotion a painful feeling or memory shows up it's like the struggle switch goes on and we start to struggle with.
So let's suppose anxiety shows up very common painful emotion that we all get to experience anxiety shows up.
The struggle switch goes on. Oh, here's anxiety. I don't like anxiety. I want to get rid of my anxiety.
Now I've got anxiety about my anxiety. So it's getting bigger. With the struggle switch on I now get Oh, my anxiety is getting bigger. How do we get rid of my anxiety?
Now I've got even more anxiety with the struggle switch on I may then get angry about my anxiety.
Why is this anxiety keep showing up? I hate this anxiety, then I might even start to feel sad about my anger. Oh, is this my life? Oh, and then I may start to feel guilty about my sadness about my anger. How pathetic Am I when there's starving kids in Africa.
With my struggle switch on, my emotions get amplified, I've now got guilt about my sadness about my anger about my anxiety about my anxiety.
And that kind of amplification of emotions gives the more impact and influence over my life and often gets me bogged down or pulls me into self defeating behaviors.
Now, what happens if I can switch off the struggle switch with the struggle switch off, anxiety shows up, and it's not that I like it or want it or approve of it, it's just, I'm not gonna struggle with it. I'm not going to invest my time, energy and effort in struggling with this anxiety.
Instead, I'm going to invest it in doing meaningful life enhancing activities, such as spending quality time with my friends or family or playing with my kids.
Now, with the struggle switch off, the anxiety is free to move.
It may get higher, it may get lower, it may move quickly. It may move slowly.
But the point is it's free to move. It doesn't get amplified by all of these other emotions, which make it kind of bigger and stickier and make it hang around for a lot longer.
There's no such thing as a life without anxiety. It shows up for all of us. But when anxiety shows up and the struggle switch is off, it's so much easier to live than when the struggle switching gears.