Dr. Russ Harris discusses this concept, “The Struggle Switch” describing a switch in our brain that occurs when an uncomfortable emotion, painful memory, or painful feeling comes up. He gives the example of anxiety. When anxiety shows up, our struggle switch goes on trying to figure out how to get rid of our anxiety. The panic continues as our anxiety grows and grows. Perhaps, new feelings follow due to our struggle with the anxiety like anger, sadness, guilt, etc. Because of the struggle switch, our emotions become amplified which sometimes pulls us into self defeating behaviors.
So how do we switch off the struggle switch? When the struggle switch is turned off, when uncomfortable feelings arise instead of struggling with it, we simply do not. We acknowledge it and invest it into meaningful life enhancing activities such as spending time with our family and friends. These emotions then tend not to get amplified by other emotions which allows it to move freely through our bodies.
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