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Turning Off Your Struggle Switch

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the idea of the struggle switch, which is a really wonderful metaphor taught by best-selling author, Dr. Russ Harris. So I want you to imagine that in the back of your mind, there is a struggle switch. And what it does is that every single time anything uncomfortable or unpleasant arises in your present moment experience, whether it's a painful emotion, experience or memory, the struggle switch goes on.

So let's say, a painful emotion arises, loneliness, for instance. A very natural emotion that we're all probably going to experience from time to time. As soon as that emotion arises, the struggle switch goes on. So we mentally start to resist what's happening. I don't want to feel this.

I hate this. I want this to go away. What's wrong with me? Why can't I just feel okay by myself? Right? So once we start to struggle with the loneliness mentally, we now actually start to amplify it and pile more layers of stress and suffering on top. Now, in this example, here we are we're getting angry at ourselves for the loneliness. We're getting anxious about the loneliness.

And you know, what's wrong with me? Why am I feeling this? Adding shame to the loneliness, that feeling of unworthiness. So now with the struggle switch on like this, as we continue to mentally struggle with it, the emotion actually tends to get bigger and stay around longer. So with the struggle switch on, we automatically struggle with every unpleasant experience and emotion that comes along. And when we do, our stress and our suffering get amplified. But if we can learn to turn off the struggles switch, then when any difficult emotion or experience arises, we simply don't add fuel to the fire.

It's not that we have to like it or want it. It's simply a choice not to struggle with it because we don't want to add more suffering to our already difficult moment in our lives. So now there's no such thing really as a human life without difficult emotions. They happen to all of us as a natural part of the flow of life. But when they do show up and the struggle switch is off, things are much more easeful.

You know, much more easeful than living with the struggle switch on. And with the struggle switch off, we can accept that a difficult feeling is here. It may stay for a long time or just a little bit of time. We don't try to get it to move on quickly. We simply allow it to be there while we choose to get on with our lives in meaningful ways, whether that's, you know, spending time with loved ones, doing our work, or maybe watching a sunset.

So today the invitation is to see if you can turn your struggle switch off. In this way, when the unpleasant stuff happens, it doesn't get amplified. And instead the mind is free to engage in the stuff that really matters. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's now start to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Turning Off Your Struggle Switch

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the idea of the struggle switch, which is a really wonderful metaphor taught by best-selling author, Dr. Russ Harris. So I want you to imagine that in the back of your mind, there is a struggle switch. And what it does is that every single time anything uncomfortable or unpleasant arises in your present moment experience, whether it's a painful emotion, experience or memory, the struggle switch goes on.

So let's say, a painful emotion arises, loneliness, for instance. A very natural emotion that we're all probably going to experience from time to time. As soon as that emotion arises, the struggle switch goes on. So we mentally start to resist what's happening. I don't want to feel this.

I hate this. I want this to go away. What's wrong with me? Why can't I just feel okay by myself? Right? So once we start to struggle with the loneliness mentally, we now actually start to amplify it and pile more layers of stress and suffering on top. Now, in this example, here we are we're getting angry at ourselves for the loneliness. We're getting anxious about the loneliness.

And you know, what's wrong with me? Why am I feeling this? Adding shame to the loneliness, that feeling of unworthiness. So now with the struggle switch on like this, as we continue to mentally struggle with it, the emotion actually tends to get bigger and stay around longer. So with the struggle switch on, we automatically struggle with every unpleasant experience and emotion that comes along. And when we do, our stress and our suffering get amplified. But if we can learn to turn off the struggles switch, then when any difficult emotion or experience arises, we simply don't add fuel to the fire.

It's not that we have to like it or want it. It's simply a choice not to struggle with it because we don't want to add more suffering to our already difficult moment in our lives. So now there's no such thing really as a human life without difficult emotions. They happen to all of us as a natural part of the flow of life. But when they do show up and the struggle switch is off, things are much more easeful.

You know, much more easeful than living with the struggle switch on. And with the struggle switch off, we can accept that a difficult feeling is here. It may stay for a long time or just a little bit of time. We don't try to get it to move on quickly. We simply allow it to be there while we choose to get on with our lives in meaningful ways, whether that's, you know, spending time with loved ones, doing our work, or maybe watching a sunset.

So today the invitation is to see if you can turn your struggle switch off. In this way, when the unpleasant stuff happens, it doesn't get amplified. And instead the mind is free to engage in the stuff that really matters. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And let's now start to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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