Managing Anxiety: Turning Off the Struggle Switch

In this article, we will explore a powerful technique for managing anxiety and reducing unnecessary suffering. Imagine in the back of your mind there is a switch, let's call it the struggle switch. When this switch is on, you find yourself constantly struggling against physical or emotional pain throughout the day. Every discomfort becomes a battle to get rid of or avoid.

Let's use anxiety as an example. If the struggle switch is on, you will have thoughts like, 'I have to get rid of this' or 'Oh no, here's that horrible feeling again. ' The struggle intensifies your anxiety, making it even worse. You might also experience secondary emotions like anger or depression, which drain your energy and vitality.

But what if you could turn off the struggle switch. By doing so, you can free yourself from unnecessary suffering and regain control over your actions and energy. When anxiety shows up, you simply notice it without struggling. You acknowledge the physical sensations, the racing thoughts, and the scary stories your mind tells you. It's still unpleasant, but you've decided not to waste your time and energy on struggling. Instead, you focus on doing something meaningful.

With the struggle switch off, your anxiety levels are free to rise and fall naturally. Sometimes they will be high, other times low, and sometimes there will be no anxiety at all. The key is that you are no longer wasting your time and energy struggling with it. This approach allows you to live a more meaningful and energetic life.

Increasing Psychological Flexibility

Now that you understand the importance of turning off the struggle switch, let's explore some techniques to increase your psychological flexibility:

  1. Be in contact with the present moment: Practice mindfulness to be fully present and aware of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
  2. Clarify your values: Identify what matters most to you in life. Understanding your values helps you make decisions and take actions aligned with your priorities.
  3. Commit to workable actions: Determine what it takes to achieve your goals and commit to actions that are doable and realistic.
  4. Cultivate the observing mind: Recognize that there are two types of minds: the thinking mind and the observing mind. By shifting into the observing mind, you gain more control over your thoughts and worries.
  5. Practice diffusion: Use the diffusion skill to watch your thinking and detach from it. This allows you to follow your committed actions instead of getting caught up in anxious thoughts.
  6. Accept what is out of your control: Focus on the things you can control, such as your actions and attitudes, and let go of the things you cannot control.

By implementing these strategies, you can gradually turn off your struggle switch and manage your anxiety in a way that promotes a meaningful and energetic life.

Leave a Comment