See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work



Melli O'Brien



Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

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?


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.

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Get started today

Start your 7-day free trial
Or sign up with

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.