I frequently talk about layers of distress. An example might be when a child is struggling with a learning disability. The learning disability itself is challenging and problematic. When the child experiences frustration with themselves because they can't achieve what they want to achieve they may become angry. As the emotions begin to "pile up". The emotions are likely to become more and more difficult to manage, ultimately they may become deeply saddened by the situation, and will often experience shame. Who helps them deal with all of these emotions related to their learning challenge? Lets shift from the issue of an academic learning challenge. Lets look at what happens when we have anxiety. How do we add layers to the experience of anxiety? How do we ultimately make ourselves even more anxious. I have to admit I have learned a lot about anxiety over the past months from studying about the subject and from my own mindfulness practice. Dr. Russ Harris talks about a ""Struggle Switch", when discussing anxiety. When the struggle switch is turned on we try to stop ourselves from feeling anxiety which is natural emotion. As we try to stop the feeling we become frustrated and even more anxious, we may become angry and even criticize ourselves, we may feel shame regarding all of the emotions that we are now experiencing. With the "Struggle Switch" turned off, we don't fight against the feeling, We allow it to exist without reacting to the natural emotions. The practice of not judging our experience and not reacting to it is consistent with the teaching of mindfulness.