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Ep 27 - Using different modes to manage uncertainty with Sam Swidzinski

Jan 27, 2021

How shifting his emotional states helped a psychology researcher survive challenging life events that were out of his control. 

What happens when your own emotions feel overwhelming in a situation you cannot control? And what about if you've learned through your environment that strong emotions are not welcome? 

In this story, Sam Swidzinski, a researcher focused on innovative therapeutic methods to support mental health, shares a unique experience of how shifting into different emotional modes has helped him manage challenging uncertain life events. 

For example, when it seemed like his life was up in the air as a teenager, having lost a number of friends and his sister diagnosed with a terminal illness, Sam needed a way to have some control in this challenging and incredibly uncertain environment. 

So he switched into a mode he calls "Samuel" a calm, monk-like, stoic type, to manage his life and his feelings. He has a more emotional mode, driven by passion and justice called "Adrian" and a more childlike, playful mode called "Sammy". 

Sam began to learn that each of these modes actually can help him in different situations. He now taps into these different modes consciously. For example, when he needs to get things done, do research or when writing his book, he taps into stoic "Samuel"; when working on passion projects, he taps into "Adrian" whose emotion fuels his energy for social impact work; and when connecting with friends he taps into playful "Sammy". 

In this episode, we explore how different emotional states can be helpful in different situations, the influence that an environment unaccepting of strong emotions can have on our own tendency to shove down our pain, and the various ways we all respond to life tragedies that we cannot control. 

You can find out more about Sam by visiting his LinkedIn page You can also check out his book, "Winning the War with Bipolar" here

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