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  • 5 Seconds

    Recently, I read The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins after having heard her speak virtually. I had seen the cover of the book beforehand, and I know I rolled my eyes. It sounded super gimmicky, and maybe it still is, but it's a gimmick that actually makes sense. 

    It's super easy.

    Any time you are on the verge of making a decision, and you know that you're going to find a reason not to do the thing you're supposed to do, just count backwards from 5 and move. What it does is it reboots your brain and takes it from automatic to manual, and then you can make yourself move.

    Let me explain a little better. The way this came about was that Robbins needed help getting out of bed in the morning. Counting backwards from 5 and then getting up before her brain could object helped her take charge of her day, instead of laying in bed, going back to sleep, or putzing on her phone for an hour before getting up at the last minute. 

    You can use this trick when you need a boost of bravery. Need to make that phone call? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and dial. Want to go to the gym? Count down and lace up the shoes before your brain finds excuses not to. (And we know that there are always excuses not to)

    It can also be used to help reroute anxiety. When an anxious thought hits, count backwards and then start thinking of something positive - like your kids, or your pets, or whatever makes you genuinely happy. To be honest, it didn't really work the first time I tried it for this, but I kept practicing, and I have to say, I've been able to cut off a lot of anxious thoughts before they spin out. 

    The neatest thing I've learned from the book is that anxiety and excitement are really the same thing in our brain, just interpreted different ways. So if you can start telling yourself that you are excited about the thing, (like going out to meet people), you can start getting your brain to cooperate. 

    So, as I said - simple stuff, and really neat. I recommend picking up the book, as it's a pretty quick read, and Robbins does a much better job explaining it than I ever could. (Which makes sense, since it's her thing) 

    If you're looking for a boost, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and GO.