Today, I was listening to a podcast during my daily work commute that introduced me to a great approach to negativity in life (see also: Boston traffic). This was the 5 minute rule. This rule was highlighted during the Becoming Superhuman Podcast's interview of Hal Elrod. First off, if you have not listened to this podcast before, Jonathan Levi does an excellent job of interviewing leaders, entrepreneurs, and other outstanding individuals who share their insight on habits and techniques to be as effective and efficient as possible in achieving your personal and professional goals(or to become an absolute BAMF in whatever you want).
The 5 minute rule works like this...
When something negative happens in your life, you allow yourself to feel all of your emotions about it....but you only allow yourself 5 minutes. Set a timer on your phone and get it out of your system. Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be sad. Vent to another person. Do what you need to do in that designated time. But after 5 minutes, if you can not change the situation....then move on. This will allow you to focus your mental energy on maintaining productivity and to approach the situation more proactively. You will be able to allocate your resources to making a change if necessary or to accommodate for anything that you may not have control of. Once finished, you can continue to be proactive in goal setting and accomplishing what needs to be done. This is an effective way to deal with the normal emotions one may have in a tough situation, but will prevent you from getting trapped in that downward spiral which feeds even more negativity and decreases productivity. Hal mentions that the time seems to go very quickly at first, and that you will feel like you need more time to spend on your emotions. However, the more you practice the rule, the quicker you will find yourself getting over negative situations and ready to take the necessary steps to move on. This will also reinforce positive thinking.
This is going to be a nice addition to the way that I approach obstacles and other negative life events. I love the idea of allowing yourself to be mindful of your emotions, but not letting them consume your day or your thoughts. I personally will be putting this into action immediately.
I suggest that you listen to the interview with Hal and how he has used this to overcome significant physical impairments following a devastating motor vehicle accident with a drunk driver. The odds were against him in ever walking again, but with this trick he was able to dedicate his mental energy toward what was necessary to get him back on his feet.
“You are always exactly where you are supposed to be, experiencing what you need to experience, to learn what you must learn, in order to become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Always.” - Hal Elrod
Rob is a Physical Therapist in Boston MA who specializes in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. Rob is SFMA Level 1 Certified and has extensive training in Trigger Point Dry Needling and IASTM. Rob enjoys treating athletes of all levels and of all sports. He has a specific interest in helping in those who like to challenge themselves at any level. He is a certified powerlifting coach through the USAPL, as well as an Obstacle Specialist and SGX Coach through Spartan Race.
Rob is currently a Spartan Race Social Media Influencer and recipient of multiple Trifectas, annually. He also is an amateur powerlifter and hockey player.