Today I want to talk to you about my five-minute rule – and I love my five-minute rule. Before I start, there’s something you need to know: This is not a spectator sport. This is a real solo activity. This is not something you do in front of other people. This is not something you share. You don’t get together as a group and do it. This is about you and yourself, okay?
So what is the five-minute rule?
Let’s face it: things happen. Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a book about it in 1981, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Life is not perfect. Life is going to happen to everybody, okay? There’s never going to be a month that just is plain sailing. I’ve been waiting for a normal week since I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, and she is 22 next birthday. So normal weeks do not exist. Life happens to everybody, and it’s a case of how you learn to deal with it.
Sometimes a situation will happen, or a combination or accumulation of different things will happen, and the result is that you feel like it’s all coming up your chest. You feel so frustrated, so angry, so fed up, so Rrrrr! about stuff that you need to do something about it.
What we tend to do is think, “But, but, but we’re ladies, we are decent humans,” and we want to be beautiful humans. So we suppress it, we say to ourselves, “Well, I’m not allowed to feel angry. I’m not allowed to feel upset. I’m not …”
Stop. You are entitled to every single emotion, whether it’s anger, jealousy, frustration, even guilt … You’re entitled to every feeling you have.
But the ones that don’t serve you, the ones that take away your joy, the ones that steal from you, you want to understand them, work on them, get on top of them, neutralise them, solve them. It’s not about ignoring them. It’s about dealing with them.
So the five-minute rule is a way I’ve created to deal with real anger, frustration, when it gets too much and you’re going to explode. On those occasions where you’re like, “That person has just annoyed me way too much,” or “I feel so frustrated, I could scream,” this is when you apply this rule. And this is how it goes.
I want you to take five minutes
Let’s say you’re almost scratching your chest because you’re so fed up. All right, you go somewhere on your own. It could be up to your room. It could be to the end of the wood. It could be on the top of a mountain. It could be in a forest. It could be on a beach, but it’s somewhere where you can be truly alone for five minutes, and then I want you to behave extremely badly.
Seriously, I want you to just be the worst-behaved person you can possibly imagine. I want you to swear, scream, shout, whatever your version of that is, throw yourself on the floor, pound your fist, get really upset, whatever you need to do, but you need to let it all out. You need to purge it all. So, you can throw eggs at a tree, you can throw plates at a building. You can scream and shout, you can throw yourself on the floor. You can stamp your feet. You can hurl abuse at the moon. Whatever you need to do, you have my backing to do it, because when we suppress all our emotions, what we’re saying is, “My emotions aren’t valid. I don’t have the right to feel that emotion.” That’s really unhealthy. That’s really toxic for you. What you need to do is accept that you feel like this, but get it out, and get it out in whatever way suits you best.
I like to box. I like to go and punch stuff. But I also like to swear like a sailor. I really like to F and blind. I really feel like I’m getting it all off my chest. But you time it, exactly five minutes, and when the five minutes is done, you stop, you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and you move on with your day. Remember the song? “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.” (By Jerome Kern, sung by Fred Astaire, as far back as 1936 but still valid.)
The thing is, if you keep bottling all your feelings up, at some point, you will explode at some poor person who probably didn’t deserve that amount of anger. But when it builds up and you let it out, you can come back down to Earth, to that grounded, nice, peaceful state and you don’t have to worry about exploding at one of your kids or your partner or at work, because you’ve got rid of all that anger.
It’s UncompliKated but we forget how to let go and I really want you to do that sweetheart. Let it out, expel it and move on with your day.
I made a video on this topic too: https://youtu.be/Fkx2KzZBK0Y
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Buckets full of love, Kate xx
Photo by Yaro Felix Mayans Verfurth on Unsplash