We cannot control our feelings.

We do control what we think and what we do, and our feelings follow along.

Want to feel better? Take a walk, clean the kitchen, work toward a goal, listen to a kindergartener’s story.

Learning Dr. William Glasser’s Choice Theory taught me this early in my career and early in my marriage–it saved my marriage and my career. Before I understood how to change how I feel, I felt out of control. I felt angry and didn’t know how to change that feeling. I would feel stressed even though my problems were so minimal compared to others’. I distinctly remember one time in my early twenties being so angry that I threw a coffee cup into the sink and broke it. Woah mama, get a grip.

I don’t have to stay angry, or mad, or stressed, or sad. Those feelings will still rise up, like a little bolt of electricity running through my body. When those negative feelings happen, now I quickly coach myself to think logically and take some type of action to help me feel better.

The beauty is that if I am in control of me, I am able to help others in the way I want to. And, like you, I want to give everything I have to the people I love and work with.

Today I listened to Mel Robbins talk with Louis Howes about her book The 5 Second Rule and I LOVED what I heard–not just because Mel is a fellow West Michigan gal either!  Mel takes what I learned through Choice Theory to the next level. She shared Damasio’s work, which reveals that 95% of our decisions are based on our feelings. We don’t make decisions based on logic or on our goals. We decide based on how we feel, and Mel says this robs us of joy and opportunity. Do you feel like having that hard conversation? No. Do you feel like taking that run? Nope. Do you feel like cleaning your closet out? Na.

She gives us a tool, the 5-second rule, to help us take action when we don’t feel like it. When you have the urge to do something you should do, rather than dismissing that urge, count backwards from 5 and then do it. You start the action necessary to move toward doing the right thing as soon as you start counting.

I should work out. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Blast off the couch.

I should talk through that mistake with my colleague. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go for it.

I should read to my son even though I am so tired. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Be the mom you want to be.

Change your life one 5-second decision at a time.

-Mel Robbins


Image credit: HERE

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