Once again, therapy has saved me and helped me tremendously over these past couple of weeks. I’m learning the importance of working through your feelings and letting yourself feel all the feels, both the good and the bad. Too often we try to only think happy thoughts or put on a happy face in the midst of a storm, but in doing so, we aren’t allowing ourselves the opportunity to process those negative emotions. We’re suppressing those thoughts and emotions without recognizing and acknowledging what is upsetting us, and just as important, why it is upsetting us. This is why we should all practice the 5-minute rage rule.
What is the 5 Minute Rage Rule?
The 5 Minute Rage Rule allows you to take five minutes to be upset when something bad or frustrating happens to you. You can feel the feels, scream, cry, or whatever you need to do for five whole minutes. Once that time is over, then you allow yourself to move through the feelings and cling to the positives. You can begin to focus all of your energy and time on something else. It’s a really important rule that I’m glad I’ve started to incorporate into my daily routine, and I’m going to tell you why you should adopt this rule as well.
1. This method is more realistic than forcing yourself to be happy all the time.
We all know that life happens and the unexpected can occur at any time. We’re thrown curveballs so often, and society teaches us to remain positive through it all. When we fall, we are taught to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and pretend like it doesn’t hurt. This is insane. There’s entirely too much pressure on ourselves to maintain a positive attitude and have a positive mindset 24/7, and it’s unrealistic.
We need to allow ourselves the space to alleviate some of that stress of trying to be a ray of sunshine all the time. Let’s be pissed off for a few minutes — we’re human and we have the right to be upset when things don’t go the way we envisioned or planned. Stop hiding your pain to show the world you’re strong. You can be in pain and show your strength too.
2. You learn more about yourself when you allow yourself to feel freely.
Hold on, y’all. Take a minute and read that one again because that’s a word. Letting yourself feel without limits allows you to notice habits and patterns that you may not have noticed otherwise. For example, I noticed that when I get angry (which is so rare for me), my leg shakes uncontrollably and I have to literally hold my leg for it to stop. Making this observation is important because there may be times when I’m feeling something and I’m unsure of what the emotion is. However, if I see that my leg is shaking, then I can conclude that I must be feeling angry.
Establishing these connections is an important task, and you can only do this when you allow yourself the opportunity to feel with no restrictions. If your emotions make the people around you uncomfortable, oh well 🤷🏾♀️. You owe it to yourself to put yourself first and if that means you have to shed a tear or two, then, by all means, do it. I used to try so hard to hide my emotions from people who couldn’t handle them, and it only led to resentment. When you let your emotions flow, you learn so much about yourself, and that’s the greatest reward in life — getting in touch and getting familiar with yourself.
3. You can get all of the negatives out in the open to make room for the positives.
A good friend of mine had an issue that she shared with me — when something bad or inconvenient would happen to her, she would drown herself in the negatives. She’d spend hours being upset and sulking over all of the negatives that happened, and she never had time to focus on the positives. The same exact thing happened to me. I went to her to vent about something and I was complaining for a long time. While it felt good to vent, I filled my head and my aura with such negative energy and forgot to balance it out with some positives.
So, the next time you’re in a situation where something pisses you off, get all of your negatives out for five minutes. Allow yourself the complete freedom to complain, rage, or do whatever you need to do. Afterward, see if you can find the light within the situation. What did you learn from it? What could’ve made that situation worse than what it was?
I won’t ramble on, but I will say that the 5-minute rage rule is fluid and can look different for different people. For example, someone reading this may say, “I don’t need the full five minutes. Just give me two minutes to rage, and I’m good to go.” Someone else may say, “Look, I’m gonna need about 10 minutes to get everything out.” That’s perfectly fine. There may even be times where one day you’ll need five minutes and the next time you’ll need 10. Whatever the case, just make sure that you take the same amount of time to let some positives in.
Now, this isn’t something that will just happen overnight, just like most things. Practicing the 5-minute rage rule will require a lot of patience and even forgiveness for those moments when you try really hard to stick with the rule and you just can’t. Be sure to give yourself grace, and remember that you can always try again.
“If it’s not gonna matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it.”