Growth Strategy #61: 90 Second Rule

Growth Strategy #61: 90 Second Rule

This is another time-based hack that can help us create a new habit around how we respond to our emotions.  As human beings, we are wired to experience a wide range of emotions - happiness, joy, love, and excitement, but also anger, frustration, sadness, and anxiety. Sometimes, these emotions can be overwhelming, and we can get stuck in negative emotional states that prevent us from living life to the fullest.  

This is a hack I have taught several clients that acts as a pattern interrupt, which forces them to be observant and change their response to negative emotions. Before learning this hack, their emotional state was further impacted or sometimes led them to do or say things they regretted.    

Good For: Controlling our response to negative emotions
Best used by: You

This rule is a simple yet incredibly powerful tool that can help you deal with negative emotions effectively. It's based on the idea that emotions typically only last for 90 seconds in the body. After that, the emotion begins to dissipate, and we can regain our sense of control.

The rule is rooted in neuroscience, particularly in the way the brain processes emotions. When we experience an emotion, such as fear or anger, our brain activates the amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions and generating a response.  

Instead of getting caught up in the story that's causing the emotion, try to stay present and observe how the emotion feels in your body.

Take a deep breath and acknowledge the emotion without judgment. Then, give yourself 90 seconds to fully experience the emotion, without trying to suppress or control it.

During this time, it's important to focus on your breath and let the emotion run its course. Instead of getting caught up in the story that's causing the emotion, try to stay present and observe how the emotion feels in your body.

Notice any physical sensations that arise, such as tension in your shoulders or a tightness in your chest.

As the 90 seconds pass, you'll begin to notice that the emotion starts to dissipate. You'll feel more in control and more centered. Once the emotion has passed, take a moment to reflect on what caused the emotion and what you can learn from the experience.

This way, you can use the experience to grow and develop, rather than letting it hold you back.

Imagine you're sitting in your office and you receive an email from your boss that criticizes your work on a recent project. You immediately feel a rush of anger and frustration, and you start to feel defensive. Your mind starts to race with thoughts of how unfair the criticism is and how hard you've been working.

But then you remember this rule and take a deep breath and remind yourself that your emotions only last for 90 seconds. You observe the feeling of anger in your body without judgment, noticing the tension in your shoulders and the tightness in your chest.

As you focus on your breath and allow the emotion to run its course, you begin to feel the anger dissipating. You start to feel more centered and in control. Once the 90 seconds have passed, you reflect on the criticism and think about how you can use it to improve your work in the future.

By using this rule, you were able to break the pattern of negative emotions and take back control of your response to the situation. Rather than getting caught up in the story and letting the emotion control you, you were able to observe the emotion without judgment and use it as a learning experience.

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Dionne xxx ✨

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