Self-sabotage no more little hoover

Yesterday we had a session with Alex Mecklenberg about resilience. What she spoke about reminded me of 90 Seconds To A Life You Love, a book written by Dr Joan Rosenberg. Honestly I wish the title was different, I feel like it doesn’t do the book justice and makes it seem quite cheesy and generic. BUT I really think we can all take something important from it.  

Yesterday Alex was saying how emotion is only a feeling, which is the gist of the book. Joan says there are 8 unpleasant feelings that we ebb and flow through in our lifetime and when we learn to deal with them we can be more successful, confident, and resilient. The 8 feelings are: sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, and vulnerability.

The problem is that our instinct is to block these negative emotions out, but what we should actually be doing is receiving them. The first cues that we’re feeling something are physical, AKA a pit in our stomach, our heart beating faster, cheeks flushing etc. Little side note, I learned recently how divisive the feeling of butterflies in the stomach is: some people say that it’s really unsettling and it’s your body telling you something is off which I get but for the most part I’ve always kind of loved it…Fascinating. 

Anyways, like I mentioned, Joan says any emotion lives first and foremost as a bodily reaction, a chemical thing, but here is the twist; it is only stored in our bodies for 90 seconds. Joan writes that it is so important for us to stay present in the uncomfortable feelings for that 1 minute and 30 seconds and then check ourselves and make the choice not to wallow and fester in an emotional hangover. 

So next time you start feeling the negative emotion come over you, give yourself those 90 seconds to feel the feels because those physical cues will inevitably come over you; but after that, try not to prolong it by actively putting yourself in a negative headspace. The reality is that after those 90 seconds, we are actually set to keep going forward with our day and be resilient. 

To think about how little 90 seconds is in our day, it makes it feel silly that we’ll sometimes wallow in a negative emotion for extended periods of time. I still want to say though that I also really believe in the power of feeling bad for yourself sometimes or that being in a slump for a bit is bound to happen in life. Also PMS….But, if we can balance it out a little by removing the power from a negative emotion and riding the 90 second wave then why not try it?


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