A while back I sat down and was talking about positive triggers. I’m going to try to expand on that today. The reason why it popped into my head is because this past week, I got news that left me seeing red and thinking black. I can honestly and safely I did not consider harming myself…unless you count the mistake of drinking angry. Which BTW Brandy is most emphatically NOT the liquor to be drinking when drinking angry. Get some horse pis… I mean… light beer to drink. At least you’ll be full before you’re drunk or sick. (No ribs were cracked in the result.)
This is something that is the culmination of a lot of reading, talking to other people who deal with the same or similar problems as I do. Let’s jump into this.
- 60 crochet stitches
- 60 knitting stitches
- 60 strokes of a paintbrush
- 60 minutes of music
- 60 minutes of your favorite TV show
- 60 pushups
- 60 situps
- 60 pulled weeds
- 60 strokes of brushing your hair (should have the longer locks)
- 60 minutes reading a book you’ve read before (that way it’s easier to put down when the times up alarm goes off)
- etc etc
The point is to spend 60 minutes doing something or do 60 of the same thing. If you do minutes of something, set an alarm. The point of the 60 is something long that forces you brain to reset. Forces you to calm down. Also rolls into the idea of a Zen project. A Zen project is a project you only work on when feeling anxious, depressed, angry etc. Can be any hobby. Woodworking, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Some of my zen projects have gone on to very happy owners after they were done. Which was basically icing on those particular “cakes”.
- play with your pets
- put ten things away
- spend ten minutes working on one thing
- go outside for ten minutes
- spend ten minutes gathering up trash and then throw it away.
- 10 pushups
- 10 situps
- 10 dishes washed
- pull 10 weeds
Again, same as with the 60. Only in a smaller chunk. You’re doing something productive. And you might only get one of those done in a day, but you’ve just accomplished a measure of control on your world.
- jumping jacks
- play with dogs
- wash five dishes
- five minutes in a room and clean something
- sit down with a cup of tea or coffee
- Organize a book shelf
- sweep a room
- wash a window
Starting to see a pattern? Many of these tasks you’ll find you spend more than five or ten minutes on. Once you get rolling washing dishes many times I find by the fifth dish I’m checking over the drainer to see how many more I can fit in.
Many times I start sweeping and find I want to do just one more room, which ends up turning into the whole house sometimes. I’ll dust for five minutes. Add five stitches to a project over here, then another five to a project over there, and soon I’ve worked on five things and made a little bit of progress.
These are not hard and fast number triggers. These are what I’m finding are working. Some folks might want to adjust it to a 45-15-1 rule.
The point is to deliberately set out to do a thing. Do it for a set amount of repetitions or time. Oh hey look at that. You should took control in your life and have induced a measure of order.
When you’re working on yourself, sometimes the only progress you can make is in small steps. Especially if you’re one of those folks who works every day at a regular job. Your day might look something like:
- Wake up.
- make breakfast (five minutes)
- Make coffee (favorite cup)
- Make lunch (ten minutes)
- head to work
- get home from work
- Sit and chill playing pets (5 minutes work but I recommend ten)
- wash ten dishes
- make dinner and eat (60 minutes)
- wash ten more dishes put everything up
- check social sites (seriously start breaking that up into smaller chunks too!)
- room at random to clean something in
You get the idea. If you work from home like I do technically, set an alarm or timer or something so that you’re breaking your work up into 60 minute chunks. Take five minutes into between each hour and play with your dogs, stretch and just step away from the work in general.
Small steps after awhile when you glance over your shoulder, will have carried you a lot farther than you thought. Again, as emphasized in my last positive triggers note, you need to journal journal journal. Document everything or as much as you are comfortable writing down.
You’ll start noticing which 60-10-5 things work the best in taming an internal problem. Keep those things tucked away in the back of your mind for days that just seem to be out to destroy you mentally. On those days, give yourself permission to do 10 five things. Those are the days to limit it to small things until you’ve started to feel things calm down then do a couple ten things.
Make sense? I hope so.