I’ve always strived to live life to the fullest. By taking on exciting experiences, trying new things, and not letting stress consume me, I have been able to take each day as it comes and try not worry about what may come tomorrow. One of the main reasons I choose to live that way is because the 5 by 5 concept is one that has stuck with me when learning how to be stress free.
“IF IT WON’T MATTER IN 5 YEARS, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT FOR MORE THAN 5 MINUTES”
This simple yet powerful saying is one I try to abide by on a daily basis. I have found myself repeating this concept in my head when worry or stress blankets over my thoughts. When it comes to make decisions, especially challenging ones, we often find ourselves spending countless hours weighing pros and cons of each choice. I’ve truly found that by eliminating the unnecessary worry from my life, through the 5 by 5 method, I have much more time in my day for things that truly matter and I can put to use my favorite ways to be more productive on the important tasks.
WHY 5 YEARS / 5 MINUTES?
Over half of the time that I’ve asked myself if this decision will matter in 5 years, the answer is no. This method includes an optimal timeline to base the decision making process upon because typically our strongest memories are ones that have occurred within the last 5 years. What is really going to matter to you in 5 years is likely something that deserves more than 5 minutes of your time to consider. This methodology for allowing a decision to linger in your mind supports not only happiness but also allows you to soak in your own feelings.
While 5 minutes to make. decision may seem long to some people, those 5 minutes are not always going to be about making a choice. I have found that I also embrace the 5 by 5 rule when it comes to decisions that are not in my control. Let’s say something about my day changes, a schedule change for example. If that meeting that was cancelled isn’t going to effect my future in 5 years, I am still allowed to feel whatever emotions come along with such scenarios. The 5 minutes part of this ideology gives us the chance to express and have emotions such as stress, disappointment, and anger. However, the crucial part of feeling those feelings is that you have to block them out after 5 minutes no matter what. Sure, they might creep back in every so often, but allowing yourself to only let it impact you for 5 minutes puts up a wall that encourages you to continue going about your day. One of my favorite things to do when my 5 minutes is up is throw on one of my favorite motivational podcasts to help me keep going with my day!
If you think about your life in 5 years, what do you think about? Your career? Family goals? Most of the things we envision for ourselves in 5 years include major life events. One of the best reasons the 5 by 5 method helps people not get too lost in their own head is because by thinking about the long term, we are putting our stresses and worries into context. By giving ourselves the time and space we need to evaluate whatever it is that is causing these big emotions, we can create the distance needed from the issue at hand.
What are some things that have helped you learn how to be stress free when it comes to making decisions? Comment below with your favorites and let me know if the 5 by 5 method has helped you!