Set a time limit on negativity.

Time is in such short supply. The sooner we appreciate its value, the better life becomes.

When I was a kid my mom set the egg timer for almost everything we did; whether it was how long we spent doing our homework, weeding the garden, watching television, or complaining about life’s challenges.

It helped us to understand that nothing lasts forever – good or bad.

This was especially important when we felt helpless over things we did not have control over, including chores we  did not want to do.

Setting time limits also taught us to respect how our words and actions impact ourselves and others.

Full disclosure: My mom is a psychologist too.

In this interview I share why I set a time limit on negativity.

Your time. Your life.

To this day I set a timer on the stove.

A simple, yet effective way to motivate myself through tedious tasks and become more mindful of time itself.

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The timer principle can also be applied to how often we are negative vs. positive throughout the course of a day.

Negativity is the easy (automatic) route. So we need to be conscious of where our mind flows.

Venting feels good in the moment, but when it goes on too long, the costs outweigh the benefits.

Joy needs room to breathe.

Too often we complain about stressors for hours beyond the momentary challenge has passed. Leaving little time in the day for appreciation, wonder, and gratitude.

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Then one day we wake up and realize that life is too short to be all negative, all the time. Even (especially) when life gets tough.

Balance is key.

Negativity is to be expected. It’s part of the human experience.

The question is – how long will you stay there.

Share your challenges. Share your obstacles. Share your difficulties.

But also leave room for what’s good in your life.

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Joy needs room to breathe. And so do you. β™₯

Interview: Energy vs. Time Management

54 thoughts on “Set a time limit on negativity.

  1. Awesome reminder! Really enjoyed reading this. I truly believe that so much of our pain can be attributed to us simply forgetting that we can choose our emotional response to adversity. Remembering this is empowering so we need to get better at remembering our power…..which you explain how to do quite well. Thank you!!!

    1. “I truly believe that so much of our pain can be attributed to us simply forgetting that we can choose our emotional response to adversity.” Amen Steve! Thank you for taking the time to read and contribute. Your words add volume to my post. #grateful

  2. Hello I was thinking of you today and came over to see what you are doing. I love all your posts and this one spoke to me so clearly. I noticed that going back sometimes to places you have left, can also cause those old negative thoughts to revisit. Amazing how that works. I’m sticking to starting my days with the beauty around me and reading positive words….like yours. I hope all is well with you. Looks like you are going strong and spreading you wonderful wisdom. Blessings to you! β™‘ Michelle

    1. What a beautiful message to come “home” to. Thank you Michelle. For your positivity & your kindness. It’s always wonderful to hear from you. Wishing you a week filled with many blessings. Andrea xo

  3. Negativity is a state of mind. We have to be aware about the state of mind. The thing is how long that state lasts?!!…….

    If it stays for a long time, this is obvious that our mind would focus on that and it drives us according to that state. Whether it’s negative or positive.

    Both can’t stay forever and they never should be…….The two
    sides make a complete coin.

    I’m in agreement with you. πŸ™‚πŸ™‚β€β€

    Thanks much for sharing this…❀

  4. Setting a timer…I like the idea. Deciding how long to set it for. Now that’s a challenge! Life is short and so much time can go by unappreciated. I am glad I found your blog (thanks to V.J.Knutson).

    1. Welcome to my blog!

      Thank you for joining the positivity vs. negativity life discussion. I look forward to reading all your letters and memorabilia too. A great concept!

      p.s. VJ is ths best, isn’t she πŸ€—

  5. Leaving room for anything, including joy, is novel to me. I’m always pushing for balance, with the premise that I can’t simply eject the negative, because that would leave a vacuum. Instead, positive must replace negative. But to then leave room is surprising and amazing. I think you touched on my big issue, that I’m always so full of trying to balance negative and positive energy that the slightest shift in either causes me to be too full, which induces stress. I need to leave room. Leaving room for joy is a worthy first step. In an odd sense, it’s about de-cluttering my mind.

    As you insist – and it’s worth insisting upon – awareness helps, especially self-awareness.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers

    1. What a thoughtful and insightful addition to my post. Thank you Michael! I continue to be inspired by your openness and willingness to improve your life. And in doing so, enhance the life of all that you meet. (online & IRL) Mine included!

  6. Sometimes I use timer, the one on my mobile phone, to get my daughter to speed up in the morning. But it sure is a great idea to make us more aware of our limited time. Thanks so much for sharing, enjoy your weekend!

    1. Happy Saturday to you too! I love how you’re already using the timer on your phone! And that you’re open to using this strategy too with her.

      Your daughter is lucky to have you. Just like I’m blessed to have a Mom who was always creative in her mental mindset & teaching strategies too.

  7. krish

    Yes… everything has a time limit …and joy needs space to breathe. We create that space by pushing out negativity. Beautiful post.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you too VJ! Love knowing that this post arrived just at the right time. Speaking of time… my mom definitely had some cool tricks up her sleeves when we were young. Many that I continue to adopt in life today. Simple tips that make everything better.

  8. Create a short affirmation

    In this moment right now, I accept all of me
    I strive with all my energy to let go and be present

    Have a plan when negativity is a habit

    Lessening our minds negativity take great effort over a period of time

    1. “Dip my feet into the negative space and snap out of it.”

      Awareness is everything. And with dynamic words like yours, I feel more in charge and in control of my choices. Thank you for sharing! You add richness to my posts Bernice. #grateful

  9. I’ve been using your “look up, breathe, release” to great effects and now you’ve given me more to practice…I love the reminder to “set a time limit on negativity” and how simple yet apt… “Make joy your compass today”. Thanks Andrea! I’ve taken time out & I’m ready to try and get back to work next week…Thank you so much for your gem…β€œSlowing down is a sign of strength.”

      1. Thank you Andrea for your lovely reply. I was always a diligent student πŸ˜‰ Likewise I hope you get some relaxation time away from the career you so clearly love and dedicate yourself to!

        1. Thank you Marie! For your encouragement of my profession & for your uplifting words. We are celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend, so it will be an especially relaxing 3 days. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦β€οΈ

    1. My pleasure Syl! Especially since you’ve given me another beautiful image “I might get my shoes muddied a bit but I am not getting stuck in negativity.” to roll around in my curious mind. May your weekend be filled with poetry & joy!

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