How the 5 Second Rule Helped My Chronic Illness

How the 5 Second Rule Helped My Chronic Illness

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Action

The first time I heard about Mel Robbins book “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage”, I wondered how a rule I was taught as a child would help in transform my life?

As a kid, every time I dropped food on the floor my mother and father told me “5 second rule! Pick it up. If you pick it up within 5 seconds its good to eat!”.

Come to find out, Mel’s 5 Second Rule is way more impactful. Mel describes the 5 Second Rule as a way to stop letting your mind make poor decisions. When there is a tough decision to make (or seemingly tough) count down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Action.

She also describes different ways to use the 5 Second Rule to make you more effective in life.

Cant stop thinking about bad decisions you have made in the past?  5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Move past it.

Cant stop worrying about what the future may bring? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Move past it.

Procrastinating? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Action

Getting mad at someone for something silly? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Stop

For me it was particularly important for my mindset with chronic illness. It was a great simple way to stop worrying so much, and enjoy my life.

Let me break down common thoughts with chronic illness and how it helped:

Will my illness get so bad I will need someone to support me 24/7? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Live in the moment

Will I have a flare up before my (pick big event in the future)? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – realize everything is going great today.

Will I ever get out of this hospital? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Work on rehab, smile, you have great support.

Taking my medicine in a shot hurts, I don’t want to do it. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Take it.

What if I lose my job? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Work hard in the moment.

It is a simple, but effective mindset change. For more motivation watch Mel’s Ted Talk below:

What will you use the 5 second rule on? Post below!




  1. Hi Dave, not been in touch for a while due to various health flares (me & mine!), but still reading and i have included this fab post in Pain Pals Blog regular feature Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! Claire x

  2. Dave, this is so simple and actionable. Thank you!

  3. Love these letters, Dave. All of them apply to me and what I go through with my chronic illnesses. Keep them coming.

  4. Really appreciate your enthusiast, yet sensible suggestions and attitude. I look forward to reading more. Thank you 💚🍃

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