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Putting My Oxygen Mask on First – Easy Buttons vs Reset Buttons

My daughter and I saw Glennon Doyle speak at the People’s Church of Chicago on Friday night. She dropped many gems, but one in particular stuck with me. She talked about knowing your easy buttons vs your reset buttons – so that you make better choices.  Glennon defines easy buttons as those things you do to avoid your hot loneliness that take you away from yourself. Reset buttons are the things that bring you back to yourself.

For me, some of the things I do to avoid feeling any yucky feelings (my easy buttons) are alcohol, sugar, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, If I’m feeling sad or afraid or frustrated, I’ll stuff down those feelings with those delicious gluten free cupcakes from Trader Joes and a romantic comedy. Or I’ll play Words with Friends and check out everyone’s vacations. Or I’ll text one of the “exes” I keep loosely connected with for these times…one of those people with whom I know a real relationship wouldn’t be the right thing, but I stay connected for the times when I need someone to distract me from my feelings.


I’m smart, so I’ll also use seemingly “positive” things as an easy button. I’ll read or clean or learn a new acupuncture technique or create some Facebook posts for my business or help a neighbor or catch up with friends/family. Those are all perfectly wonderful things for me to do…but I have to watch my intentions for why I’m doing them. If I am doing them to avoid feeling my feelings, then I need to go to my reset button list instead.


Some of the things I do that bring me back to myself (my reset buttons) are meditating, going for a walk in the woods, floating, tapping, acupuncture, taking an Epsom salt bath, connecting with animals, making myself something nourishing to eat (preferably with some root veggies), yoga, journaling, chanting, sitting by the lake, or enjoying a cup of tea,


It’s important for us to sit with our messy emotions instead of distracting ourselves from them, because in that pain and discomfort there is a lesson. We need to be present to learn the lesson, grow and eventually move on. Distracting ourselves doesn’t make the pain go away, it just adds suffering to the pain.

Glennon actually has a list of her easy and reset buttons by her computer so that she is more likely to catch her “easy button” behaviors and decide whether she’d like to replace it with a “reset button” behavior. As I mentioned above, I would include those “positive behaviors” that you know you use to avoid your hot loneliness on your easy button list, so when you start to do one of them, you take a second to question your intentions for doing it right now.

What are your “easy button” go tos? And what can you replace them with?



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