Think about the last time you made a decision about something. It may have been something trivial, like taking a different route during a morning bike ride. It may have been something major, like reaching out to someone with whom you’ve had an argument to patch things up. It may have been health-related, like giving up sugar for a week. Decisions, however trivial, can have a huge impact on your life. And your process for decision-making can dramatically affect the impact of the change created by your decision on your mind and body.
The process of getting your head around the challenges and opportunities presented by life’s choices usually begins with your method for decision-making. Some people run away and avoid the decision, and it usually comes back to haunt them. Others seek advice and counsel from others. Some make decisions quickly, some slowly. Still others find a way to hear and listen to their own inner voice.
In most cases, each of these strategies, and the ever-present pressure to make a choice, manifests itself as stress and anxiety. That stress and anxiety can build, sometimes to almost unbearable levels, especially if your decision gets delayed because of uncertainty.
So what’s the least stressful way to make a decision? In general, the more you ponder a decision, the more confused and stuck you may feel. Overthinking doesn’t usually get you anywhere but more frustrated. Avoidance has never been a great strategy for success or happiness, either. So what do you do?
Think about what your mind and body are telling you to do and do it.
Uncertainty is part of the adventure of life. Learning to make decisions is fuel for personal and professional growth. One of the amazing things about humans is our ability to reason and think based on input from the world around us, and our own inner thoughts.
As you think about big decisions, grab as much credible, honest info as you can and then find a way to get your brain around it. Listen to your mind. You might start by meditating. Making a list. Or get a massage. Once your mind is in the right frame, evaluate pros and cons, talk to your friends/family, make a plan. If you need to sleep on it for a day or two, go ahead. But don’t delay your decision past that, you’ll regret it later if you do.
Is the decision something that will impact your health? Listen to your body. Are you well? Is there something you really should take care of to make you more well? Write down your vision for wellness–it could help make your decision easier.
Regardless of how you look at it, get yourself in a quiet place and make a plan of action. The important thing is that you should do SOMETHING. Remember, you don’t really have to see the whole staircase to take the first step. Just moving forward, even to take that first step, will get you closer to your goal. Your decision to take that first step will very likely lead toward happiness, and real change in your mind and body.