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Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Your Decision Making

Is indecision causing you stress and anxiety? Indecision due to fear of making a wrong decision can cause symptoms of social anxiety. Some people get worried about whether or not they are making the right choices and decisions in their life. Feeling stuck in indecision also causes major stress and anxiety in many peoples lives. We want someone to magically appear and give us the "right" answer to our quandaries and tell us what the right decision is.

Better than hypnosis

Well, what if we shift to a more empowering perspective and consider that perhaps there are no right or wrong decisions? I have been playing with this idea in my life (Susan), and this new perspective has helped me lessen my stress and anxiety in my decision making. When I pause and remember that I can learn from any decision I make, I feel more relaxed and less stressed about the decision at hand.

Making Choices On My Journey

Let me give you an example. About 25 years ago I (Susan) graduated with a BA in psychology and then I worked hard to pay off my college debt. When I was debt free I then saved up enough money to go to massage school to become a masseuse. Just before I was about to start the program a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go travelling to South America. I remember feeling some stress and anxiety about this decision because it seemed more "responsible" to do more schooling and a bit extreme and even crazy to take off to South America for months on end. (But as you might have guessed, I love adventures!) I was concerned about what the right decision was and what would happen if I made the wrong decision. What I then realized was that either could be fine, and both would still be possible in a year or so but that I really couldn't know unless I chose one and went for it. At that time, going to a year of intense schooling filled with courses like "Anatomy and Physiology" didn't sound near as appealing as travelling to new and distant places!

"Whenever you are faced with a choice, a decision or an opportunity, choose in favor of your passion."
- Janet and Chris Atwood

So, I followed my heart and ended up having an amazing year travelling throughout South America. I've never regretted that decision, even though I did have to deal with some social anxiety because I wasn't making the choice some others thought I should. Oh and by the way, I never went to massage school and I don't regret it. Remember, if you are feeling stress and anxiety or stuck trying to make a decision because you are so concerned with whether it is the right or wrong decision; keep in mind that perhaps either way could be just fine.

On the other hand, I've also made choices in my life that didn't feel great. Let's face it - that happens to all of us at times yet it doesn't mean it was a wrong decision that we need to regret for the rest of our lives. Although it can be frustrating, often times we can learn something from the experience - and then move on to make different choice at the next opportunity. But what about when things happen that we didn't plan or consciously choose...

When Unplanned "Stuff" Happens

Most days I choose to trust the process of life, and I trust myself to get through whatever I experience in the best way I can. Of course there are some days when I'm more trusting than others. If something happens that doesn't feel good to me, I pause and take notice. I will often do something like writing in my journal or talking to a friend (or my life coach) to get my feelings out. Through that process, I can eventually see what might be positive about this experience. Sometimes this happens quickly and other times slowly. Even though there are times for all of us when unwanted and unplanned experiences happen, we still have a choice about how we deal with them. We can either stay stuck in stress and anxiety or we can look for more empowering ways to deal with what has happened.

"When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."    - Viktor Frankl

This reminds me of a friend of mine who got in a horrible car "accident" this year. It wasn't her fault and her car was literally mauled by a large truck-talk about stress and anxiety! Her car was totaled and it took them quite a while to get her out of the mangled wreckage. Thanks to safe cars and providence, she was OK other than some whiplash. The interesting thing I noticed since hearing her story and seeing the effects of it on her is that this experience literally changed her life. I might even say it gave her life more purpose and clarity. She is profoundly and deeply grateful to be alive. It has caused her to ask herself how she can live her life even more consciously. She has already made a few major changes, and who knows what other affects it will have in the future. I've been inspired by how she allowed this seemingly horrible accident to be a transformational experience.

Now you might be wondering what this story has to do with making choices. After all, she didn't necessarily choose this incident.

It isn't what happened to her that matters as much as what she chose to do and feel about it - what she became as a result of it.

There are so many choices we each make every day. Some are life changing choices about plans for our future - with an accompanying pressure to choose well and with clarity. Others are just choices we make to deal with seemingly inconsequential events in our daily lives - but awareness and clarity will make a huge difference even with these. If we can't change a situation loaded with stress and anxiety, we can always choose the way we look at the situation.

Here are 8 tips for how to deal with making decisions, dealing with change and gaining greater clarity in your life...

Turning Indecision Into Confidence, Clarity and Calm:

  1. Remember that either choice could work out just fine.
  2. Remember that many of our decisions don't have to be permanent.
  3. Remember that we give each situation the meaning it has.
  4. Even the worst situations may still allow you to make new and different choices - with better circumstances to choose from.
  5. If there is a lot of doubt, there is no doubt at all. Clarity doesn't necessarily mean "for sureness guaranteed".
  6. Ask yourself positive and inspiring "what if" questions such as, "What if    (something amazing)    came out of this situation or decision?"
  7. Choose to live from your heart.
  8. Trust in the beautiful unfolding process of yourself in the flow of life.

Stress and anxiety can be crippling when it gets out of control.  I've been using a specially designed electronic bracelet to remind me to take breaks thoughout my busy days so I can keep the stress to a minimum.  When I'm reminded to take these breaks, I do some deep breathing, I exercise, I do a meditation or I say some positive affirmations.  I highly recommend this bracelet as a helpful reminder to relax and know that all is well.  If you use the coupon code listed in the picture below, you'll receive a bonus accessory package worth $7 along with your order. There are many styles of bracelets to choose from.

Pause Bracelet


Would you like to explore more "resources of possibility"?

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