You’d think life was difficult enough without all the decisions we have to make that are not necessarily earth shattering, but still confound us at times. So why do easy decisions become so hard? Well, when you consider that most grocery stores have an average of 50,000 items (and some super-humongous-giant stores have even more) just slipping into the store for a quick purchase can tie you in knots unless you have a list and know exactly what you want.
Consider how you’ve probably agonized over which restaurant entrée to order. All look good and you’re famished and there’s so much on the menu and the waiter is moving around the table taking orders and, wham, it’s your turn and you’re gravitating between several and you don’t know for sure and when you finally order and the food is delivered you see what the others are having and wish you’d ordered that instead of yours. Sound familiar? Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions.
We too often confuse a plethora of choices and an excess of information with something that’s important and good for us. More choices means more variety and better products and services and a higher quality of life, right? But then our brain gets in a knot by thinking this is worthy of an enormous amount of time to figure it out on even the most menial of choices. Research indicates that we are bombarded by 7,000 marketing messages per day or over 2.5 million per year. No wonder we become ambivalent about many of our choices! We live in an information-saturated, instant gratification world, full of easy access to get more information through our digital connections as we wend our way through the decision quicksand we feel trapped into.
Unless it’s a life threatening decision, making minor choices shouldn’t suck the air out of your lungs. As we’ve championed on this blog, chilling out is important to making better decisions. Yes, there’s a ton of information to consider but first consider what problem you’re trying to solve, like stemming your gnawing, anxiety producing hunger so you can better enjoy the company of your dinner partners. And if you see you’d rather have ordered something different, well, at least you know for the next time. Letting go of too much information and enjoying the moment is really the answer whether you’re ordering dinner, going to the store or enjoying a sunset on the beach with a cold one in your hands.
To schedule an appointment with Ben Novell, LMFT, Janelle Novell, LMFT, RPT-S or any of our therapists, please call 951-252-9911.
(Image from outofmygord.com)