Minimizing Stress in Decision Making

Minimizing Stress in Decision Making

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My dog Pete, aka Sweet Pete, is the most indecisive living being I have ever known.

Pete makes very few daily decisions. His most important ones are intakes and outflows dictated by biology. Most of Pete’s brain power is devoted to finding the perfect blade of grass to “do his business,” and even then, I have witnessed Pete change his mind halfway through.

Like Pete, we, humans, struggle with decision making (although hopefully not about blades of grass).

Many of our decisions are complex, especially the ones that involve other people. These decisions require sufficient time to weigh the pros and cons.

But I have a perspective on how to make common, everyday decisions less ominous, less overwhelming.

I call it “The It’s-Just-Hair-Color Theory of Decision Making.”

Don’t like the color of your hair? Change it. Don’t like the new color? Change it again.

Let’s put my theory into practice:

·       Don’t like your job? Find a new one. Don’t like that one. Find a new one.

·       Nice guy but not right for you? End the relationship and find a new partner. That relationship not right for you? End the relationship and find a new partner.

·       Always wanted to live in a particular neighborhood? Move. The neighborhood not all you wanted? Move.

Other than life and death, all other decisions can, in turn, be changed if needed. This does NOT mean they’re easy to change but knowing they can be changed – find another job, find a new love, move to new community – makes decision-making far less stressful.

Decisions can be hard. Take them seriously. Make your pros and cons lists. Discuss with your loved ones. Weigh your options.

Then make the best decision you can in the moment knowing you are able to make another decision, then another…

Don’t be like Pete. Other than his sweetness, of course.

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