Overthinking Might Be Causing All the Stress In Your Life, Here’s How You Can Start to Be Easier On Yourself

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By Anne Cacherell

Last weekend, I accompanied my husband to the mall to shop for a new pair of shoes. He is very picky. And though he only buys one specific brand, he has to make sure that we search every corner, of every floor of the entire mall before he makes his decision.

Yes, I must admit than when it comes to shopping for personal stuff, he is worse than me or than any other woman I know.

Anyway, thank heavens we were able to find a nice pair before 5pm. So, I suggested that we should have early dinner first so that we could just rest when we got home instead of me cooking.  After dinner, we were feeling up to going out for coffee, so we went to this other mall wherein they have a nice coffee shop.

When we got there, we saw a newly opened shoe store! Upon checking the place, he saw a nice pair that he also liked. Because of that, though he was happy with the purchase he made earlier that day, he suddenly began to feel disappointed. As a result, I had to perform wife duties. I had to lift his spirit up the whole night and help him realize that he made a good decision and that he should just move on.

If you’re like my husband or if you know someone who is, this letter is for you. Here are some tips to help you avoid overthinking when making decisions.

Know What You Want & Make the Choice

When making life-changing decisions, it is important that you are doing it for yourself and that it is what you really want and not because of other people’s influence, advice or interest. You know why? Because at the end of the day, worse comes to worst, you alone will face the consequences of your choices.

Portia, my cousin, didn’t want to break up with her boyfriend even though she knew that it was the right thing to do. She told me she was hesitant because she didn’t want to regret her decision in the end. She thought that it was best to just wait for the guy to make the decision to leave.

Sad, right? But what’s more sad is that Portia is not alone in this kind of thinking. Many people out there are afraid or hesitant to make their own decision because they don’t want to be held responsible or accountable, even if they know that their choice is for everyone’s best interest.

And for all of you who are in the same situation as my cousin, check this out – “5 Tips for Gracefully Ending a Difficult Relationship.”

This piece by Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne will help you avoid post-decision regrets by making the farewell process easier and a little more bearable.

Stand By Your Decisions & Deal With Its Results

Be confident in your choice and never doubt your ability to know what’s best for you. Stand firm in your convictions. If you don’t address your insecurities or if you always allow other people’s opinion and personal choices affect your decision-making, you will never have peace of mind and you will never be satisfied with the choices you make in your life.

Marketer Sujan Patel shares a good example when he made these 5 decisions that changed his life forever as an entrepreneur.

Choose Your Battles

Understand how a certain decision is going to affect your life. Ask yourself if a certain choice is extremely significant or if the stakes are too high. If not, then obviously it’s not worth mulling over. So, don’t waste your time, go pick your choice, move on with your life and focus on more important things.

And to help you improve your ability to figure out if a certain choice is meaningful or worth obsessing over, you can try doing this one exercise that improves your memory and thinking skills.

Trust Your Gut But Do Your Homework

Trust your instincts.  I bet you’ve heard this advice many times. However, I encourage you to take caution because it’s not as easy as you think. To avoid jumping to conclusions and making hasty judgments, trust your gut instinct only when you’re dealing with issues that you have knowledge about. I don’t really recommend using this for those types of problems that you’re totally  unfamiliar with.

For example, you want to invest a lot of money in a business that you don’t really know anything about all because somebody told you about it and that it’s doing hot in the market at the moment. It would be unsafe to make this kind of decision without gathering necessary data first.

Concerns like this one require critical thinking in order for you to make well-informed and educated decisions. So, do your homework first. Conduct research and study up if you have to so that you avoid getting stuck in decision-making quicksand or doing something that you will regret.

Finally, to help clear your mind after working on the data you’ve gathered and other considerations, you can try this 5-minute shower meditation technique by Marlu Harris.

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