The mindful guide to decision making

woman sitting on sand

Research studies about the decision-making process found that many things we ignore are vital factors when deciding. When I found out about these essential determinators, I was surprised. Knowing about these factors got me thinking about changing my beliefs about decision-making. Also, it gave a chance to bring mindfulness into the picture as a path to build a more wholesome perspective.

Things that seem universal and truth full to me and you are just a result of our perception. When we assume that something is universal and that everybody agrees on common sense, we are living a lie. Some factors that influence our decisions have to do more with who you are than just common sense.

I think it is crucial for anybody who cares about their decision-making to consider these issues. Let’s begin with the factors that we ignore and may overlook. Here are some of the most common things that we ignore and contribute to our decision making.

  1. Body depletion: Being hungry, tired, and depleted of energy.
  2. Information manipulation: Accepting and believing information that has is distorted and manipulated to make you think that you have a problem that doesn’t exist.
  3. Emotional urgency: Rushing and not thinking things through because your emotions have blinded your mind.
  4. Social support- Feeling a lack of support and social connection from people you care about and are significant to you.
  5. One point of view: Only looking at problems and solutions from your limited perspective and being closed to other perspectives.

After familiarizing myself with these factors, and wanted to simplify the decision-making process. I collected more information and created a checklist that you can follow to stay more mindful in your decision making.

  1. Ensure that you are not hungry, tired, and depleted. Instead, focus on making decisions when you have eaten, slept well, and do it at times of the day when your energy level is high and plentiful. If that is not the case, postponed the decisions until you can replenish.
  2. Be aware of information from media, fake news, marketing, and advertisement that might cloud and manipulate your ability to make decisions. Compare different sources and do not follow what looks more uncomplicated or more comfortable to find, as this is more likely to be manipulated facts and distorted information.
  3. Connect with your emotions before you decide. If you are feeling sad or betrayed or angry or overwhelmed, it matters. Your feelings influence your brain and can ignite fear and impulsive reactions. If your brain senses fear, you cannot access the part of your brain that helps with better decision making.
  4. Positive decision making starts with a centered mind.
    -Ensure that you are calm and connected to positive feelings when solving a problem or dealing with a difficult challenge. Do an emotional check and then decide if it’s the right time or not to be making the decision. If you are dealing with challenging emotions, take a pause, breathe, or meditate. Rebalance your emotions before you make your final decisions.
  5. Get support from people you trust when coping with difficulties and problems that seem hard to solve. Find someone that you trust and get support when dealing with a situation that is stressful for you.
  6. Be open to debate, and accepting you could be wrong. The more we assume rigidity about our views, the more we create resistance and connect with fear when solving problems.
  7. Encourage reading and learning about different points of view. The more you challenge your perspective safely, your brain will learn to reduce reinforcing fear when it feels something you believe might be incorrect. For decision-making that you could feel good with, consider always to do your best to stay more open-minded.
  8. There are no bad decisions. When things go differently from what you expect, is just a learning opportunity and a chance to grow.

One quote

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Rober Schuller

One question

Which tip can you use to make a more mindful decision today?

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