What Is Decision Making Anxiety and How Can It Be Overcome?

The decision making process plays an important role in every aspect of our lives. However, sometimes making decisions can create a certain anxiety in people. Overcoming this situation, which is also defined as decision-making anxiety, is important to make life easier.

In this article, we examined how decision making anxiety arises, what symptoms it shows, and how this anxiety can be overcome.

Symptoms of decision making anxiety

Decision-making anxiety manifests itself through a number of symptoms experienced by the individual during the decision-making process. These symptoms can negatively impact a person’s quality of life by affecting their mental and emotional state. Here are the symptoms of decision-making anxiety:

-Continuous procrastination and indecision: People who experience decision-making anxiety may have difficulty in coming to a conclusion among the options due to the constant urge to postpone. This situation causes a feeling of indecision and uncertainty.

-Fear and anxiety: Fear and anxiety about the decision-making process creates anxiety about the possible consequences of the issue being considered. Fear of failure, criticism, or negative reaction are key symptoms of decision-making anxiety.

-Constantly thinking and analyzing: Individuals with decision-making anxiety tend to overthink and analyze in detail while trying to make a decision. This prolongs the process and creates excessive thought confusion.

-The need for approval from others: People who experience decision-making anxiety may attach excessive importance to the approval of their decisions by others. Fear of not receiving positive feedback from others can influence one’s internal evaluation of oneself.

-Physical symptoms: Decision-making anxiety can lead to not only mental but also physical symptoms. These symptoms may include headaches, stomach upset, sleep problems, and tension.

-Second guessing after the decision: Individuals who experience decision-making anxiety may second-guess by constantly questioning even after making a decision. This can lead to not being able to relax even after making a decision.

Ways to overcome decision-making anxiety

Coping with decision-making anxiety requires one to develop inner strength and decision-making skills. Below, we have reviewed some effective ways to overcome this anxiety:

Collecting and analyzing information:

  • Learning more about your problem can reduce uncertainty in your decision-making process.
  • By relying on objective data to analyze your options, you can make more informed decisions.

Starting small:

  • Starting with small steps instead of big decisions can make the process more manageable.
  • Lessons learned through steps taken can increase your confidence when making bigger decisions.

Emotional balance and awareness:

-Maintaining emotional balance through techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can reduce the stress that comes with making decisions. A study from INSEAD and the Wharton School found that 15 minutes of meditation can help people make smarter choices.

This is because mindfulness meditation, which improves present-moment awareness and clears the mind of other thoughts, can help eliminate biases that often affect decision-making. [one]

Independent thought and evaluation:

  • Instead of seeking the approval of others, considering your own values ​​and goals is an effective method.
  • The ability to evaluate your decisions independently of external influences can contribute to making healthier decisions.

Getting help from others:

When dealing with decision-making anxiety, seeking professional help and support services such as counseling or therapy can help you understand and improve your inner experiences.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders and Decision Making: Literature Review (2019) examined the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in addressing decision-making difficulties associated with anxiety disorders. Research has found that CBT consistently improves decision-making outcomes in individuals with anxiety disorders. [2]

Getting a different perspective from a trusted friend or family member can help you evaluate your decisions.

While some decisions are made effortlessly, others can trigger anxiety and leave the person indecisive. Deep within the anxiety of decision-making, a common but often overlooked challenge lies the potential for growth and transformation.

Embracing the challenges that arise can lead to a feeling of empowerment and resilience. When you become aware of the impact of emotions on your choices, you will find that you can manage your anxiety more easily.

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