Many people feel a lot of anxiety when it comes to making decisions.
I’ve written quite a few posts about the anxiety that can be felt around making decisions, choosing pathways and picking between different options.
One of my beliefs when it comes to making decisions that I created a few years ago is that, either way things will turn out fine. It’s not a case of there being a good and bad option but instead choosing a path or experience.
That’s something I would say to anyone picking between two options but I also like to remind myself of that when I have to make choices.
There are some situations where it might seem like there is a clear good option, let’s say for example it is the choice to spend the day at home or have a day out in in a new city.
Your initial thought may be that staying home is boring and going out is the obvious choice. However, maybe when you stay home you end up doing a bunch of things that you’ve been putting off for weeks or months. You end up decluttering your space, tidying up and just refreshing your space so that feels a little more vibrant and a little more you.
Perhaps if you choose to go out, you’ll end up seeing some cool places, spend time with friends and eat some good food. So, either way you still have a good day.
The idea of things turning out fine no matter which option you choose came from the fact that making choices can often be difficult and I wanted to find a way to make it easier. My fear was always making the wrong decision and so I’ve worked to find a way to eliminate that and suddenly making around decisions isn’t as difficult as it used to be.
If only it was as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Something for you to refer back to when you need it.
Write down how you feel. Write until you have nothing left to write. Write without trying to be perfect, let it be messy and make no sense. The important part is getting it all out and down on paper. Sometimes our feelings of being overwhelmed are caused by a build up of feelings or words unspoken. Even though writing them out won’t directly change the situation often all you really need is to let it out.
Exercise and get your body moving. It could be skipping, a HIIT workout, dancing or whatever works for you. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good but the movement also allows you to dispel the heavy energy of a low mood. If you don’t feel like doing a proper workout, have a solo dance party instead.
Listen to music that will boost your mood. I’ve previously written about having a pick me up playlist, it’s so easy to create and it actually works. Once you get into associating certain songs with boosting your mood you’ll get to a point where just a few seconds of the intro will be enough to make you start to feel better.
One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.
It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.
This can be done by asking more questions.
When would you like me to complete this?
What time do you want to meet?
How do you feel about this situation?
You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.
Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is, do things that need to be done, instead of putting them off.
Our lives would be so much easier and our stress levels would be significantly lower if only we didn’t wait to get things done.
Often these things to be done are small and don’t take much time at all but the longer we wait the more the urgency builds or the problem grows. Then, all of a sudden we begin to feel overwhelmed by something we could have resolved and moved on from, weeks or even months ago.
Getting feedback can be terrifying.
Even if you have confidence in what you do the last thing you want is for someone else to come along and tell you that actually what you’re doing isn’t as good as you think it is.
I think feedback is difficult to take in because we act as if it’s personal.
And if you’ve done something creative like a poem or a painting in some ways it is personal. But it’s also subjective so if someone thinks your painting could be improved by having a richer colour palette, doesnt mean someone else won’t love it just the way it is.
But the other kind of thing we get feedback on is the stuff that’s more rigid and regulated like what you might do at work. If you’re a construction worker, there isn’t really much room for perception. The feedback you would get isn’t personal, it’s a more a case of this is is how it’s done and here’s where you need to improve in order to do it the way it needs to done.
And of course there may be things that lie somewhere in between.
But either way the main thing to remember about feedback (when it’s from the right people) is that it’ll benefit you in the long run. And if you keep that in mind instead of focusing on the fact that there are people who don’t like what you create or that you didn’t do something perfectly, receiving feedback might get a little bit easier.
Sometimes in a bid to grow, develop and push ourselves we end up taking on more than we can manage.
You think the challenge is what you need, you think you need to be pushed and you want to prove yo yourself that you can manage.
But often you just end up stressed and overwhelmed, wishing that you had said no instead of yes. Often the end result is far from what you intended because the stress and overwhelm didn’t give you the adrenaline to produce something great, it left you feeling burnt-out and exhausted.
And so it is important to find the balance between pushing yourself and pushing yourself overboard.
Sundays tend to be one of my most productive days, if not the most productive day.
I think the reason for this is because it’s still the weekend so I’m relaxed and can spend my entire day as I please but I also know that work starts the next day so I do what I can to make my week ahead run as smooth as possible.
Instead of focusing on working hard or being productive I think about what will make my week easier and will also make me happier.
Simple things like writing todo lists, meditation, planning meals and planning outfits can make such a big difference to my week.
I spend my Sunday evenings reflecting on the past week and writing a todo list for the week ahead. I’ll write about the good things that happened, a key moment or something I learned and also my focus for the coming week. I then proceed to write a todo list which is always a mix of things I want to do, things I could do and things I need to do.
I spend my Sundays in a way that feels good but also feels useful, the fact that I tend to get a lot done is a great. However, it’s a bonus, not the main intention.
I try not to look at the stats very often because I never want to be too attached to the numbers.
Of course it feels great when the numbers are high, when you’re getting lots of likes, comments and new followers. But when the numbers drop and you’re not seeing as many likes or views than you were getting for previous months, it can be disheartening.
One of the only ways to avoid this is to stop focusing on the numbers. Don’t allow the numbers to get you down.
Sometimes it can feel like you’re trying really hard and dedicating time but the numbers don’t reflect that. But, I feel like so often we forget or overlook one of the most important things when it comes to creating something and putting it out.
You have control over how and what you create, then putting it out for consumption. Its the customers, viewers or readers that are in control of the numbers, consuming your work and choosing to pass it on. You might be able to encourage it but ultimately it’s out of your control.
Around 18 months ago I created a Pick me up playlist.
The reason I did this is in the name, I wanted a pick me up. But more importantly I wanted something I could go back to.
I’m lucky enough to know how the music I listen to makes me feel and, I curated a playlist of songs to listen to when I am in need of a pick me up.
It is simple yet incredibly effective.
And of course the music doesn’t fix the issue but it reminds me what it is like to feel good and that makes me want to make the effort to make things better.
If you’re someone that enjoys listening to music, I’d advise you to give it a go.
You don’t even need to create a whole playlist but the next time you feel down just listen to one of your favourite songs and see how it makes you feel.
Every once in a while I am reminded of the power of taking a walk in nature.
It is calming, refreshing, relaxing and simple.
If you haven’t done it for a while, I’d recommend it.
You’ll often find that some of the most helpful things are the cheapest, easiest and most accessible. But instead we end up looking to things that are expensive, difficult and challenging to obtain.
I think the reason for this is that we assume that big problems will require big solutions. Or if you’re not ready to work at something, you can use the excuse of the solution being out of reach, something you don’t have access to.
It can be difficult to comprehend that the very thing you need to help make things better, is something you can do right now.