Decision Anxiety: Temporary Relief and Long-term Solutions

Let’s get one thing straight.

Feeling anxious about a big life decision is perfectly normal.

The fact that you feel anxious is an indication of your intelligence. Because the more intelligent a person is, the more likely he or she will put considerable thought into mental simulations of the future.

And when the future is difficult to see, you are faced with a form of blindness you’re not accustomed to. As an intelligent person, projecting your mind into the future is second nature to you.

Yet the complexity of the modern world, coupled with decisions that involve multiple unpredictable variables, can create uncertainty. It’s as if one of the main senses you use to navigate the world is suddenly missing.

So you feel anxious.

Here are just a few of the ways decision anxiety can manifest:

  • mild nausea
  • waking up in the early morning hours with insomnia
  • feeling hot or overheated when contemplating the decision
  • Dreams featuring water or people who make you feel insecure
  • ...
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Facing a Big Decision? How Seeing the Future Makes You Smarter

To make decisions, we run mental simulations of the future.

The better you get at that skill, the more likely you are to get what you want.

While that sounds simple, mental simulation is a marvelous form of power. And generating complex models of the future, for decision-making, is one of the most impressive feats of the human mind.

Would you like to get better at it?

Here’s the first step for improving this skill. Acknowledge its difficulty. Come to terms with the fact that this is one mental skill worthy of receiving your deliberate attention.

As a psychologist, I have seen firsthand that intelligent decision-making is more important than IQ when it comes to finding relationship success, happiness, business success, physical health, and financial peace of mind.

And I’m not the only one who considers good decision making to be among the most potent forms of intelligence. The famous theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku makes the case in his book, The Future of the Mind. He...

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