“What should we have for dinner?”
“I don’t care.”
Does anyone else just completely dread this conversational exchange. After an entire day of making decisions, the thought of having to decide one more thing to keep the peace is actually not peaceful at all.
Wait, wait, wait…..what about this one?
What if you have to make a big choice, like do you take the raise at the job your are “meh” about or do you make a lateral move that might suck right now, but has the potential to be great in the future?
Did you ask 17 of your closest friends their advice on what to do? And what did they say? Who do you know to listen to? What happened to that advice columnist anyway…did they get burnout too?
SO MANY DECISIONS AND CHOICES!
Becoming so emotionally exhausted that you can no longer make decisions is called decision fatigue. The average person makes over 35,000 decisions in a day before you “decide” it’s time for bed. Many of these decisions are habitual decisions, some of them are what to wear, where/what to eat for lunch, when to go refill your water bottle, and some are big decisions…like finally deciding to have that one conversation you’ve been putting off.
While this all sounds so very real, and it really is real, because you really can feel the impact of this. Scientists are finding decision fatigue extremely hard to study because of the varying definitions and testing. Oh yeah, and the fact that we are all so different and all dealing with different decisions. However, it was studied in nurses during the pandemic, the longer they went without a break, the harder a decision was to make. Mental stress of the pandemic, on top of mental stress of the job, on top of really big decisions…..once again so very real. The more tired and stressed you become, the less likely you are to be able to actually decide on something.
While the “study” of this is still being worked on, I don’t know about you but this week I felt like I had SO MANY decisions I had to make, and became overloaded. So then what?
That’s when two books came to mind - The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz and The Full Body Yes by Scott Shute. These are two great books if you struggle with choice, or if you have a big decision to make.
Also, here's a great video for a TEDtalk on The Paradox of Choice.
In The Paradox of Choice, the book talks a lot about feeling like you missed out with opportunity costs or valuing something less because of other options, and having too many options can leave you feeling buyer’s remorse. I really loved the idea in this book of leaning into the idea of “good enough.” Eventually we all have to settle on something, even if it’s settling on the best thing. Instead of overwhelming yourself with the best, can we just be with a “good” option?
Let’s get to how this ties in with yoga and saying YES for your life, and saying YES to a decision. In Scott Shute’s book, “The Full Body Yes” he has a great exercise to help make a decision between two things, and it all comes back to meditation - specifically visualization meditation.
In this exercise you visualize yourself picking the first option and moving through what happens from the point of choosing the first choice into about 6 months from choosing that, take a moment to sit with that, and then clear your mind. Then visualize yourself picking the second option, and move that forward. Once you’ve sat with that, clear your mind again. From there, ask yourself: Which decision felt best in your body? Which option aligned with your vision and goals for your future?
A few more things you can do if we still haven’t convinced you to start meditating:
- start wearing your best YESyoga blacks (okay okay, just kidding, but in all honestly having a “uniform” or a simplified wardrobe can help you streamline your mornings)
- Take a 10 minute break to do SOMETHING ELSE, use that time for distractions
- Make big decisions for the day first if possible
- If all else fails, come to YESyoga!