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Ever feel stuck in your own head? Plagued by indecisiveness? We've all been there, but in the moment, it can be hard to take a step back and figure out your next move.
If you’re struggling with a major life decision, you’re often bogged down by fear, Dr. Lynda Klau, a psychologist and founder of learning center Life Unlimited, told TODAY. That may be the fear that you’ll make the wrong choice, or not do the right thing, which can make you doubt and “double think” yourself, she explained.
But is there a way to ensure that you’ll always choose wisely? While there’s often no single right or wrong choice, Klau noted that there is one crucial tip she gives to those making a major decision: Don’t make the decision right away.
If you pause, you won’t react impulsively Klau explained. Instead, you can reflect and ask yourself important questions about the decision and ultimately come to your decision with more freedom than if you had reacted in a knee-jerk fashion.
Try to relax through meditation, yoga or even some simple deep breathing exercises, she said, which can calm your nervous system down. See what thoughts pop into your mind, and try to visualize the outcome of the decision to see how your body reacts. If you’re terrified, or have headaches or stomach pains, your body may be subconsciously signaling that something is amiss.
Then, ask yourself other questions: Is the decision in line with your larger purpose? Will it take you closer to where you want to be in life?
The amount of time you pause may depend on the decision, Klau explained. For a relatively minor decision you’re conflicted about, such as whether to get together with a certain person for dinner, you could take an hour or so to collect your thoughts and make sure that your answer is not influenced by any default habits of saying yes or no. Tell them you need to check your schedule and get back to them.
For a larger decision, you may need more time — but don’t rush the decision before you’ve had a chance to reflect.
By pausing to reflect, you’ll not only be able to make better decisions, but also begin to trust yourself more, Dr. Klau said.