How Life Transitions And Choices Can Impact Your Mental Health


Should I take the new job? Should I go abroad to study? Throughout our lives, whether we like it or not, we are always confronted with stressful situations and choices. The constant fear comes from what is called "paralysis by analysis"- worrying about making wrong choices. 

We may have made bad choices and quite often regret when we have realized the mistake later. That's part of - being human. What makes you feel unsure and stressed? Have you experienced past failures? The mere thought of making the wrong choices can make one feel stressed. Some of us avoid making decisions simply because we have had failures in the past and we fear facing regrets. Our beliefs, capabilities, as well as how we see the outside world and the external forces that play a part, affect what we might find possible. These beliefs, in turn, affect our choices. From our choice, we take action, and our action finally determines the results. 

Some people go through a psychological paralysis "I can't handle a this," "this is going to be tough." "I wish I didn't have to make this decision" - how many times your subconscious or conscious mind spelled out these phrases? The delay in deciding makes you stress and worry more. You defer action and keep thinking that you should choose but are unable to, and this, in turn, creates a detrimental cycle. You somehow get stuck in the past and predict you can't deal in future. 

So what can you do to avoid feeling sick when presented with a difficult choice? 

  1. Reframe- Realization of the decision and understanding is the first step to success. Focusing on the current action, developing mindfulness and living in the moment can help ourselves to do the best job- RIGHT NOW. You can create a better future based on the choice you make today and clarity of mind help us recognize the decision at hand and deal with it positively and proactively. 
  2. Be Realistic - Evaluate your decision by answering specific questions, and there may be more than one answer. Given a choice, pick and live one for some time and see how that feels. Set a timeline for your decision and you may have to make an individual decision without much information. Consider other alternatives that can be your back up plan (expert advice, savings, insurance) should the decision warrant. 
  3. Desensitization- Worst case- you may fail. Go over the situation. Take a walk and face it. We are a human being and not omniscient, and a sometimes well-planned decision can also go awry. So be ready to face the consequences should situations occur alter the decision is made.

At the end of the day, the decision was right because you took the time to plan and consider every option.