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The Surefire Way to Make Up Your Mind When You Have No Idea What You Really Want

The Surefire Way to Make Up Your Mind When You Have No Idea What You Really Want


    You’ve weighed all the pros and cons. You’ve made checklists and consulted with your closest friends and talked out all the outcomes so many times that you (and everyone around you) are sick of thinking about it.

    But you still have absolutely no idea what to do. Choice A and Choice B continue to taunt you, each one pulling at you but neither one pulling enough to help you finally take that deep breath and pick one already.

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    At times like this it may seem that you’re stuck closing your eyes and pointing, hoping that whichever option you randomly pick winds up being the right one. And you’re not entirely wrong about that. Because there is a no-fail way to make the right decision every time, even when you’re positive you have no idea what you really want.

    It’s a bit of an abracadabra mind trick, so I want you to stick with me on this, even though it may seem a little silly at first. Here’s what I want you to do:

    Flip a Coin.

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    Seriously.

    Whenever you’re faced with two choices you seem absolutely paralyzed to decide between, give this little trick a try:

    1. Find a coin.
    2. Designate one side “Choice A” and the other “Choice B.”
    3. Flip the coin.
    4. Place your hand over the result.
    5. Stop right there.

    I don’t want you to actually look at the result. I want you instead to recall (without pausing to give yourself a second to overthink it) which result you just secretly hoped would be revealed.

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    Because there was one. The instant that coin flipped and you slapped your hand over it, somewhere, deep down below all your analyzing and debating, you instinctively wished that one of those two choices would come out on top.

    You just needed to stop thinking about it long enough to know your true desire.

    Why This Trick Works

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    Weighing pros and cons objectively isn’t a bad thing. It can be necessary to make sure you make the right choice for the long run rather than letting your emotions run away with you. But when you’ve done all that weighing, and both choices still seem equally favorable, then it’s time to rely on a little old-fashioned resource known as your gut.

    It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis—to dissect an issue from so many angles and consider so many arguments you lose all sight of the key question in any decision-making process: What do you really want to do? What will make you happiest? If Choices A and B both seem objectively “good” for you, then that’s ultimately what it comes down to.

    You just need to step outside of your own head for a second to realize which choice is the answer.

    (Photo credit: Closeup of a Businessman Having No Idea via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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