Anxiety can impact your life in a variety of ways. Going over the symptoms and struggles you might face every day isn’t something we need to re-hash. But, it’s important to understand how anxiety could affect your decision-making.
When you think about the common symptoms of anxiety, struggling to make decisions probably isn’t at the top of the list.
But, in giving it some more thought, it makes sense that it could have an impact on the things you do and the decisiveness of your declarations.
So, how can you tell if anxiety is affecting your decision-making, and what can you do about it? Let’s cover a few telltale signs that you can look for.
One of the biggest problems you might face with anxiety in decision-making is overthinking. There might be more than one right answer with any decision you have to make. But an anxious person might think about every possible answer and the outcome that could follow.
There’s nothing wrong with being thorough and considering consequences. But overthinking can drive you to eventually make the wrong decision. Taking too long to think about things could cause you to second guess yourself and your “gut instinct,” and you could make yourself even more anxious in the process.
If you find you overthink even the most basic decisions, it could be your anxiety getting in the way. If you’re spending too much time on decisions, consider asking for someone else’s opinion to steer you in a certain direction. Or, take care of bigger decisions first, before moving onto the smaller ones.
2. Considering What Could Go Wrong
When you’re faced with a decision, do you tend to worry about everything negative that could go along with it? The longer you let those thoughts sit and stew, the worse they’re likely to become.
One of the biggest mistakes people with anxiety make when they feel this way is not reaching out to someone else. You might be too scared to talk about your concerns. You might feel silly, or that you’ll get rejected if you bring them up.
No matter what your concerns are, asking someone who can offer clarification will undoubtedly ease them. If you have to make a decision about your health, ask your doctor for advice. If a financial decision is knocking at your door, ask an accountant or even a family member or friend who knows how to deal with money.
Voicing your concerns will provide you with the reassurance you need to move forward in your decision. So, overcoming that initial fear and asking someone for help will make it easier to avoid overthinking things that could potentially go wrong.
3. Feeling Too Anxious to Think
Sometimes, when your anxiety takes over, you might feel like it’s impossible to make a decision. Those feelings are valid! When anxiety becomes severe, it can impair your cognitive thinking and make it difficult to focus. Your mind and body are so ramped up that it becomes difficult to think about anything else.
Unfortunately, this serves as a vicious cycle. The more anxious you are, the harder it is to think. The harder it is to think, the more anxious you’ll become.
One of the best ways to calm down enough to make a decision is to take a few deep, slow breaths. Practice mindfulness and focus on the present moment, rather than worrying about the “what ifs”.
Anxiety already affects so many areas of life. You don’t have to let it negatively impact your decision-making, too. If you’re struggling with making choices because of your anxious thoughts, feel free to contact me. Together, we’ll focus more on how to take control of your thoughts once again, so you can feel confident and comfortable with every decision you make.
Click here for more information on Anxiety Counseling.