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Emotional reactions are designed to keep us from danger (e.g.jumping out of an oncoming vehicle’s path rather than pausing mid-crosswalk).(Let’s discuss that e-mail you sent your ex after two glasses of wine another time.)How do we avoid making choices that invite regret or resentment or erode our well-being?Though there’s no surefire way to never make a mistake, paying attention to signs that we’re en route to bad decisions can help us change course before it’s too late.Granted, there are exceptions (maybe don’t tell your BFF who just lost her job that you’re considering taking a new one).
We may also give in to immediate gratification or shun people and situations we would be better off embracing simply because we perceive them as threats. Dopamine, depressive symptoms and decision-making: The relationship between spontaneous eyeblink rate and depressive symptoms predicts Iowa Gambling Task performance.If you can’t wait overnight to make a decision, maybe a catnap is in order.In a 2018 study, researchers found that daytime napping helped participants process unconscious information. Keeping info about a decision you’re about to make secret from others could be a sign you aren’t totally OK with it.Carmichael recommends making a pro and con list about big decisions. Lists can help us get in touch with our fears about what’s in store for us.Here are some examples: Should I leave this relationship or job? We can also assess whether the threats we perceive are realistic (this worksheet can help too).