Tips For Making Decisions Under Stress

Stress can be brought on by a wide variety of factors. Whether you have a big presentation due at work, or you are trying to plan an event for a friend or family member, stress will usually almost always find a way to rear its ugly head at some point. As can be expected, it always comes on right when you really can’t deal with it.

Often, being in the middle of a stressful situation forces you into the uncomfortable position of having to make a few decisions. Whether they are big or small decisions, the magnitude of your choice can just seem that much more amplified when you have a metaphorical load of stress weighing down on your shoulders. I know I have a hard enough time making decisions even on a good day (if you ask me where to go for dinner, you will never get less than three options from me), so when I’m stressed it just becomes that much worse. Naturally, that’s why I decided to be proactive and learn some tips while I’m not stressed so I can remember them when I do inevitably become anxious for one reason or another and I need to make a decision.

It was through this logic that I came across an article by Huffington Post that offers up some great advice on how to keep your cool and make rational decisions when you are in the irrational throes of stress. This is what I learned.

Before you even get to a point of needing to decide something, check in with yourself and see if you can put it off for a little while longer, at least until you’re a bit calmer and more level headed. The reason this may be a good idea is because you’re bound to make serious, and usually poor, decisions while your stress is at its highest level. If you’re working on a project and you’re extremely stressed, you’re probably going to want to make the choice to give up and quit. Tell yourself to not make any big decisions right at that moment, and you may be able to get through it all.

Of course, it’s also always a good idea to voice your concerns to someone who is removed from the situation and is pretty level headed and calm themselves. Asking their opinion can really help you see things from a different perspective, which can bring some much needed reason and rationale into the mix. 

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