What is decisional stress and how to avoid it?

Decisional stress occurs when we overload ourselves with alternatives and avoid focusing on what is necessary. In this space we show you some recommendations to better manage your time.

Last update: October 29, 2021

Stress is a feeling of anguish that can be caused by external or internal situations. To understand what decisional stress is, we must know its origin. In this case, it’s about the decisions we make every day, even the smallest.

Constantly making choices can be exhausting, even if we may not realize it. ANDReading the clothes we are going to wear or what we are going to eat daily, for example, produces stress. On the one hand, it is important because it keeps us alert; on the other, it can paralyze us. We must be careful.

To avoid excess stress from everyday decisions, the ideal is minimize the number of choices we make. Of course, we must be careful not to downplay the important points.

What is decisional stress?

Decisional stress is a type of distress that occurs when we constantly have to make different decisions about the same thing. Such is the case of people who decide on a daily basis that they are going to have breakfast. Although it may seem harmless, it affects mental health over time.

The stress product of everyday decisions comes as a consequence of we do overanalysis of inconsequential things. Eating is a basic need that we cover every day, however, it is not a good idea to always change options.

Decisional fatigue comes quietly. Usually we realize when it is already affecting us.

This is that the inertia with which we decide small things leads us to invest too much time in unimportant matters. When we realize it, the stress has already appeared.

Staying too long mulling over the same small decision can create stress.


How does decisional stress occur?

Fatigue from making inconsequential decisions produces mental fatigue. This situation goes through the bad habits that we normalize in everyday life.

Some people think that it is good to have many alternatives, which is not entirely true. Actually, the more pragmatic we are, the better it could be.

The stress from the excess of alternatives comes when we are not able to do routines. In this sense, it is understood that daily habits are a protective factor against stress. People who constantly improvise are more prone to mental fatigue.

When we do not plan in advance the basic things we must do a mental burnout censer. In these cases, the fatigue does not come immediately; it is usually a silent process. If the lack of order is imposed in life, people resent it after a while.

What areas are affected?

People with decision stress are affected in all areas of their lives. It is logical to think that, when we are exhausted, we cannot deal with any conflict efficiently. Even the smallest problems become difficult to manage.

In the area that is most noticeable mental fatigue due to making inconsequential decisions is in work and academics. We realize that it is difficult for us to do activities that previously seemed simple to us.

Signs of decisional fatigue

The most common expressions of mental exhaustion include physical and psychological symptoms. Mainly, lack of concentration is one of the first signs to appear.

However, other consequences may be the following:

  • Impulsiveness: chen making decisions on the fly becomes customary, people become hasty. In any case, the ability to reason suffers and it becomes difficult to choose the best alternatives.
  • Procrastination: mental exhaustion causes our coping styles to become avoidant. In other words, we start postpone important activities. Procrastination is a defense mechanism, but it is stressful.

How to avoid decisional stress?

Personal strategic planning helps reduce the effects of decision fatigue. It’s about learning to manage time efficiently. Below we review a list of tips to better organize the routine and avoid exhaustion.

1. Advance planning

Anticipation is the basis of every routine. Ideally, take the time to schedule the activities we do on a daily basis. When we have decided what to have for breakfast, we don’t have to worry about deciding it every morning.

2. Set priorities

Identifying the important aspects of life helps you focus on them. There are more complex decisions than others, but not all difficult decisions are urgent. If we can avoid making difficult decisions that bring us nothing, we have better mental resources to deal with what is fruitful.

Being able to plan simple and common tasks in advance will reduce daily mental fatigue.

3. Plan in the morning hours

During the first hours of the day our brain is rested and it is easier to plan or make adjustments to the routine. As long as we’ve had a good night’s sleep, we will have no problem taking advantage of the morning to make decisions.



What decisions are important?

At this point, we have understood that the key to avoiding decision stress is keep inconsequential decisions to a minimum. Now this is an intimate process. It’s about doing an exercise in introspection.

We don’t all have the same goals in life. Therefore, important decisions for some people may be insignificant for others. Before doing any planning it is essential set specific goals.

Knowing what we want to achieve is easier discard what concerns us unnecessarily. Distractions cannot be completely avoided, but we can always abandon some negative customs.

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