When you have a tough choice or a hard decision to make, take a break before you field your options. If you want to be happy, you should learn to make decisions in your life without agonizing over it. Here is the secret: Don’t think about the decision you want to make too hard. In a series of studies at the University of Amsterdam, shoppers were more satisfied with their purchases when they didn’t give the matter serious continual thought. Concentrating is like shining a spotlight on your problem – it highlights some important details but leaves others in shadows, according to the study.
When you focus your attention on something else, your unconscious mind continues to mull over the problem, but processes all of the factors. One great way to put your brain on hold is to get some shut-eye. Sleep is one of the ultimate distractions, but if you don’t have eight hours or so to wait, you can get similar benefits by taking a walk, playing a few games on your phone or even doing the dishes or calling a friend.
Published on July 2013