by Diana Proemm
Many times in our lives, we have to make choices that may throw us into an full blown or minor anxiety attack. Whether it’s to to pursue a new job, buy a house or move on from a marriage or long term relationship. Doors can be opened and closed, but what if there are two doors to choose from. How we settle our decisions can add or subtract to our daily anxiety levels. Here are five tips to use when makinglife altering choices.
Door #1 – What is your life’s mission?
What is your way of making decisions? Do they come easy to you or do you become filled with panic and
postpone until the very last minute and hope that it’s right? Having a vision for your life will aid the anxiety when life throws you a curve ball and you have limited time to decide on something. You could go as far as developing a mission and vision statement similar to an organization, but for your personal life. Once you have established what your want in your life, and what is most important, the decisions will come easier, alleviating inherent stressors.
Door #2 – Evaluate Your Pro’s and Cons
When making big decisions in life, I like using the pros vs. the cons method. Take a sheet of paper and write your decision at the top and make a column for pros and cons. Start to list out the line items in each column keeping in mind your personal core values and mission statement. If you have unknowns or things to consider, write them at the bottom. As you do this task, the decision may become apparent right away, or you may need to take more mindful time to consider.
Door #3 – Phone a Friend, Family or Professional
If you need non-judgemental advice than I would suggest going with a professional life coach or counselor. If you have a supportive family like mine, then calling on mom is always a good call. Otherwise, connecting with a supportive friend who isn’t afraid to guide you in a right direction. When I am trying to work something out, my closest girlfriends are typically my go to as they can make suggestions for me to think about that helps me get closer to that decision.
Door #4 – Meditate or Summon a Higher Power
Most of us have spirituality that we can call to. My spirituality comes from energy I receive when I hang out with other people and in nature. You may call upon God, Budda or something else but mostly I suggest to call upon your intuition. Use visualization and your inner wisdom to help make a decision. Find a peaceful place, light a candle and meditate – think about how the decision would look like and listen to your body and how it responds when you think about it. Does your body rejoice in the decision or do you feel resistance? Learning to tap into your inner wisdom will assist you towards finding your true path in life.
Door #5 – Recreation Therapy in Nature
My favorite and most recommended action plan is incorporating some exercise in your daily routine as it aids in alleviating stressors and anxiety. Studies show walking through nature has the ability to lesson depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. When I was selling off 90% of my things last year, I developed minor anxiety when I was deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. I learned I was holding onto stuff that no longer served me, but when it came to items that mattered, anxiety would develop. I would stop what I was doing and take a walk in nature and leave the decisions the next day. I found when I returned to my tasks, the anxiety was gone and the decision came with little issue. Going for a trail run, or bike ride allows me to find the grounding I need to get back to the tasks at hand.
After making your choice, don’t look back. Move forward with authority and conviction that you have listened to your inner voice. Trust that the chosen path will lead you in the right direction.
The Bigger Picture trips want to empower women bring you to the most rad terrain you’ll ever come across. The best thing is you don’t have to be an “extreme” enthusiast as they is catered to the novice/beginner to introduce you to a stellar world. The perceived risk is high, but actual risk is low and that is the beauty of this experience. We have chosen these activities to challenge you to try something new so that you can walk away from them with that step of confidence that you take into your daily life.
The Bigger Picture experience is your trail to transformational healing. You will sign up for adventure with other ladies to join a sisterhood of greatness. There will be no formal therapy sessions, and the trips are designed to invoke holistic therapeutic processes that may challenge your emotions; but the best part is the group and professional support you’ll receive the whole time. Emotional safety is our number one and learning how to cope amongst others going through similar issues is a good way to move forward. You will leave with a sense of accomplishment.
Bigger Picture creates positive change in the lives of women struggling with anxiety and PTSD through weekend retreats and outdoor adventure. Check out our adventure trips for women here.