Too Many Decisions

image of perplexed woman making a decision

I don’t know about you but when I have too many decisions to make in a short amount of time, I get overwhelmed and frustrated, and then I can’t seem to make a decision at all! I get stuck. Ever have one of those moments? It can be as simple as a menu choice at dinner or as complicated as a decision on a major purchase. It turns out I’m not alone.

Psychologist Roy F. Baumeister defined what he called “decision fatigue” as the diminishing quality and ability to make a decision after many other decisions have already been made on a given day. If you’ve been making decisions all day, it’s more likely that decisions near the end of the day will be harder to make and your choice might not be the best. The good news is that by simply being aware of this tendency, you can plan ahead to make the most important decisions early on while you’re still thinking clearly.

But what if you’re at the point where you’re already stuck and can’t make a decision? Rather than giving up or giving in to a less than optimal choice, try EFT tapping.

  • It can help you untangle all the pros and cons and options that are bouncing around in your brain.
  • It can help you feel calmer so you can look at the choices and do the best you can with the information you have at that moment.
  • And it can help you find compassion for yourself when you need it most.

Let’s look at a general example of using EFT tapping to help with decision fatigue. Remember that for best results, use specific words that describe your situation while you tap. Adapt this general example to express your feelings and the decision you need to make with words that are right for you. (And here’s a link to the EFT Basic Recipe for reference.)

On a scale of 0 – 10, estimate the intensity level of your frustration, overwhelm, or whatever you are feeling about being stuck trying to make this decision, where 0 is no intensity at all and 10 is maximum. Then start tapping on the side of the hand point with your setup statement:

Even though I am stuck and feeling completely overwhelmed by all these decisions I have to make, that’s just how I feel right now.
Even though I have no idea what to do right now, I accept myself anyway.
Even though I just can’t decide what to do, I accept myself and how I feel.

Tapping through the other points with your reminder phrases:

Top of the Head: I am SO overwhelmed and stuck.
Eyebrow: I can’t even think right now.
Side of the Eye: I can’t decide what to do.
Under the Eye: So overwhelmed and stuck.
Under the Nose: And I’m feeling frustrated.
Chin: Too many decisions to make today.
Collar Bone: And I’m afraid I won’t make the right choice.
Under the Arm: Feeling overwhelmed and stuck.

Top of the Head: I’ve already made so many decisions today.
Eyebrow: One more is just too much.
Side of the Eye: I wonder if I can take a breath now to feel calmer.
Under the Eye: So I can think better about this decision.
Under the Nose: Inhaling calm and exhaling frustration.
Chin: Feeling a little calmer about making a choice now.
Collar Bone: I’ll do the best I can with the information I have.
Under the Arm: Feeling calm enough to make a choice now.

Take a slow, calming breath and estimate your level of intensity again. If it’s still above a 3, continue tapping more rounds, venting specifically about your situation until you feel ‘unstuck’ and able to comfortably make a decision. I recommend you try tapping throughout the day as you make other decisions to help you regroup and to avoid the onset of decision fatigue.

Making decisions is part of daily life. To make the process easier, plan to handle the most important decisions early in the day, simplify the choices when possible, and practice EFT tapping often to help maintain clarity.

Keep Calm and Tap On!

For a quick read on how to use breathing as a tool to reduce stress, check out Take One Breath: The Art of Managing Stress Through Mindful Breathing, available on Amazon for only $2.99, or free on Kindle Unlimited! “Terry’s book is a gem, as she clearly and concisely explains five valuable breathing techniques that anyone can learn and use to reduce stress and anxiety.” — Amazon reviewer

Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.