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How to make a decision by tuning into your body

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How to make a decision by tuning into your body

Penny Younger

We all have times in life where we are at some sort of crossroads and we have to decide what direction or what course we are going to take.

The crossroads might be relatively small in the grander scheme of things, or it might actually be quite monumental.

We all need to make decisions on a daily basis; some decisions take a second to make, however other decisions can take weeks, months or even years.

Sometimes, they are easy to make. The answer is obvious to us. 

Other times, the answer is clouded because we can't see the forest for the trees. There are pros and cons to consider, there are other people's opinions, there are repercussions to be mindful of and we might not have confidence in ourselves to follow through with whatever the outcome needs to be.

We might feel this way about relationships, our health, our work, where we live, whether to study something new, or to start a new business... the list goes on.

When the answer is easy to make and you have a clear path to follow, life probably feels like it's on your side. 

However, what happens when we can't decide what action we need to take? What happens when our pros and cons don't actually out weigh each other? What happens when we over think it and over analyse it? What happens when there are too many variables or both options to a decision seem scary?

At some point in your life, you would have probably faced a big decision or maybe you are facing one now. Maybe you are deciding whether to live overseas, or you're deciding the fate of a relationship. Maybe you're weighing up whether it's worth going back to university to study or what action you are going to take for a health concern. Whatever the scenario, these decisions can sometimes be hard to make because we actually have no idea what to do or what feels right. 

It all just feels a bit overwhelming.

A lovely little trick I try in these situations is to rely on my body to tell me what the right thing to do is.

PRESS PLAY TO WATCH: (6.10 minutes)

Your body won't ever, ever lie to you. 

You can write a million 'pros and cons' lists, ask a thousand people for their opinions and analyse the potential repercussions until your blue in the face. All of that information though, is just noise. 

How you feel about something and how something feels is actually what is most important.

Now, to be clear, both potential scenarios might scare you - that's fine and well, probably normal! The key here, is to really listen and tune into your own body to hear and feel what is underneath the discomfort in each option.

Does one decision, even if it's scary as hell, feel like a weight would be lifted? Does it maybe feel a little lighter inside of you? Can you all of a sudden breathe a little deeper? Does it feel terrifying and challenging but at the same time feel like you'd be expanding a little bit?

On the other hand, does the other option feel just as viable, but maybe a little murky and unclear? Does it make you feel tight in the chest? Does it make you go round in circles with justification as to why that must be the right answer? Does it feel stagnant and like you're not really stepping up to the plate, but rather staying safe out of fear? Does it feel relatively easy, rather than exciting?

When you are facing a decision that you are unable to make, ask yourself two questions:
1) How do I feel about this? How does this make me feel?
2) How does my body physically react to it? Does it feel heavy and restrictive, or does it feel open and light?

When you ask yourself these questions, you need to remember that both options may very well feel equally as scary, equally as good, equally as messy or equally as viable. 

But, what's underneath the logic, or the analysis, or the fear or the nervousness? Are you nervous because you know what to do but are terrified, or are you nervous because it's too heavy to carry around anymore.

Tuning into your body and listening to how it feels, is always going to be your roadmap home - to the decision that is true, for you.

We need to remember that none of us escape that voice inside of our minds that doubt our ability to pull something off, or who questions whether something is a good idea. Both options for your decision will more than likely involve that voice, which is why it's sometimes hard to rely on logic or our thoughts, because that voice can be really hard to detect sometimes.

That's why tuning into your body for an answer, is not only going to give you the truth, but it's also going to lead you home, to yourself.