Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Make Better Decisions

I can across this post by Tony Schwartz at the Energy Project:

"Recently, I came across this startling statistic. Each day, we make an average of 217 food-related decisions. Is it any surprise we so often make poor choices about what we eat?

The simple act of making decisions, says the researcher Roy Baumeister, progressively depletes our ability to make them well. We begin to experience something called "decision fatigue." Worse yet, we're often not even consciously aware of feeling tired and impaired.

Here's how the brain compensates: As much as 95 percent of the time, it makes decisions automatically, by habit, or in reaction to an external demand. So what would it take to intentionally make better decisions in a world of infinite choices?

The answer begins with self-awareness. Our first challenge is resist being reactive. Many of our worst decisions occur after we've been triggered — meaning that something or someone pushes us into negative emotion and we react instinctively, fueled by our stress hormones, in a state of fight or flight.
That's all well and good if there's a lion charging at you. It's not very useful in everyday life.

Most of the time, it makes more sense to live by the Golden Rule of Triggers: Whatever you feel compelled to do, don't.

If you respond out of a compulsion, you haven't made an intentional choice. It may feel right — even righteous — in the moment, but it's more likely to exacerbate the problem than solve it."

How many times is your eating triggered by something or someone else?  The clock, the kids, a spouse, or the spread on the break room table.  We respond without even thinking about how we want to respond.  Once the food is on our plates or in our hands, (or in our mouths), we might think "Rats!  I'm not even hungry!"  But by the time that realization hits, we've reacted to the food we're about to eat and it is much harder to put it down than it would have been to not pick it up in the first place.

How do we solve this?  Awareness.  That's what the 456 on the Eating Scale is for - not to judge you -- just to help you understand when and what your triggers are.  Once you can recognize some of them, you can prepare your reaction to the before they hit.  You can feel more confident and in charge of your decision making skills with just a little bit of understanding of what you are reacting to.

No comments:

Post a Comment