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Help Me Decide, Please.

Of all the vexing challenges we face, deciding what and how to decide is among the worst.


Think about it. Chicken or fish? Yes or no? How about "maybe"?

Ever since we began to make up our own mind we have been faced with options. Choices. Decisions.


Small, big, unknown - they are always there.


Millions of them. Literally. Here is the math.


If you make 1 decision a minute, such as "I want to put that in my mouth" at 10 months old or "let's have pasta for dinner" at age 35, in just 12 waking hours you will have made that is 720 decisions a day. In a week it becomes 5,040, in a month over 20,000 and in just one year over 260,000. So, by age 35 a typical person has made over 9 million decisions.


Yet that is way too low an estimate.


Realistically, we make WAY more than 1 decision a minute and most of us are awake more than 12 hours a day. Some estimates are that we make 35,000 decisions a day, an amazing 12.75 million decisions a year. In other words, other than our heartbeat, our most frequent actions are to breathe and make decisions.


Many of us do not give the process of deciding much thought. We learn this ability by osmosis, just by doing. It is rarely taught in schools. Like our heartbeat and breathing, decision making comes naturally.


What if there are simple ways to improve such an important and frequent activity that makes such a huge difference in our life?


Decide like you Breathe


Mindfulness, the practice of intentional self awareness, has exploded in popularity in recent years.


A core aspect of mindfulness is attention to our breath. Awareness and conscious attention to how we breathe has been credited by researchers as having many, significant health benefits.


See original articles here: Science Direct, Frontiers in Psychology, Harvard Health Publishing, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.


Emotionless decision making is attributed to the fictional Vulcan's or android Mr. Data of the entertainment franchise Star Trek fame.


Only mentally ill humans are capable of purely unemotional decisions, typically diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder or psychopathy.<