Abundance of choices

Published 7:02 am Friday, January 17, 2014

Did you know having too many choices could often be a source of anxiety?

Even though I adore the process of picking, there are times when it can feel like a sensory overload. What I love is carefully selecting gifts for loved ones or researching products and places before I make big decisions. To get the best results, I start with a small list of good ideas and I begin making choices from there. This way it’s less likely to feel overwhelming and the experience is generally rewarding.

There was a research experiment conducted in 1995 by Iyengar and Lepper where one group of subjects were asked to choose their favorite chocolate out of six Godiva flavors and another group was asked to make the same choice from among 30 flavors.

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The results show that while more choices are more attractive and enticing, they tend to leave us feeling inundated. Ultimately, making a decision from a smaller sample group proved much more satisfying.

We live in a society constantly trying to out-do itself in every avenue and in turn, we are provided with an abundance of choice — often more than we can handle.

From our breakfast cereal to the car we drive or the clothes we wear, we are over-stimulated and de-motivated.

To make things easier, it’s best not to let other factors play a role in your decision-making process. Tune out whatever the TV or radio is trying to tell you and listen to yourself. You know what you want.

When people let their anxieties kick-in, it’s often because they’re worried something better may be just around the bend. It’s an ominous cloud of apprehension hanging over them — “What if?”

We need to understand when what we have is good enough, but not just “good enough” (because that sounds demeaning, doesn’t it?), we need to understand when what we have is good… and that it is enough.