What they don’t tell you about anxiety is that there’s this whole problem of indecision. Anxiety brains give so many different alternatives. We have perfected the art of “what ifs.” And with this, you create all these possible choices for everything. You think (and think and think) logically through these possible outcomes looking for the “best” decision, but then you worry that that choice is not actually the best decision. And that wrong decision could do this, could do that, could ruin your life. This doubt is paralyzing enough that even minor decisions are completely exhausting.
This state is so overwhelming that you can imagine why the anxiety brain would rather not decide anything, thus leading to constant indecision.
I’m in my early 20s, fresh from college, trying to make the big life decisions that come with change- “Where do I want to live?” “What kind of job do I want?” “Do I want to go back to school?” And the anxiety surrounding these questions is so great that it keeps me in this constant state of stress. So much so that decisions like “What kind of new cell phone do I want?” and “What brand of toothpaste should I get?” become these whole time and energy drains of their own. Like no one should be spending a half-hour debating what flavor cheez-its to buy.
For me, it helps to remember that no choice is going to be perfect (there are pro-con lists for a reason). And that that’s okay. Important decisions do take some time because they are important. And most of all that things in life, including decisions, are very rarely is finite. There will always be new things, new places, new jobs, and the ability to use those opportunities for change.