How to Reduce the Stress of Too Many Choices

There are many sources of stress in life now days. When I read the Chinese Medicine classics they talk about stress in a relevant way but there are many lifestyle factors that we have today then didn’t exist in 2000BC.¬† Today I am sure it is safe to say that we have more choices than ever before.

  • What should you eat?
  • what car do you want?
  • where do you want to live?
  • what do you want to do?
  • what kind of lifestyle you want? and on and on

These choices, studies show, can cause an enormous amount of stress.

In a book called The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz  the author shows that having too many choices can cause serious pressure and stress. This pressure, according to the psychologist, can lead to clinical depression, overwhelm, anxiety, and the inability to make any decisions at all. The main idea is having more choice leads to less happiness and life fulfillment.

This concept can easily apply to our health. A quick google search will show the multitude of diets, exercise plans, and therapies available. I get concerned thinking about the aging Baby Boomers, who have never really thought much about their health, hitting this mass of information and trying to weed through it all.

How do you chose which ‘Plan’ is right for you?

My advice is to chose 1 idea or plan and try it for a predetermined amount of time. Stick to it for the whole amount of time that you decided on. Don’t worry if it’s not the ‘best’ choice just pick one and take action. Once you decide, stop thinking about it! Limit your choices.

For example, if you wanted to give the Raw Food diet a try, follow it for 7 days then make your decision afterwards if you want to continue. What if you wanted to try the Acid/Alkaline diet as well? After you are done the Raw Food 7 days, then try the Acid/Alkaline for 7 days but don’t try to do both at the same time.

Read one book at a time. Follow one exercise program. Practice one meditation. Reduce clutter. Minimize the multitude of choices available. You will actually see more results in a shorter amount of time.

When I was training for the Sahara Race a few years ago I didn’t want to give up other non-running activities because I enjoyed them. After a few weeks of trying to increase my mileage and keep up with other training I noticed I was getting weaker, and slower. Finally, I decided to just focus on running training and within a short time was feeling much better and healthier!

Quite often when I get the feeling that patients are feeling overwhelmed I use the acupuncture point Yintang, which is located in between the eyebrows to help settle and calm the mind.


Hope this helps and remember…


~Think Vitality!~