Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make an immediate, important decision, but you became paralyzed because of the stress this caused? Fear, anxiety and doubt interfere with the decision-making process. You can’t think rationally; you can’t calmly weigh the options because you feel so much pressure.
One 15-minute focused-breathing meditation may help people make smarter choices, according to new research from researchers at INSEAD and The Wharton School. The findings are published in the February issue ofPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
People have trouble cutting their losses: They hold on to losing stocks too long, they stay in bad relationships, and they continue to eat large restaurant meals even when they're full. This behavior, often described as “throwing good money after bad,” is driven by what behavioral scientists call the “sunk-cost bias”.
“Most people have trouble admitting they were wrong when their initial decisions lead to undesirable outcomes,” says researcher Andrew Hafenbrack, lead author on the new research and doctoral candidate at INSEAD. “They don't want to feel wasteful or that their initial investment was a loss. Ironically, this kind of thinking often causes people to waste or lose more resources in an …
Of course there isn’t always time to meditate on a problem. Sometimes the decision has to be practically instantaneous. Even then, having a strong base of a calm, relaxed state, as well as mental and emotional control will help you remain calm and focused during a potentially stressful situation. When other people become highly stressed and make snap (usually faulty) decisions, you will have the self-control to take a step back, quickly look at the situation objectively and make “snap” decisions that are congruent with your values and goals. Enhance your decision-making skills through daily meditation!