We have a lot of decisions to make in our lives: Where to live, what job to pursue, what flavor coffee to drink. Some are obviously more serious than others, but regardless of the frivolity of some choices, we still are constantly making selections on a daily basis. And when we're unsure, it's hard to feel confident that we've made the right one.
Research suggests that when we're always making decisions, we may suffer from what is known as decision fatigue, the New York Times reported in 2011. The more decisions you make throughout the day, the more mentally exhausted your brain becomes.
However, there are some choices that are just simply worth it. Below are six decisions you won't regret making, whether it's at the beginning of the day or the end of your evening.
Choosing to be happy.
We spend countless hours in the pursuit of happiness, whether it's chasing our dreams or chasing the latest clothing trend. But the good news is it may not be all that complicated: Studies suggest that happiness is a choice that we have control over. In other words, our joy doesn't always lie within our jobs or material possessions (in fact, research shows money doesn't buy happiness over the longterm).
Opting to unplug.
In today's world, having our phones with us is about as natural as breathing (and when we don't have them, panic sets in). But trust us on this one: You'll never regret taking a little digital timeout every now and then. When we disconnect from our screens, we're improving our well-being. Additionally, too much tech can make you feel lonely, affect your sleep and even lead to physical symptoms, like headaches.
Selecting kindness over rudeness.
It's easy to grumble at someone on a crowded train or brush off someone in need as you pass them by, but chances are you won't regret it if you extend a little compassion. You don't have to spend hours volunteering if that's not your thing (although research suggests there are serious benefits to performing charitable acts). Even just a small, generous act -- like holding the door for someone -- can make a world of difference. Research shows that kindness makes us happy and happiness makes us kind in return. Sounds like a pretty positive (and powerful) cycle.
Deciding to treat yourself the way you treat your friends.
PSA: You are amazing. We might not always believe in ourselves, but research suggest that if we did, we'd be a whole lot better off. Accepting ourselves has been shown to make us happier and healthier, so maybe it's time to start seeing yourself the way you see your loved ones. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world."
Choosing to smile at that stranger.
Admit it: There's this sense of gratification that comes when you exchange the most human of smiles with someone. According to a 2012 study, smiling at a stranger can give us a greater sense of connection. Not to mention just the simple act of smiling can lift our moods when we're feeling a little blue. You won't regret flashing those pearly whites.
Opting to say "no."
We live in a culture of perpetual busyness -- and because we're always on the go, we feel strange when we're not. However, when you look back on your life, are you going to regret the times you gave yourself a little break? Probably not. In fact, as small business coach Margalit Ward explains in a HuffPost blog, we're saying yes to life by learning to say no a little more often. "So what does learning to say no really mean? It means committing to living a more authentic and conscious life," she wrote. "A life that I create based on honoring myself, accepting myself, and saying yes to the truth of my heart."
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.