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SessionMake Decisions with Confidence

Make Decisions with Confidence

When making decisions, your emotions are always a part of the equation. Mollie explains how, rather than trying to suppress our feelings, we can learn from them to make even smarter choices.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(bright music) I was asked to lead a big consulting project at my job, and it meant that I was traveling four days a week. And so this decision was difficult for me because I had a lot of conflicting emotions around what was being asked of me. I'm a home body, I don't like to travel that much, so that made me wanna say no. And I actually felt some fear of regret, of like, oh, if I don't take this project, someone else might lead it, or I might get another project that's not as high profile, and how would I feel about that? So I think often when we're trying to consider a decision, we tend to paint it as I can do A or B. And often there's a lot in between A and B. And so that's one where leaning too hard into your initial emotion doesn't really work. That project actually did end up helping me get promoted. And I knew that there was a lot of growth that came out of the project. (lively music) We tend to think of rational analysis as straightforward and listening to your feelings as disingenuous. But the reason that emotions get a bad rap is that we don't know how to decode them. There's a study of the people who made the best investment decisions within a firm. And the people who made the best decisions were the ones who were feeling the strongest emotion at the time, good or bad. They were recognizing, "Oh, I'm having a strong emotion. What does that tell me about the decision that I'm trying to make? Should I be listening to that emotion or not?" So they didn't completely ignore it. They said, "How should I factor this emotion in to making this decision right now?" (upbeat music) Rather than trying to suppress emotions, learn from them to help you make difficult decisions. Let's say you're reading through your school's alumni magazine and you notice that all of the people that you're most envious of are teachers. That might be a really good sign to you that you want to switch careers and become a teacher, but you have to allow yourself to feel that envy in order to get that information. (bright music) Notice the emotions that you're feeling and categorize them into relevant and irrelevant emotions. A good rule of thumb is to keep relevant emotions and toss irrelevant emotions. So let's say that I've been invited to go out to drinks with some colleagues after work, and so it's my job to figure out what are the relevant emotions and what are the irrelevant emotions. Let's say that I'm feeling tired and hungry. That might be an irrelevant emotion, because I could get food when I go out for drinks and probably once I get there, I will feel a little bit more energized. I might also be feeling like, "Hey, I haven't seen my colleagues in...


Duration6 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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