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Choice Overload! Is it the source of your anxiety and uncertainty?

Updated: Aug 19

Jordan Wright | TLR Affiliate | BS Psych October 22, 2021| jowright96@gmail.com


a graphic of a face with numbers and the words stress, delay, time management

A topic Tricia and I have been exploring recently for Turning Leaves® Recovery is anxiety, which is intelligible considering most people who struggle and thus need help conquering it. According to NAMI, over 40 million adults in the U.S. have some type of anxiety disorder. To paint a picture of how staggering this is, if you go to a grocery store filled with 50 people, you’ll pass by at least 9 shoppers suffering from some form of anxiety. I personally came under attack of General Anxiety Disorder in 2018 and to this day I am still reaping the consequences and reverberations of it.


These recent discussions with Tricia prompted me to start self-reflecting so that I can try to pinpoint the current main source of my anxiety. This led me to the discovery of a phenomenon labeled Choice Overload. Upon looking over all the research I accumulated on this, I knew that I can’t possibly be the only victim to suffer from this source of anxiety. I knew I had to do my part in learning as much as I could to shed more light on this and hopefully help any other fellow sufferers.


This societal oddity, choice overload, can be understood as the overwhelming feeling we experience when we are presented, from others and even ourselves, with an overload of possible options to choose from.


We all want the freedom of choice, of course, however, we now live in a world where there is SO much freedom and SO much choice that it can be a daunting task. It leaves us questioning, ‘Was this the BEST possible choice for me?.’ In these instances of over choice, people get so inundated with possible options that they become mentally paralyzed and either end up giving up their autonomy for someone/something else to make the decision for them, or they unintentionally choose something they didn’t need, or they simply avoid all options and don’t choose anything at all. The feelings that can result from these reactions to over choice are a sense of self-blame, regret, guilt, or even shame.


Why do I bring Choice Overload to the forefront of Turning Leaves® Recovery? The repercussions of it tie in so seamlessly to the difficulties and struggles that bring our clients in. Having so many options without the tools to appropriately manage them can lead to decreased satisfaction and confidence in our choices, a loss of trust in ourselves and control over situations, and an increase in the probability of developing anxiety and depression, and thus an increase in the likelihood of relapse. The good news? There are SO many curricula and evidence-based tactics that we employ here which directly target over choice while also attacking other areas of anxiety that may be enabling choice overload.


Who can become affected by choice overload?


Anyone. Consumers, Merchants, Stay at Home Moms, Business Owners, Married People, Single People, Students, Teachers. There is no discrimination in the sufferers of over choice. It can happen while trying to shop for clothes, electronics, or cleaning products. You can experience it while trying to actively date, choosing accommodations for travel, looking for which college to attend, determining a career path, picking out insurance providers, finding a doctor, seeking counseling, or simply choosing a place for dinner.


Tricia talks about: balance, formulating responses above reacting, who you are, locust of control, character, knowing yourself, having control in distressing times, living for yourself first, creating the version you want to experience while living, and so much more in Learn to Live Free, Evolves Transform, Attain, and Maintain, and Strengthening Your Resilience Life Unfolding all so our clients can create the emotional intelligence and self-esteem needs necessary for them to live the life they desire – without overwhelm.

It’s been a life-changing journey for me, and I’ve witnessed the transformation in others.


I encourage you to poke around to see if you discover your right fit for your life coaching needs or your addiction recovery journey!

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