Your body is making choices every second. Thousands of choices are being made on your behalf to keep all body systems operating and you alive.
Is core body temperature too high?
Dilate blood vessels, open pores and sweat.
Decision-making is an operational must in your body, and most of the time the decisions made are made fast.
You’ve been cut.
You are bleeding.
Send in the immune system and platelets to seal the hole and stop the bleeding.
The body doesn’t think twice about judging a situation and selecting the best-fit solution to the problem at hand.
If circumstances change, then previous verdicts are reversed and new decisions made just as quickly as they were previously made and then reversed. It’s in the body’s interest to act immediately, even if the action is not the perfect solution to the problem at hand. Anything slower carries with it the risk of death.
Mount an immune response and spike a fever immediately to kill the invader.
You Are Making Choices
Similar to the body’s thousands of subconscious choices made in a day, you make thousands of conscious choices throughout that same day. Most of them, like the body, you don’t think twice about:
The thousands of conscious decisions you make allow your life to move forward smoothly.
Look before crossing the street.
Use the bathroom.
Pay for coffee.
Almost every moment of every day you are making small, conscious choices that you determine are unimportant in the bigger scheme of your life and therefore are easy choices to make. So easy you don’t consider them choices. They are just things you do.
What about the BIG choices?
Among the myriad of choices you make in one day there are some choices that are not as easy to make.
Do I quit my job?
Do I leave my partner?
Do I take out a loan?
Somehow these choices are different from the small, daily choices. They carry more weight. They appear more significant.
Consequently, the mental power put into certain types of decision-making can be astounding.
Days, months, even years are spent mentally mulling over big, important topics before committing to a choice and implementing that choice into daily life.
If your body did that you’d be dead.
What’s the real difference between big and small choices?
The weight or value of a choice that needs to be made is entirely personal.
There is no standard outcome for specific choices.
There are only personal fears that prevent choices from being made.
For all you know a small choice you made earlier in the day ended up offending someone and in a couple of weeks will actually have a huge impact on your life. A small choice you make may end up costing you your job, a friendship or something else you consider to be important.
In contrast, a choice you spent years contemplating before implementing may turn out to be inconsequential in the greater unfolding of your life.
The physiology of choices
Every moment you spend agonizing over a choice you are trying to make, you are physically and mentally exhausting yourself.
The brain itself doesn’t consume many more calories when thinking a lot versus thinking a little, but levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, rise putting your nervous system into an alert state. Muscles tighten in response to your emotional apprehensions leading to physical stress and eventually exhaustion.
Your body can manage the physical impact of your stress for around three weeks before it shows signs of exhaustion. More impressive is that your body can manage years of stress and exhaustion before it begins to malfunction.
By the time you notice the damage on your body of the stress you’ve been under from extended decision-making processes, it’s usually too late.
What to do about difficult choices?
Change your perspective, and make the small choices the important ones.
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Making small, healthy and repetitive choices every day is a significant step toward self-care.
I feel sick to my stomach. I’m done drinking tonight.
I feel claustrophobic. I’m going out for a short walk.
I’m stressed. I’m going to go see a funny movie after work today.
The more positive, small choices you make, the more you decrease stress levels in your body and the better you feel. Feeling good relaxes muscles, improves immune function, and releases chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that help elevate your mood and decrease body pain.
Repeat the process of making small, positive choices daily for a year, and one day you’ll wake up and realize that feeling good is your new normal.
It’s all a choice
We don’t really know the outcome of our choices when we make them.
The outcome is revealed to us seconds to years later.
If it turns out that a choice you made in the past is no longer conducive to the prosperity and abundance of your life, do as the body does and make a different choice.
Allow yourself the freedom to make a choice without thinking too much about it. A choice that is slightly better than the previous one will support you on the next step of your path, even if only temporarily until you make your next choice.
Don’t get caught up endlessly on the big choices. The small choices are the powerful ones.
Focus your attention on making small, positive choices that, accumulated over time, manifest the life you desire.
And then proceed from there… one choice at a time.
Author: Samantha Lotti
Samantha Lotti is the founder of Biodynamic Health and creator of Body Compassing. She is a certified and registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST, RCST®), licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and board certified herbalist in Oak Park, Illinois. A personal back injury brought Samantha to biodynamic craniosacral therapy and ignited her interest in a variety of healing modalities.