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Apr 08, 2024

Cognitive biases, trauma and your life experiences can influence your decision-making process.

There are many cognitive biases, subtle distortions in your thinking patterns, that often lead you astray without your conscious realisation. These include the anchoring effect, where initial information heavily influences subsequent judgments, to confirmation bias, where you favour information that confirms your preconceptions. These biases cloud the decision-making process.

Moreover, your life experiences, particularly past traumas, can have a significant influence over your decision-making process. Traumatic events can leave lasting scars on your psyche. This can lead to fear of commitment or change, avoidance of conflict or stress, or cause you to make impulsive decisions. Acknowledging and addressing these emotional and psychological wounds is essential not only to freeing yourself from their grip, but to growing as a person and fostering healthy habits.

Understanding the psychology of decision-making is not just a journey of self-awareness, but a lifelong quest for that will help you attain your goals, whether personal or professional.

The first step is to seek professional guidance. With Bestmed’s Tempo wellness programme, you can start your Emotional Wellbeing Journey today. The Emotional Wellbeing Journey was developed by qualified psychologists and healthcare providers. They’ll help you to identify and manage your emotions and the effect they have on your mental health. It’s the first and most crucial step on a journey to the life you love.

The Emotional Wellbeing Journey is available online via the Bestmed App or Member portal on the Bestmed website, and provides you with access to:

  • lifestyle-related information that will help you deal with life’s changes and curveballs.
  • practical challenges that will enable you to practice the new skills you have to acquire to progress from your current emotional and mental state to your desired state.

How do you approach the decision-making process on a daily basis, and how can you empower yourself to be the best version of yourself?

Cultivate self-awareness

Self-awareness and introspection can be a truly frightening prospect. How deep do you delve? Also, at what point does self-awareness and self-criticism blur into one, turning a constructive process into a destructive one?

Regular introspection should simply be used to identify recurring patterns in your decision-making. Acknowledge your cognitive biases and emotional triggers, not as criticism, but as awareness. Use them as a tool to guide you, and to develop rational and critical thinking and decision-making.

Surround yourself with other opinions

It’s said that a person who represents themself in court has a fool for a client.

True self-awareness means that you acknowledge your own limitations and what you don’t know. While the decisions you make are ultimately yours, listen to those who know more. Surround yourself with individuals who offer diverse perspectives.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. In fact, the more you ask, the more you learn. Constructive dialogue develops critical thinking skills and helps you to expand the scope of your considerations when making decisions.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness, at its core, is about staying grounded in the moment, no matter what’s going on around you. Stressful, high-intensity moments make it that much harder to make the right decisions. By anchoring yourself in the present, you can make decisions with clarity and composure, untethered from past traumas or future anxieties.

Meditation and deep breathing, being aware of the present and regulating your emotions all allow you to be more present and avoid the stress of past traumas or future anxiety when making decisions.

In essence, the psychology of decision-making is a journey of self-awareness, being present, and knowing when to seek outside counsel. With a little work and a lot of patience, you can better navigate the complexities of decision-making with confidence and clarity.


Decision-Making. Psychology Today. Accessed 2024. Available here.

The Psychology of Decision-Making Strategies. Verywell Mind. 2022. Available here.

OpenLearn. The Psychology of Decision Making. 2019. Available here.  

Mindfulness exercises. Mayo Clinic. Accessed 2024. Available here.

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