Information Overload, Your Temperament, Finding Equilibrium

Here’s an an excerpt from, and a link to, my recent article in Health and Healing. This edition dealt with making healthcare choices when there is: so much information available, a lot of contradictory data, and an abundance of options for self treatment. Dealing with the options, and for being advocates for ourselves in the health care system, can be overwhelming.

Information Overload
Too much information can pull us out of balance. Like any systems faced with too much input, overloaded bodies, brains and emotions can begin to malfunction. Because individuals have different temperaments in dealing with input, uncertainty, and change it’s important to understand your own temperament in order to manage your health in an age of abundant, and often conflicting, information. And it’s crucial to be able to regain your equilibrium if your systems have been overwhelmed. Identify and Understand

Your Temperament
Does significant input about your health care decisions (or any other issue) from family, friends, practitioners, books, or online tend to increase your anxiety? If so, impose some limits. Perhaps get a second opinion, but not a third. Share your concerns with one or two close friends but not everyone in your circle. Spend an hour reading, not three. As in most things, prevention is the best medicine for this kind of overload. Is your natural inclination to dispassionately research everything until you feel confident in your choices? Go for it! Put all the data in a color-coded spreadsheet and stop only when you feel convinced. If this is you, remember that research frequently yields conflicting results, so your “best” investigated choice today, may not be the “best” choice next month. Let that go, make your choice in the moment, and then step forward with confidence. Whether your decision-making process is primarily internal, or one that relies heavily on the advice of experts, it is important at some point to give yourself a break from the process of decision-making. This is essential to keeping your equilibrium.

Finding Your Equilibrium
From a place of relative calm, we have better perspective and are able to make better decisions. Finding equilibrium is sometimes as easy as remembering to make time for the things you are already aware of that soothe you. Other times, there are psychological and physiological barriers to this state that are a little more challenging. You don’t necessarily need to do esoteric or “spiritual” practices. Calming things are often pleasurable and simple. Here is a personal example.

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Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Wishing you a peaceful heart,

Mara

       

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