Making Healthier Decisions


The process of making decisions is one which happens at every moment. From time to time, however, humans can fall for a number of mental distortions. Bringing awareness to a distortion helps a person to see it when it is in operation. Once you see what’s happening, it’ll be much easier to sidestep the effect.

In no specific order of importance, here are some of the mental traps people can fall into when making decisions, whether it’s in health or in any other area of life.

Sunk Cost

Making further investments in time, energy, and money in an attempt to gain some type of return from investments made in the past.

On the level of health, a person might justify continuing to invest energy and time in a health program which is not working because they’ve spent a lot of money on it. In this case, their time and energy could better be spent somewhere else.

Confirmation bias

The tendency to seek out information which supports a viewpoint or decision while ignoring any information which disproves a viewpoint or decision.

On the level of health, a person brings up positive information, supportive information to continue eating a specific diet, while ignoring any negative information about the downside to a dietary program.

Decisions Coming From Lack Of Information

The tendency to make uninformed decisions or to make choices without sufficient information first.

From the level of health, choices are made to eat foods perhaps without reading the labels. Or, a person pursues a new health program or something new in the health arena without thoroughly learning about what they are getting into..

Short-Term Gratification Over Long-Term Gain

The tendency to make decisions which seem satisfying over a short-term period, but turn out to be a liability over the long-term.


The tendency to pursue decisions and choices which would be in one’s own self-interest, leading to negative and/or adverse consequences for others

Tunnel Vision

Not considering enough alternatives in depth in a decision making situation

Limited Perspective

Not looking at a situation or decision through as many perspectives as possible.

Attachment And/Or Identification With Negative Thoughts/Emotions

Making decisions from a place where one is identified with negative thought/emotion…Or thinking and acting from negative thoughts or emotions; Making decisions in an attempt to satisfy an illusive need/desire (a.k.a. attachment)


It might be a good idea to see if you display any of these tendencies when making decisions. Awareness from moment to moment of thought processes, emotions, and actions will help an individual to sidestep some of these traps.