Even if you've never heard of decision fatigue, odds are you’ve felt it. Consider, as one of its core researchers did, all the little choices that went into planning your wedding. Sit down dinner vs. buffet. Roses or ranunculus? Wow, look at everything we could register for! That was exhausting, right? But get this: You’re living with this level of decision-making every single day. It’s called going on the internet to find out anything. And when you need health information, let’s face it, the stakes are higher than which salad bowl to ask for.
Decision fatigue, or cognitive overload, means “your mental resources are being overtaxed by too many options to weigh,” says Susan Whitborne, Ph.D., a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a member of Prevention's Medical Review Board. “The main symptom is, ironically enough, the feeling that you just don’t care and so you’ll go along with ‘whatever’ as a choice. Your mental resources essentially shut down and your choice then becomes random. Stress adds to the process, further clouding your judgment by making it hard to concentrate on the choice at hand.”
When you go online for health and wellness information, you know there are literally trillions of pages to read, videos to watch, and comments to engage with—in other words, trillions of options to weigh. But for the past 70 years, Prevention has been a trusted source of truth about what really works to achieve your healthiest you. Until now, you could access our content by subscribing to our magazine, visiting our website, or following our social media channels. Starting today, you can ditch decision fatigue forever, at least when it comes to health advice. Prevention Premium is the single best way to keep up to date on the health issues that matter the most to you.
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