You’ve probably heard the term “follow your heart” way too many times, especially in reference to your love life, especially during Valentine’s Day season. By now you’re probably like, Thanks, but following my heart led me to dump my really, really (too) nice boyfriend for the guy who turned out to be gay. So, no thanks. Deep down, though, you know that neither of them were right for you, so don’t punish your heart for being as honest as it knew how to be. Trust us: things wouldn’t have turned out any better if you’d left your head in charge, made a list of pros and cons, and weighed the consequences for weeks. In fact, even science says you’re probably better off making intuitive, snap decisions in many areas of your life.
According to new research done at the University of Otago, New Zealand, decisions made with the heart tend to be higher quality than those made with your head. Because, as many of us know, overthinking things leads to complete and utter confusion. ”Analyzing reasons can impair judgement by obscuring how [you] actually feel,” explained Dr. Jamin Halberstad, the director of the study. This doesn’t mean you should let your heart decide whether or not to you should pay your rent this month, but when it comes to the harder-to-pin-down life decisions, go with your gut. Here are a few decisions you shouldn’t bother overanalyzing. Just listen to your heart.
1. Who you love and who you don’t love.
2. What career you want to pursue after you graduate college.
3. What city you want to live in.
4. The pet that shall be yours.
5. Where you want to go on your vacation.
6. How you want your wedding to be, or if you even want a wedding.
7. Which friends to keep and which to let go.
8. Whether or not it’s time to have that difficult conversation.
9. What dress to wear for that special occasion.
10. When to say “I love you.”
11. When it’s time to quit anything or dump anyone.
12. The urge to create, in whatever form it takes.
13. If you want to be a parent.
14. Going over to talk to that guy at the bar.
15. When to say “I’m sorry” and when to forgive.
16. When to call your mom.
17. Whether to stop, start, or continue therapy.
18. Whether you should ask that cool girl you just met out for coffee.
19. When something’s worth fighting for.
20. When it’s time to face a fear head on.
21. Whether or not to trust someone.
22. Which perfume to buy.
23. When to treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream.
24. When to get back in touch with someone you had a falling out with.
25. If you should throw a raincoat in your bag, even though the forecast is clear.
26. What music you want to listen to and what books you want to read.
27. When to reach out to a friend or family member who’s struggling.
28. Whether or not to RSVP to your high school reunion.
29. When to accept/ask for a second date.
30. When to say yes to your dream boots, even if they’re slightly out of your budget.
31. Which song to sing at karaoke.
32. When to buy a lottery ticket.
33. Whether or not you want to go out tonight.
34. If you should buy that abstract painting that makes you happy every time you look at it.
35. When to get a second opinion about your health.