Paralysis of Analysis

When one suffers from cold and congestion there is a system we use in order to facilitate the cold to run its course. We rest, drink fluids, alter diet, take a medicinal agent. No one questions such a system and many rely on it to return to wellness.

When one suffers from the congestion of overthinking is there also a system to use?

Overthinking is a universal challenge that causes many to become paralyzed around decision making. We fear making the wrong choice and so we stall taking an action due to over analyzing what could happen if such a flawed choice occurred. Overthinking clouds our judgments, promotes anxiety and prevents us from moving forward by chaining us to heightened negative scenarios. Overthinking has been credited as being the art of creating problems that aren’t even there.

A system for relieving mental congestion caused by overthinking starts with awareness. To be aware that I am suffering from the paralysis of analysis allows me to redirect my thoughts towards all the things that could go right. The root of overthinking is fear and I begin to uproot this primal energy by changing my mental loyalty. I imagine the yet-to-be-seen benefits and blessings that await. I consider how a misstep that happened to others or even to myself does not need to carry over into the present.

I eliminate overthinking congestion by using tools such as timers that allow me to create boundaries with my thinking. For five minutes I will allow myself to worry. For ten minutes I will allow myself to live in the dream state of possibility. For another five minutes I will go back to worry. For another ten minutes I will return to mental expansion. I will alternate this therapeutic hot and cold exercise and realize that the heat of possibility feels much more enjoyable.

I will make gratitude lists about my life, my talents, my accomplishments in order to clear out blockages caused by self-doubt and personal criticism. As I rest in the energy of this list, the congestion of overthinking vaporizes and I am opened up and able to freely breathe.