How I overcame 'analysis paralysis'

Have you ever grappled with a decision so much so that you start to feel numb over it? It may not even be a big, important life decision. It may be related to a small every day decision but for some reason you can’t figure out what the ‘right’ option is and you’re now feeling exhausted and even more confused.

We have so many options that we struggle to make simple decisions - let alone complex ones.

The result can be a complete mental takeover.

We debate the outcome of a decision repeatedly in our minds until feelings of anxiety creep up and we feel heavy with confusion or what some refer to as 'Analysis paralysis'. Unfortunately, ‘Analysis Paralysis’ is usually followed by anxiety.

Anxiety is a really scary feeling and can overtake you if you don’t learn how to deal with it properly. Here are a few steps to help you unpack your anxiety and make more productive decisions.

1.   Talk to someone. Book a few sessions with a therapist and embrace how the feeling of unloading your thoughts onto someone with zero bias is incredibly freeing. It may require a few speed dating style sessions with therapists before you find your perfect match but trust me, when you do find that perfect therapist, it’s worth the wait.

2.  Meditation. This is key. I meditate for 10-20 minutes each morning and evening and the benefits I’ve noticed throughout my life are amazing. I am more present when I’m in social situations and I can now logically determine what situations I want to be in without allowing thoughts of guilt or regret to control me. I’m genuinely happier, more relaxed and productive because of it. I started by looking up 10-minute guided meditations on YouTube and have now progressed into meditating on my own. Start by trying it every day for a week. It will allow you to start your day feeling centered and in control.

3. Working out. Sweat every morning. Working out unleashes endorphins in our brains which allow us to feel happier, stronger and more in control. Trust me, any feelings of anxiety/depression will be knocked right out after a knockout workout.

Each of these things combined have helped me prioritize my mental and physical health which has allowed me to make smarter decisions in a shorter time frame. I’ve had to learn to decline plans (which wasn’t easy for me as a self-diagnosed people-pleaser). If you have trouble saying no to plans, check out my blog on The art of saying “no”.

My latest attempt was to sign up with a career and life coach who helped me with that last push for focus. My coach, Dan Dowling, helped me to clearly determine my short and long-term goals and then set daily check boxes to accomplish them. Dan’s article, The weekly planning method for people who hate planning sums up his planning method and I encourage anyone who is looking for that final push to read it!

I hope this article has provided you with both comfort and a solid game plan if you ever find yourself in a state of analysis paralysis. Always choose the door that leads to a better and healthier YOU.

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