Analysis Paralysis & her Ugly Sisters


Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It means over thinking a situation so that you become stuck and are afraid to take action. It's the sibling to catastrophising and her ugly sister magnifying. Catastrophising is thinking of a future event and imagining that something extremely awful is going to happen. Whereas magnifying is viewing a relatively minor event as being much more significant, and not in positive way I hasten to add.


Anxiety can lead to intense negative thought spirals, analysis paralysis on steroids if you like. What-if thinking, worrying about the worst case scenario, as well as ruminating about a something that happened at work can lead to the inability to take action, avoidance behaviour and withdrawing from social interaction. When experiencing this mindset, you often think, think, then think some more, and then think even more intensely about your worries, hoping that this will lead to a solution, a moment of relief or an answer. Unfortunately, it never does.


To fade this type of thinking seek relaxation, inner peace or activities that take you away from focusing on your inner struggles, as well as ones which cultivate awareness of the present moment. These pursuits will shift your focus away from anxious suffering and inner turmoil. You can also sign up to my email list to get weekly inspiration, wisdom and support with anxiety easing. Click here to sign up Become mindful of everyday experiences such as brushing your teeth, preparing a meal or your journey to work. Notice beautiful blossom flowers in spring, the leaves changing colour in the autumn or magnificent sunsets any time of year. Take pleasure in the simple things!


Going for a walk can become a whole new sensory experience, as you notice the colour of the wild flowers, the sound of the wind whistling through the trees and the smells of a river bank or forest. Walk barefoot and feel the textures of grass or muddy paths underfoot. Alternatively, listen to an uplifting or soothing piece of music through headphones, dance and laugh with good friends, or learn and practise meditation until that analysis paralysis disappears without you even noticing.

Geraldine McGrath is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Teacher and founder of Embracing Anxiety for Women. Join here for wisdom, support and empowerment.