Go­ing with the flow vs. analysis paral­y­sis

Do you have the habit of think­ing some things over and over again, try­ing to pre­dict the fu­ture, and un­able to de­cide what to do – let alone take ac­tion? If so, you are not alone.

Living Now - - Recipes - by Li­isa Halme Li­isa Halme is an ad­vanced breath­work prac­ti­tioner, a reg­is­tered yoga ther­a­pist and a se­nior yoga teacher, as well as a mother and a wife. She works with in­di­vid­u­als and groups in Sydney eastern suburbs.

In our Western world where the log­i­cal, an­a­lyt­i­cal mind is overem­pha­sised, we can get eas­ily stuck in the pat­tern that is ‘analysis paral­y­sis’. Here’s why:

the log­i­cal, an­a­lyt­i­cal mind, the neo­cor­tex part of our brain, con­sists of only a small part of our brain ca­pac­ity, and the con­scious mind (that which we are aware of) cov­ers about 10% of all our de­ci­sion-mak­ing. When we are taught to rely solely on the con­scious, log­i­cal mind, we may learn not to trust or lis­ten to the rest of our in­tel­li­gence.

Our in­tel­li­gence con­sists of our en­tire un­con­scious know­ing, such as feel­ings, in­stincts and in­tu­ition – the part that just knows with­out rea­son­ing and analysis. We may brush it off as some­thing sec­ondary or not real, even though the parts of our brain in­volved just have a much quicker way of pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion – and ac­cess to a much larger data­base of in­for­ma­tion than our con­scious mind can read­ily reach. That in­for­ma­tion con­sists of ev­ery­thing we have ever ex­pe­ri­enced, seen, heard, or felt. It’s also our con­nec­tion to col­lec­tive con­scious­ness, that which is be­yond our in­di­vid­ual con­scious­ness (like when you think of some­one, and at the same mo­ment they call you).


Another thing that drives us to over-think is fear. Fear is a heavy, dense en­ergy and tends to keep us stuck. We may treat a de­ci­sion as over-com­pli­cated, with too many de­tailed op­tions. Or, we may seek the op­ti­mal or ‘per­fect’ so­lu­tion up­front, and fear mak­ing any de­ci­sion that could lead to less than ideal re­sults. So rather than try­ing some­thing with the open­ness to change it if a bet­ter so­lu­tion be­comes ap­par­ent, we don’t make the de­ci­sion at all. We may be afraid to make even a small mis­take be­cause we are wor­ried that peo­ple will think less of us, and we fear feel­ing ashamed. Sim­ply be­com­ing aware of this fear and its root cause can help us move through it and see it for what it is, just an en­ergy.


From a brain wave per­spec­tive, our over-analysing wave­length is the ‘beta state’. It is a state of high alert­ness and anx­i­ety, and the state where most stress hor­mones are pro­duced. In a ‘ flow state’ on the other hand, where we are op­er­at­ing eas­ily and ef­fort­lessly on auto-pi­lot with our sub­con­scious mind guid­ing us, we are in the zone of the al­pha brain waves. We feel more re­laxed and at ease, we are able to learn much more quickly and al­low our in­ner guid­ance to lead us. In other words, we are us­ing the in­for­ma­tion data­base of the 90% rather than the mere 10% of our mind.

There are many great and plea­sur­able ways to learn to ‘ride the al­pha waves’. For in­stance, when you find your­self stuck in analysis paral­y­sis, you can try turn­ing on some beau­ti­ful mu­sic, lie down for at least a cou­ple of min­utes and al­low your body to re­lax and your mind to empty out. Let your­self get lost in the mu­sic and your own breath. This can help take you down to the al­pha state, and the choices and an­swers will come eas­ily, as if out of nowhere. Of course this ‘nowhere’ is your in­fin­itely wise un­con­scious mind and in­tu­ition!


Once we take ac­tion – any ac­tion – we be­gin to feel bet­ter al­most im­me­di­ately. In­stead of think­ing about some hy­po­thet­i­cal sce­nario in a head full of un­cer­tainty, we are work­ing on some­thing that is re­ally cer­tain; our ac­tions.

We can get caught in the chaos of over-analysis and be con­sumed by it. Or, we can re­alise that while we can­not con­trol what will hap­pen to­mor­row, we can con­trol the ac­tions we take in the here and the now. By try­ing, mov­ing, ask­ing, en­gag­ing, ex­per­i­ment­ing, and walk­ing for­ward, it puts us one step fur­ther than where we were yes­ter­day, and we never know where that one step will lead us.

In or­der to make the best, most bal­anced de­ci­sions for our­selves we need to learn to trust our gut where our con­scious mind isn’t able to give us a so­lu­tion or a di­rec­tion, ideally al­low­ing the two to al­ways work to­gether. n

Con­nect with other read­ers & com­ment on this ar­ti­cle at www.liv­ing­now.com.au

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