Catastrophic Thinking: When Your Mind Clings to Worst-Case Scenarios - Deepstash
Catastrophic Thinking: When Your Mind Clings to Worst-Case Scenarios

Catastrophic Thinking: When Your Mind Clings to Worst-Case Scenarios

Curated from: psychcentral.com

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The impending catastrophe in your mind

The impending catastrophe in your mind

The worst-case scenario thinking is troublesome because it causes the very problem we're trying to prevent - an unpleasant or difficult situation.

How often does a negative thought turn into catastrophic thinking? A spot on your face becomes a cancerous tumour. Your child not attending a specific school spirals into him not getting a good job. From just entertaining an idea, it quickly turns into a worst-case scenario.

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Notice your thoughts

When your thoughts tip from realistic anxieties into unlikely scenarios, take note of it. Also, if your thoughts become catastrophic, notice if you're judging yourself: "I always do this."

We often may not realise when our thoughts become catastrophic. A long-term solution for sharpening self-awareness is mindfulness meditation. It can help you become better attuned to your thoughts.

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Regain control

While you can't control everything, you can consider realistic options.

If you're worried about flying, research the physics and statistics, and remind yourself that you're safer in a plane than in your car. If you're concerned about a blemish on your face, make an appointment with your dermatologist.

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Face your fears

The most effective way to overcome your fears is to face them.

If you fear flying, take a vacation where you have to fly. If you fear that you have a severe problem in your marriage, address it with your partner. This way, you will know what to work on instead of just worrying or feeling stuck.

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Catastrophic thinking: When to seek help

Working with a therapist can help to overcome your catastrophic thoughts.

Focusing on the worst-case scenario may mask a different problem. For example, a fear of flying might be a fear to take a job out of state.

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