Catastrophizing - Deepstash
What to Do When Your Mind (Always) Dwells on the Worst-Case Scenario

What to Do When Your Mind (Always) Dwells on the Worst-Case Scenario

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In our professional and personal lives, we all face numerous uncertain situations, which are usually out of our control. We may overestimate the likelihood or the effect of our fears and anxieties. This expectation of the worst is known as Catastrophizing.

Example: A wrong email sent to your boss can trigger a panic attack about being fired, or a failed test could make one imagine dropping out of school.

The Age Of Uncertainty

Catastrophizing is natural in young adults as our lives are usually uncertain and unsettled till the age of 35.

Also, when we are in our 20s, our brain region of solving problems and handling uncertain situations, the prefrontal cortex, is still developing.

Fears Aren’t Facts

  1. Understand that life is not black or white and lies somewhere in the middle, the grey area.
  2. Get comfortable with things not being perfect all the time.
  3. Get more data or more experience about the thing you fear. The more you know something, the less fearful it becomes.

Minimize The Catastrophizing

  1. Stop worrying about the future, or dwelling on the past too much, and stay in the present, as it is the only reality there is.
  2. Focus on the facts, not on the imaginative speculation in your head.
  3. Go through the worst-case scenario in your mind and try to play out the thing that you fear, and what your next action would be.
  4. Try to play out the best-case scenario in your head, understanding that it is just a child-like fantasy, just like the worst-case scenario.

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