How to overcome Catastrophic Thinking | Think Better
Say these two words to stamp out catastrophic thinking immediately.
Do you ever find yourself imagining some potential danger or stressful situation? Something you think might happen in the future?
Whether you are lying in bed awake at night wondering why you can’t sleep or what that sound was, or stressing about the email you just received from your boss, or nervous about an upcoming trip, there’s a term for what you are doing.
It’s called Catastrophic Thinking.
When we are overwhelmed by catastrophic thinking, it’s because we are imagining the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario becomes our reality.
Our mind is playing tricks on us.
Like a projector in a movie theater, our mind is projecting this scenario into our reality, and we are frightened by the movie. But, we have to remember this is the worst-case scenario, and an unlikely outcome.
How to overcome catastrophic thinking.
Say to yourself: I’m catastrophizing.
As we mentioned in our last post on mental health awareness, simply calling this out can help alleviate some of the anxiety, and help you calm down, which ultimately helps you regain control of the situation and your thoughts.
So next time you find yourself playing out some bad scenario in your mind, try to stop and say to yourself, I’m catastrophizing. Awareness alone will help. But also, take a deep breath in, and a slow exhale out. The slow exhale will turn off the stress and allow you to think more clearly.
What questions do you have?
I will be covering more topics in the coming months, but I also want to hear from you. What questions do you have about mental health, therapy, the connection between breathing and thinking?
Ask me anything. I’ll create a video in the not-too-distant-future and answer all your questions.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
We’ll be creating content all month long to help raise awareness and normalize the conversation about mental health.
But this is also a kickoff and a long-term commitment for us. I will be working with Komuso to create on-goin content designed to help you all think better.
Here’s the rest of the content we have planned for now:
- Awareness is the Key
- Coming soon: What is Emotional Regulation?
- Coming soon: What are Self-referential Thoughts?
- Coming soon: What is Black and White Thinking?
Daniel Epstein | Licensed Psychotherapist