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31 Days to a Positive Inner Voice: Catastrophizing

A lot of us have irrational thoughts. Those irrational thoughts can be apart of our negative thinking style and a contributing factor to our negative self talk. One irrational thinking style that can be very harmful to our own self esteem, self talk and general mood is catastrophizing.

What is Catastrophizing?

Catastrophizing is when we make a current situation or foresee a future situation as a catastrophe. We take one situation, one negative thought, event, word, something has said and make it much worse than it is.

This cognitive distortion has actually be very prevalent with the current political climate in the United States. Although there are many things to be aware of in politics and there are many things that effect people differently, it can be hard not to take one situation and foresee the end of the world. I personally did this with the political climate and the attacks on the Affordable Care Act. At the time I was pregnant and foresaw losing our insurance, going into loads of debt and becoming unable to cope.

How Do You Stop Catastrophizing?

Do Not Exaggerate

Try to stay as specific as possible with outcomes that may arise. Will it be the end of the world? What could logically happen? When I’m running late for work, will I really be fired after being late once? Most likely not.

Do Not Over React

It can be hard when we see a negative happen in our life to not dive into a pit. Remember one negative does not mean the end of the world. What really would happen if you were fired from your job? How would you survive? If needed come up with a plan to survive your worst nightmares. Once you realize you’d be able to do all the things in your plan and survive it’ll be easier to not over react.

Find Logical Reasons The Illogical Result Will Not Happen

First step when you’re thinking illogically is to realize you are doing so. Sometimes it’s easier said then done. Other times it’s obvious your thinking is illogical but your bodies biological response, fear, raised heart rate, anxiety, panic, are hard to control. Take your illogical thought and find logical reasons that it will not happen. For example, if I’m late for work once I won’t be fired because I do an amazing job, my boss loves me, it’s only the first time, and I have a good reason (the dog died, car accident, pulled over, etc).

Have you ever found yourself catastrophising?

How did you pull yourself out of the illogical thought?


31 Days to a Positive Inner Voice

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