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How to Stop Catastrophizing: 7 Helpful Steps

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How to stop catastrophe

One of the most destructive habits I’ve had in a long time has been the thought habit of being a catastrophe. I think this is a very common practice for many people.

What is catastrophic?

This is when you construct nightmare scenarios where everything could go completely wrong in one situation and imagine catastrophe in your mind.

You might have a presentation tomorrow, but you start to have scenarios in your head where you forget your notes at home, make a fool of yourself, embarrass yourself in front of the whole company, and get yelled at by your boss for 20 minutes after your presentation. Maybe. meeting.

A scary one indeed.

So how did I learn how to deal with this?

Let me share 7 steps that have really helped me.

Step 1: Say out loud to your inner critic, “Stop!”

The catastrophe that began to brew in your heart, your inner critic.

he says to you “You will fail because that’s what you do all the time.”

Or maybe you’re not prepared enough.

Or maybe your boss isn’t happy with your presentation for some reason.

Or all of them.

So stop your inner critic now. As soon as these thoughts come to mind, shout in your mind:


Or, “No, we won’t go down that road again!”

Doing so will interrupt that train of thought and allow you to feel calm again.

Step 2: Concentrate on your breathing.

Pause for a minute or two after interrupting your thoughts. Sit down if you can.

Focus only on inhaling and exhaling. nothing else.

This allows the body to de-stress, the mind to think more clearly, and the mind to return to the present moment without being distracted by future nightmares.

Step 3: Seek the truth in the past.

Please look back on your past.

How many times has your mind thrown at you such a catastrophic scenario that actually came true?

Never, or very rarely, I imagine. I certainly did too.

So remember the actual facts of your past to further calm yourself down and bring yourself back to a more central version of yourself.

Step 4: Have a calm discussion and get an opinion from a cool friend.

In many situations in my own life, the first three steps have helped me emerge from catastrophe scenarios and think more calmly and clearly.

However, sometimes that combination is not enough. Chances are that you still have negative thoughts and inner tensions that can start snowballing again.

If so, one of the things I want to do is bring the catastrophe out. I will talk to someone close to me.

By doing so, you can often get a real picture of the situation by just spitting it out and asking someone to listen for a few minutes. That calms me down.

Or maybe someone listening can help me out a bit more and lend me some insight if needed.

It has helped me ground myself firmly in reality again and has helped me many times to find solutions or first steps that I can take to change this situation for the better if needed.

Step 5: Stop building mountains out of molehills.

Another thing that helps me a lot is zooming out and asking myself questions that allow me to see if I’m just building mountains out of molehills here (or out of nothing at all).

So I ask myself.

Will it matter in 5 years? Or within 5 weeks?

The answer is usually no. Even if your mind is blank with stress and anxiety, it may seem that way at first.

Step 6: If you find yourself unable to think straight, stop and say.

When I am hungry, or when I need to go to bed and get some sleep, I know from experience that I am vulnerable to catastrophic and pessimistic thoughts.

So what should i do?

I say to myself:

No, no, no, I’m not going to think about this now. I will think about this situation or task later, after I sleep or eat.

Just doing this simple thing goes a long way.

Because when I’m not hungry or well rested again and I have a clear head and think again, the problems I’ve been preoccupied with are mostly small or non-existent. Because it becomes

Or, if you actually have real challenges that need to be faced, at least it will be much easier to find solutions or plans to make things better.

Step 7: Reduce the weekly input that pushes these disaster scenarios to the forefront of your mind.

People and other sources of information such as television, social media, various websites and forums have a great influence on how you think.

So be careful what you put into your head each day and every week. Ask yourself:

Are there people or sources in my life who reinforce my destructive habits?

Examples of such sources could be very pessimistic people, online news and social media platforms feeding your mind with too much negativity.

When you notice such things in your life, ask yourself:

What can you do this week to spend less or no time with this person or source?

Then take action on it and spend the free time this week with one or more of the most optimistic sources and people in your life.

Do this over the next few weeks or months, using as many sources as you need, and slowly build a healthy environment for yourself and your thoughts.

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