What Is Catastrophizing And How Can You Stop It?
“Catastrophizing is that not-so-fun trick your brain tries to play on you where you get caught in this death spiral of extreme ‘what ifs’ that may push you into panic, immobility or fight-or-flight mode,” says clinical psychologist Megan Rhoads. This cognitive distortion causes the brain and body to feel as if they’re actually in a true crisis, but there are ways you can gain control over it.
Finding a therapist who specializes in the conditions closely associated with catastrophizing (anxiety, depression, PTSD, and OCD) can help to rewire those harmful thought patterns. For example, psychologist Shagoon Maurya recommends you “challenge your negative thoughts by coming up with at least three other ways that situation could go."
Another helpful skill when it comes to catastrophizing is mindfulness, which is essentially setting an intention and using awareness to watch what’s happening in our minds. Walking, positive affirmations, and journaling are just a few ways to center mindfulness in our daily lives, which will lead to peace becoming the baseline.