Combat anxiety by avoiding catastrophic thinking

Combat anxiety by avoiding catastrophic thinking

Concerns, anxiety, stress, panic, catastrophism ... they may seem different words and concepts (and they are) but in reality they are very closely linked. For those who do not know what catastrophic thinking is, I will explain to you that it is a wrong way of perceiving the world around us and the events that happen in an irrational perspective that tends to enlarge them and their consequences so as to imagine possible disasters. .

In practice, the catastrophist is a person who exaggerates things in a negative sense and who continually feels anxious and afraid in the face of possible contingencies that could come true. As you can already imagine, this form of thinking is closely related to anxiety, since it increases it superlatively. The catastrophic thinking it is one of the causes of anxiety; it is not the only one, but it is undoubtedly present in most cases. Fortunately, catastrophic thinking can be corrected.

The first step is to recognize that catastrophic thinking exists. It may seem like the discovery of hot water but it is certain that most of the people who think in this way believe that their ideas are absolutely founded. The truth is, the worst thing that can happen to us can happen. But the chances of this coming true are so minimal that it's not worth embittering your life for it.

So, always ask yourself if you have a tendency to make situations worse and if you often see huge problems where they are not there. Perhaps the best thing to do is to get help from a sincere friend, asking him what he thinks about it. Surely his opinion will be more objective than yours
(provided that he is not a catastrophist too).

The second step is to analyze the consequences of this type of thinking. How do you feel when you imagine a catastrophe? Are you feeling good or bad? Do you notice changes in your body, maybe you start sweating, feel palpitations or have trouble breathing? These are all symptoms of anxiety and if they are not controlled in time, the catastrophe you imagined will come; but it will be caused by yourself.

Realizing the damage this kind of thinking does to you is important, because it will motivate you to change. If you prefer, make a list of the negative consequences and read it whenever you are overwhelmed or tempted to think this way.

A sense of humor and proactivity

Once you are willing to change, let your internal dialogue flow. Listen carefully to the things you say, these often pass through our mind but we do not dwell on each of them but we just feel overwhelmed by the internal negative speech. For this reason it is important that we become aware of what we are saying in our mind. Consider each of the ideas that arise and ask yourself how likely it is that it will occur. Probably, these will be in the order of 0,001%. Laugh at it all, laugh at the absurdity of thinking it can come true. Consider your concerns with the right sense of humor.

Finally, dedicate yourself to cultivating a passion. You are probably wondering what a passion has to do with anxiety and catastrophic thinking. The answer is very simple: many of the people who think this kind of thoughts have a lot of free time on their hands, a time that could be better used, such as: developing a passion. Also, doing an activity that gives you pleasure helps you fight anxiety, allows you to grow as a person and keeps your mind busy by preventing it from searching for non-existent problems.

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