One of the most destructive daily habits I transported with me for a long time and I think is a very common 1 for many people was the thought habit of catastrophizing.
What exactly is catastrophizing?
This is when you build-up a nightmare situation of how everything can go totally wrong in some situation and imagine a big catastrophe in your mind.
You may have a display tomorrow and your mind starts to pull up a scenario where you have remaining your notes in your own home, you make a trick of yourself, you are embarrassed in front the whole company and your employer yells at you for 20 a few minutes after the meeting.
Scary stuff for sure.
So how do I learn to handle this one?
Let me share 7 steps that have really helped me out.
The first step : Loudly say prevent to your inner critic.
The catastrophe that has started to brew in your mind comes from your inner critic.
He is telling you: “ You will fail because it is what you always perform. ”
Or that you have not prepared enough.
Or that your boss will not be satisfied with your presentation for some reason or other.
Or all that.
So stop the internal critic quickly. In your mind, as soon as these ideas pop up, shout:
“ NO! ”
Or: “ NO, we are not going down that path once again! ”
This will disrupt that train of believed and help you to begin feeling more level-headed again.
Step 2: Concentrate on your breathing.
After disrupting the thought end up being still for a minute or two. Sit back if you can.
Focus on just your own in-breaths and out-breaths. Nothing else.
This will calm the body down from the tension and it helps your mind to think more obviously and to return to what is going on right now in this moment instead of being lost in future nightmares.
Step 3: Look to yesteryear for the truth.
Believe back to your previous.
How many times in the past have got these catastrophe scenarios that your mind throws at you actually become reality?
Never or not many times I would visualize. That has certainly already been the case for me.
So remind yourself of the actual facts from the past to calm yourself down even more and also to draw yourself to the more centered edition of yourself.
Step 4: Talk it by means of and get input from a level-headed friend.
In lots of situations in my very own life the first housing have helped me to snap out of the disaster scenario and to believe more calmly plus clearly.
But sometimes that combination isn’t quite enough. Maybe you may still find some lingering mental poison and inner tensions that could start snowballing again.
If that’s the situation then one thing I like to do is to allow catastrophe out. I actually talk it over with someone near to me.
By doing so, by just venting and having somebody listening for a few mins I can often see the situation for what truly is. And so I calm down.
Or the person hearing can help out myself out a bit more in the event that needed and give me his or her perceptive.
That helps me to terrain myself in reality once again and it has also allowed me to many times to find an option or a first action that I can take to begin changing this situation straight into something better when that is needed.
Phase 5: Stop making a mountain out of the molehill.
Another thing that often helps me is to ask myself a question that lets me zoom out and find out if I’m truthfully just making a hill out of a molehill here (or from nothing at all).
And so i ask myself:
Will this particular matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?
The answer is normally that it won’t. Though it might at first appear that way when you’re in the stressed out and anxious headspace.
Step six: Say stop in order to yourself when you understand you simply can’t believe straight.
When Now i’m hungry or I have to go to bed and get a few sleep then I understand from experience that I’m vulnerable to catastrophizing and pessimistic thoughts.
What exactly do I do?
I inform myself this:
No, no, no, we are not going to think about this now. We will think about this situation or challenge later, right after getting some sleep or even food.
Doing that simple factor helps a lot.
Because when I’m not hungry or I’m nicely rested once again after that my issue that I was getting worked up about will most often be small in order to non-existent when revisited with some clear-headed thinking.
Or it will at least be a lot easier to look for a solution or an intend to improve things in the event that there’s actually a true challenge here that I need to face.
Stage 7: Reduce any weekly input that will pushes these devastation scenarios into the forefront of your mind.
People and the other sources available like TV, social media marketing and various web sites or forums possess a big influence more than your thinking.
So be careful about what you allow into your head on a daily and weekly time frame. Ask yourself:
Is there a person or source in my life that strengthens my catastrophizing habit?
Examples of this kind of sources could be somebody who is very pessimistic or news online or even a social media platform that you simply find is nourishing too much negativity into your mind.
When you’ve found something like that in your own life ask yourself:
What can I do recently to spend less or any time with this individual or source?
Then take action on that and invest the time you’ve now freed up during this week with much more a few of the most optimistic sources / individuals in your life.
Do this – in the coming weeks or months – with as many sources as needed to piece by piece build a healthy environment for yourself and for your thoughts.