CATASTROPHIZING + COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS WTF - 3 simple ways to combat a catastrophic thought

Catastrophizing is a type of negative, irrational thought that can influence how we feel, behave, and interact with others in our every day lives. These irrational thoughts are called cognitive distortions, and one of the most common distortions is catastrophizing. 

Catastrophizing is anticipating the worst-case scenario in any given situation. When we are operating in a space of anxious, low, and black and white thinking, we can interpret a manageable situation as a total catastrophe.  

These types of thoughts can surface at any time, to anyone, however, when we are feeling anxious, vulnerable, or low, these thoughts may become more frequent and feel more difficult to challenge. You absolutely have the power to recognize, engage with, and change these types of thoughts. 

Here are 3 simple ways to combat a catastrophic thought. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Stress Reduction show us proven ways to engage with these types of thoughts, to bring us back to the present. 

  • Socratic challenge. Ask yourself about the evidence for this catastrophic belief. Is there enough? If there isn't, challenge this thought and bring yourself back to your present. 

  • Body scan for grounding. When we are in a space of anxiety, we often become detached from ourselves and our reality. Do a quick body scan for grounding, start at your feet and work your way up. Remind yourself of your strength, value, and worth. 

  • The BFF check. Ask yourself what you would tell your friend who was in a similar scenario. Chances are you would talk them off the ledge and remind them of their options and their value. Be your own best friend in this scenario.

I’m here for you if you want to explore more. Contact me to schedule a free consultation.

laura federico