We all have some form of catastrophe thinking at some point in our lives. How to spin catastrophe thinking? How to deal with catastrophizing events that didn’t even happen yet or events that happened, but they are not nearly as catastrophic as what you think they might be.
Some are prone to catastrophe thinking more than others. It’s safe to say that people are more prone to this type of negative and destructive thinking during the pandemic. However, some managed to flip catastrophic thinking and make the best out of a situation. For example, some people decided to stop procrastinating during the pandemic and were reminded how short life can be.
How the Pandemic can Help you Spin your Catastrophe Thinking?
When you take control into your hands, problem-solving makes you deal with daily issues better. Once you make a decision to take action instead of thinking about all possible catastrophic events, you will feel better. Of course, things won’t happen overnight but take it one step at a time while having the final goal in your mind will take you where you want to be. However, those small steps and actions count. Once you complete one by one step you will feel better and more optimistic.
To be prepared is something that we should do all the time for any possible event that we catastrophize about. Instead of imagining the worst-case scenario, imagine the solutions that you would have and what can you do right now.
When people feel they have little or no control over events, they will feel hopeless. Although some things are completely out of control, there is always something that we can do. We should focus our energy on the actions that we can take, not on actions that can’t be taken from our part.
Instead of catastrophizing, manage the risk that the current situation can bring to you in the future. Certain actions have risks but it’s important to be prepared for those difficult times that might happen to everyone.
It’s important to remember that you can’t predict everything but having certain patterns will help you to apply them where applicable.
We already spoke about how important it is to have a sense of control. It’s important to understand the neurological components that having control can reflect on our brain. Experts explained that the executive part of our brain (prefrontal cortex) has the capacity to handle the alarm system once it happens. This part of the brain plays the role in fears and anxieties, but it’s also connected with survival instincts and processing past experiences. False alarms are worrisome and you should eliminate them since they will prevent you from acting upon real alarm systems.
Once you have a plan in place, your brain knows what you should do in case the worst-case scenario happens. Taking action now can help our neural mechanism to overcome or even prevent a complete sense of helplessness.
What Can you Do Now to Spin Your Catastrophe Thinking?
Create a routine that will help you create accurate potential risks. When you rationalize potential risks you will eliminate most of the catastrophic thoughts you have if they are not founded on facts.
We always tend to focus on the negative things. It’s in our nature to stay alert and to always expect danger. It’s a part of our survival and it’s what made our ancestors live and spread their genes. At the same time, we need to be able to overcome the hopelessness since that feeling can prevent us from solving the issue and dealing with the risk.
Rumination can have a serious impact on our mental health. Additionally, it’s disabling us to take action now. Catastrophizing and the rumination that comes with it are often exaggerated. When you catch yourself ruminating over a catastrophic event that didn’t happen yet, stop yourself and imagine the best possible outcome.
This is completely different from wasting energy on events that didn’t happen, but it can help you prepare for the event. Think about soldiers or doctors, if they would catastrophize about their actions, they would not be prepared for a difficult operation and they might even end up being paralyzed by fear.