When somebody tells you something, does your brain immediately rush to the worst possible conclusion?
Do you always expect the absolute worst possible outcome, no matter the situation?
If so, you may have an issue with catastrophizing.
And while catastrophizing can happen in many different areas of your life, it’s especially insidious in your interpersonal relationships.
As a dating and relationship manifestation life coach, I’ve spoken to many who struggle with catastrophizing.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Stick around, let’s take a closer look.
What Is Catastrophizing?
Catastrophizing is, broadly speaking, when your mind immediately jumps to the worst outcome.
Somebody late for a meeting? It must be because they got hit by a car and died on the way.
Partner want to talk to you about something? They must be about to break up with you.
Boss calls you in for a meeting? It must be because you screwed up horribly and you’re about to be fired.
Now here’s the thing – each of these scenarios is not impossible.
But the likelihood of any of them happening in any given situation is very, very low.
What’s more, though, is that catastrophizing can often lead you down a path of increasingly unlikely results.
If your boss calls you in for a meeting, it must be because they want to fire you and you’ll never find another job this good again, and your spouse will leave you because who wants to be with someone who doesn’t have a job and you’ll lose the home you love because you can’t afford it without this job and you’ll end up poor and lonely living in a tiny basement bachelor apartment working a job you hate and you’ll be single forever and sad forever.
In the world of logic, they call this a slippery slope fallacy.
The likelihood of any one of those steps leading to the next is low, but the likelihood of the entire situation playing out the way you think is very close to zero.
But of course, we’re not operating on logic when we start catastrophizing.
It’s an emotional reaction, and emotional reactions are very difficult to logic your way out of.
Why Do We Catastrophize?
There are many different possible root causes of catastrophizing.
In some cases, it’s rooted in childhood trauma, where you actually witnessed a catastrophic situation unfold before you.
Maybe you had a parent who actually did lose their job and it led to the breakdown of your parents’ marriage, for example.
It may also be rooted in low self esteem.
When you imagine catastrophic situations occurring, you may imagine yourself as completely incapable of taking care of them, which can lead to you working hard to live up to the expectations others have of you in order to avoid catastrophes, even if those expectations are unrealistic or even harmful.
This isn’t healthy, and it’s no way to manifest your dream life.
What’s more, though, it’s not fair to the other people in your life either.
Your friends, family, and your spouse need to feel free to disagree with you without watching you spiral into fearful catastrophizing.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way.
How To Break The Cycle Of Catastrophizing
Even if you’ve found yourself catastrophizing for most of your life, there are ways to temper this tendency and manifest a mindset of confidence.
Let’s take a look.
1. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
When you’re sleep deprived, a lot of different things happen in your body.
You become less capable of dealing with stressors.
You become more irritable.
It becomes more difficult to focus on the tasks at hand.
But beyond that, sleep deprivation can actually make you more sensitive to threats than usual.
This might be an evolutionary trait – after all, in our days of living in the forests, sleep deprivation would make us more prone to being eaten by a sabre tooth tiger, so your brain shifts into alert mode.
We don’t live in the forest anymore, of course, but our evolutionary traits haven’t caught up to that fact.
Besides, manifesting a healthy lifestyle has a lot to do with getting enough sleep.
2. Ground Yourself In Gratitude
Catastrophizing is inherently based in exaggeration.
If someone is mad at you, it’s because everyone is mad at you.
If you disappointed somebody, it’s because you’re inherently a disappointment.
None of this is true, of course, but your brain runs with it, building a more and more elaborate scenario that becomes less and less realistic as time goes on.
It becomes a very black and white scenario, where if one thing goes wrong it means everything is going wrong.
One way to avoid this sort of thinking is to take the time to practice gratitude .
Taking stock of the things you have to be grateful for can help pull you out of a cycle of catastrophizing.
3. Recognize That Not Every Thought You Have Is Based In Reality
“Don’t believe everything you think” – Byron Katie
It’s easy to forget sometimes, but not one of us is omniscient.
Nobody knows everything, and nobody can even begin to process everything happening around us on a daily basis.
If you find yourself spiraling, it can feel overwhelming, visceral even.
You might feel almost as though the event about which you’re catastrophizing is actually happening.
But it’s not.
Try taking some time to consider what your mind is telling you during these catastrophizing episodes.
Journaling or meditating on it can help.
Recognize these thoughts for what they are – intrusive, based in fear, low self esteem, or past traumas, but not necessarily reflective of reality.
When you begin to more closely examine these thoughts, you can begin to defang them.
Book Your Appointment With Evelina Hovich Today
Do you find yourself slipping into a catastrophizing cycle when you face challenges in your life?
Is this mental habit getting in the way of your interpersonal relationships, your wealth and abundance goals, or other areas of your life?
If so, I can help.
I’m Evelina Hovich, a life coach for manifesting your dream life.
If you’re not living the life of your dreams, there might be something missing.
Let’s work together to get you unstuck and racing toward a life beyond your wildest dreams.