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woman-sitting-on-steps-guesthouseWhat Is Catastrophizing?

Catastrophizing refers to the cognitive distortion that prompts people to jump to the worst possible conclusion, typically with minimal information or objective reason for the despair. A situation may be upsetting but not necessarily catastrophic, and a person may still feel as if they are in the midst of a crisis.

Everyone has negative thoughts at times. But for some people, those negative thoughts can spin out of control. A modest error, disappointment, or embarrassment can become a significant source of despair or fear. This form of thinking can be dangerous as it can easily lead to anxiety, depression, and heightened worry. Catastrophizing has been linked to panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder, to name a few.

Identify When It’s Happening

One way to work through catastrophizing is to notice and identify when this is happening. This can be a learning process, especially if you have been in this form of thinking for a long time. Try to stay in the moment. Focus on what you are feeling as you are feeling it. Learning to acknowledge and understand your thoughts can be a powerful tool to maintaining your mental health and overall well-being.

Reframe Your Thoughts

When you learn to identify your catastrophic thoughts, you can then work on reframing those thoughts. Remember, you are in control of your thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I am a failure,” try to remind yourself to think more like “I’m having the thought that I am a failure.” Drain the power of those negative thoughts, and gain control. When you can identify a catastrophic thought, it can help to replace it with a more realistic thought. This will take time and practice. As you continue working on reframing your thoughts, it will become more natural and less work.

Catastrophizing refers to the cognitive distortion that prompts people to jump to the worst possible conclusion. Remembering that our thoughts can have a major impact on our mental health is important. Learning to acknowledge when our thoughts may not be accurate can be difficult. It can also be hard to learn to reframe those thoughts. When our catastrophic thoughts combine with other mental health struggles or addiction, it can feel overwhelming as we try to work through and understand it all. The professionals at The Guest House are ready to help you gain the skills and tools needed to work through your unique challenges. Call us today to learn more about our different treatment options at (855) 483-7800.