Catastrophic thinking is a problem for lots of people, and is particularly common among those who experience high levels of anxiety, which can lead them to imagine the worst has happened.
Often people tend to magnify the negatives and minimise the positives about a situation.
While being prepared can be a good thing, the problem comes when these thoughts spiral or regularly become overwhelming, and start to affect your daily life. So, what can you do to help reduce this kind of negative thinking?
Dr. Ian Nnatu, a graduate of College of Medicine, University of Lagos, has been a consultant psychiatrist with the NHS since 2006 and he holds practising privileges at Priory Hospital North London and Priory Wellbeing Centre Harley Street. He is also a consultant psychiatrist on Oak Ward, a new acute adult NHS Partnership ward at Priory Hospital North London. Learn how to reconnect with reality by following his tips:
Recognise catastrophic thinking
“Being aware of your catastrophic thinking can help you to put steps in place to manage it going forward,” Dr Nnatu advises.
“When you find yourself having a catastrophic thought, ask yourself three simple questions: What is the worst that can happen? What is the best thing that could happen? What is the most likely thing to happen?”
By answering these questions, you can help shift your thinking as you build up a more balanced view of the particular situation, Dr Nnatu added.
The only way to break this cycle is to tame anxiety and learn to manage it, which can be done through cognitive behavioural therapy. Dr Nnatu advises seeking professional help if you find catastrophic thinking is interfering with your wellbeing and peace of mind.