In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the solution to catastrophizing!
First a quick update:
The Breakup Test
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Men and Women Reveal Top 5 Causes of Breakups – Survey
There is only one cause of every relationship breakup; here are the results of a breakup survey – men and women rated different causes for the breakup, and yet, they all fit into the same one cause. Watch the video https://youtu.be/g8Z44uJcY6o
Now, let’s talk about the solution to catastrophizing!
“This is awful. This is a complete catastrophe!”
Do you or someone you know say this?
And perhaps you or that someone else don’t specifically use these words but, something happens and you view it as a complete catastrophe. You believe that what has happened is so awful that it’s a catastrophe and that it’s going to continue that way in the future. In other words, you take one event which is unpleasant, painful or unwanted, and you say it’s bad now and it will be bad in the future; you lose hope!
The dictionary defines catastrophe as a sudden and widespread disaster. And some people take one event and turn it into the perception of a widespread disastrous life!
When you choose to catastrophize something, you are twisting your perception of life and you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy filled with failure, disappointment, sadness, loss, desperation, hopelessness, etc.
When you choose to catastrophize something, you wind up feeling like a victim having self-pity, full of additional irrational and negative beliefs about the situation, yourself and your future. In turn, you end up feeling hopeless and you automatically shut out any alternative possibilities; you end up paralyzing yourself and preventing yourself from taking positive action and changing your outcome.
SOLUTION – 8 STEPS
I have written about this in so many articles and in so many different ways: the key to inner peace is acceptance; accepting what you can’t change and focusing your energy on what you can change!
1. Bad or unpleasant things will happen
Yes, and they happen to everyone; you are not that special that bad things only happen to you!
“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
– Carl Jung
2. Analyze your thoughts
We have over 60,000 thoughts each day? What are you saying to yourself? “I am sad; I am unhappy; I am hurting. I am alone…” Then, what do you say next? Do you add and nurture and feed those thoughts with more negative thoughts? Do you take the present tense “I am hurting” and turn it into future tense, “I will always be hurting?” Are you being melodramatic, which only makes you feel worse?
3. Say “Stop”
The simplest immediate response to rumination is the word “stop”; say it to yourself when you recognize those negative thoughts of catastrophe.
4. Question your thoughts
Do your thoughts make sense? How often in the past have you catastrophized something such as a door or relationship closing only to find yourself overcoming it and better things happening in your life? Ask yourself, “Is this story (my response) the truth? Will I survive this event? How would someone else view my situation? Would everyone else catastrophize this situation? What would they think?”
Remember, your feelings can feel real but they don’t always represent reality. The same principle applies to thoughts: your thoughts can seem real but they don’t always represent reality.
5. Focus on positive action
Positive action is the action you take designed to create a positive outcome versus falling into victim mode and feeling helpless or anxious. What can you do to create a new result?
6. Neutralize the anxiety
Anxiety occurs when you try to control something you can’t. Stop trying to change other people; stop trying to control other people; stop trying to control other people’s thoughts, emotions or responses.
7. Acceptance not resistance
Acceptance is the opposite of resistance. Trying to change other people is resisting what is; trying to change an outcome that cannot be changed is resistance! What do you need to accept that you can’t change? What feelings within you do you need to accept – feeling out of control, guilt, shame, fear, worthlessness, etc.?
8. Heal your body and your mind
If you are not getting enough sleep, and you feel tired and stressed, your thoughts will worsen. Sleep, eat early and exercise; do yoga and meditation to slow down your thoughts and calm your nervous system.
Finally, remember that because things are a certain way now, they will not always be that way. You are not helpless or hopeless, unless you choose to be!
If you need personal help to overcome obsessive thoughts or if you are catastrophizing, book a one-on-one session with me.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.