4 ways to stop your Brain from telling you the worst will happen

(ORDO NEWS) — Imagine that tomorrow you have an interview for a new job. Some people may think about what questions they will be asked to prepare, or imagine that the interview will go well.

For others, the thought of an interview will keep them tossing and turning all night thinking about worst-case scenarios – no matter how unusual they may be. If you are the kind of person who tends towards the latter option, then you are prone to catastrophizing.

Catastrophizing is the tendency to assume that the worst will happen when you imagine a future situation – even if you have evidence that this is not the most likely outcome. People who like to feel in control (and therefore intolerant of uncertainty) are more prone to catastrophizing.

This was associated with anxiety – it is assumed that frequent catastrophization may be a factor in the development of some mental disorders.

Catastrophizing comes from the belief that by imagining what could go wrong, we better protect ourselves from harm – both physical and mental. However, this tendency is only useful if you can correctly predict what will happen in a given situation and how you will feel about it.

When we imagine future events, we experience an emotional reaction to the story we are creating – and use that reaction to determine how we will feel in the future. But this way of predicting the future is often wrong because we can’t imagine everything that might happen.

This can lead to the fact that we create in our head the wrong emotional reaction to future situations.

However, our belief in what will happen in the future can have a big impact on our behavior. For example, people who are optimistic (or even realistic) about the future are more likely to be willing to try something new.

They also tend to notice what was good in new situations. On the other hand, people who think catastrophically about what could go wrong are less likely to try new things.

And when they try something new, they are more likely to notice what went wrong. This will stick in their memory and add to the reasons why they should not try new things in the future.

As a result, catastrophizing can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety and prevent you from doing things you might enjoy or learn.

If you tend to catastrophize when you’re stressed or anxious, there are a few things you can do to help yourself:

1. Make decisions in the morning

We often worry about the future at night. When we sleep, the activity of the rational part of our brain is reduced, and the activity of the more emotional part of the brain is increased. As a result, when we are awake at night, we tend to use our emotional brain to imagine the future.

Lack of sleep can also make us more sensitive to things we perceive as threatening. It can make us focus on what could go wrong and make us more catastrophic.

It’s helpful to remind yourself that you’re not thinking rationally when you’re lying awake and worrying about something. It may also be helpful to wait until the morning to make decisions when the brain is rested.

2. Teach your inner critic to be more compassionate.

Catastrophism can be triggered by our inner critic, who can use harsh language that makes us emotional.

When this happens, try to imagine your inner critic as if you were looking at him through the eyes of another person. What language do you use and would you use it when talking about someone else in a similar situation? Is the language your inner critic uses useful or justified?

Often the answers to these questions will be negative. Pay attention to the language your inner critic uses when you’re worried or stressed. If he’s too harsh, try switching to a kinder way of talking to yourself.

3. Come up with a better story

Even if things did not go as we would like in the past, it is unlikely that this will be the case in the future – despite what we can tell ourselves. If you have a tendency to catastrophize future events, try instead to think about how this event might go well, which can help you feel less anxious.

Another strategy is to come up with not one but several plausible stories about what might happen. This will help remind you that the stories you tell yourself are just stories. Choosing stories with a positive outcome can also help you feel less anxious or tense.

4. Be kind to yourself

Try to be more compassionate to yourself when you think about your future. This is harder than you might imagine, even for people who are very compassionate and sympathetic to others.

Compassion and empathy have evolved to help us interact well with other people. So compassion and empathy are not meant to be used for oneself. But small things like asking what advice you might give to a friend in your situation can help you connect with your voice of compassion.

Frequent use of this practice can even help you see solutions where you might otherwise only focus on the problem.

Planning for how things might go wrong in the future does serve a purpose, and that is to keep us safe. But if you often find yourself catastrophizing yourself by thinking of all the worst-case scenarios – especially to the detriment of your own mental health – it’s important to remind yourself that what you’re worried about may never happen, and if it does, it probably won’t. everything will be much better than you think.


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