Catastrophising & Catastrophic Thinking
Catastrophising & Catastrophic Thinking Patterns
Catastrophising is what we do when we take a relatively minor experience and imagine it as some sort of major disaster with all of the terrible consequences that are associated with it. A person prone to catastrophising is fairly easy to ‘spot’ as they will normally use highly catastrophic language patterns to describe benign happenings.
I’m going to be ten minutes late for work today.
Oh my God it’s the end of the World! My boss is sure to fire me for being so rubbish at time keeping.
As you can see, the resulting catastrophising has very little relationship with simply being late for work by ten minutes, which can happen to anybody of course.
Catastrophising turns the most minor social ‘faux-pas’ into a social disaster, a late arrival as a car accident and a small disagreement as a complete rejection and is clearly not helpful as these types of thoughts can only lead to negative emotional outcomes. Remember that your emotional evaluation of an experience is determined by HOW you think about it, not the event itself!
Managing Catastrophising Thoughts
Whenever you find yourself catastrophising about any event, you can try the following techniques to help you re-evaluate the situation:
Will your boss really not be that sympathetic to you being late for the first time in 14 years? After all, you always work plenty of extra hours during a normal week so the company is not really at any kind of loss. Hasn’t everybody been late for work at some point in their lives and suffered no real consequences?
Losing perspective is easy, especially if you have a tendency towards catastrophising about these types of events. Try to consider the wider range of outcomes rather than the worst case scenario every time!
Consider the Evidence
How many people have ever actually been fired for being 10 minutes late? How many times have you ACTUALLY been late this year yourself? Are your concerns based on anything that has actually happened or are you conclusions simply based on you ‘imagining’ you’ll be fired?
Try to make a decent appraisal of the actual evidence both for and against your catastrophic conclusion. People prone to catastrophising tend to ignore the evidence that contradicts their own evaluations!
The World Is Unlikely To End
Remember, no matter how much of a disaster your catastrophising leads you to believe, the world is almost certainly going to keep turning. Not only that, but even if you did lose your job, you’ll get another one and who knows where that might lead to.
Change Your Limiting Beliefs and Stop Catastrophising
If you’re committed to overcoming your catastrophising problems then you really can’t do much better than by following a course of CLB with Paul.
Changing Limiting Beliefs is a psychological training programme that teaches you everything you need to know to make the necessary changes to your unhelpful thinking styles and any maladaptive safety behaviours you may have developed.
FREE Initial Consultations for Catastrophising Problems
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial assessment to chat about your catastrophising or catastrophic thinking styles.
During this 50 minute consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
At TranceForm we believe that therapy & coaching should be a collaboration between therapist and client so it’s very important to be able to meet PRIOR to agreeing any kind of help. Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Contact TranceForm Psychology
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us to find out how TranceForm could help you to achieve your goals and aspirations or overcome problems. We offer ALL prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss all the options available to you.