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Catastrophizing

06 / 08 / 2016

That word that is the title, wasn't even in my computer's dictionary. Woah! Cool, I know, but getting on to the post.

The types of anxiety that I have mainly experienced throughout my life have fallen into two categories. Social anxiety and then Catastrophizing. The first is because I often feel uncomfortable in large groups of people, or meeting people I don't know, and the second is because I have become very good at talking myself out of things. I might not be any better at it than the next person - but it feels like a rather powerful source sometimes. I have been given info sheets on it by psychologists and counsellors to take home, but instead of giving you one of those I'll just tell you. Becuase believe it or not, the big convoluted word has a rather straightforward and relatable meaning.

It's just the simple practice of thinking situations will be a whole lot worse than they actually are.

This little bugger of a phenomenon is I guess my anxiety in a nutshell. I'm not the person who will go about life as usual and then out of nowhere have panic attacks. I'm the person who doesn't go about life that normally. I think ahead and then think of the worse possible outcome as default. It takes discipline to actually look at the flipside and see that it might actually be a lot of fun and not all that doom and gloom. Now don't go getting the idea that I am like this for every situation - certainly not. Just certain social situations actually. Plus I am not a glass half empty kind of person either. I like to point out the positives in many situations that others are getting all shitty about. Once again, it's just certain social situations that get to me. So as you can see, I'm not so black and white. Much. More. Complicated. But here is something a little more simple to get your head around.

Nothing is as horrible as the situations we can predict in our minds.

There is no reason to assume the outcome inside your head will be the reality. There is no logical reason to see this as the ultimate result. So as much as it is easy to back out of situations after seeing the potential awkwardness, embarrassment, uncomfortable news flashes inside your head, it's not the right thing to do. Remember that if your noggin' decided to play the MA15+ trailer for you, then it can also stick on the G trailer which is full of positive self-talk and finding yourself in a supportive environment.

Ask your inner-you to play that trailer instead, and then go watch that movie.

*there were a whole bunch of metaphors in that last bit, I wasn't actually talking about going out and watching films. Although that it also fun.

COVER PICTURE FOUND HERE