This is the 1105th consecutive day I’ve posted for this cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-oriented blog, and it’s the first time I’ve ever used the word “Catastrophize” in the title, much less explained how to do it.
Oh no! This is a catastrophe! Horrible things are going to happen!
What horrible things might happen?
- My readers will be disappointed!
- Some will stop reading this blog in disgust!
- People will look up the word “catastrophize” and realize it’s a made-up word!
- I will lose all credibility in the elite group of CBT bloggers!
- I’ll get lots of angry comments, below!
- WordPress will finally look at one of my posts to consider me for “Freshly Pressed,” realize what a failure I am, and put me (or keep me) on a list of “Never Freshly Press this Blog, NO MATTER WHAT!”
- My life as a blogger will be over!
- Word will get out to the real world, and all my patients will stop seeing me for CBT-oriented therapy!
- I’ll get fired from my job!
- I’ll become penniless!
- All my friends and family will abandon me!
- My life will be irrevocably ruined!
- This will kill me!
See how it works?
If you want to apply my humble example of catastrophizing, above, to any situation, it helps to
- identify all your worst fears,
- link them to your current situation,
- use the prodigious powers of your imagination, and
- don’t hold back!
For some reason, human minds seem to be designed for catastrophizing. So if you start today, soon you’ll be catastrophizing with the best of them!
I’m catastrophizing, now, that if I don’t give you a list of possible side effects of catastrophizing, I might be in big trouble with some powerful people and organizations (whoever they might be). Therefore, I will now tell you that side effects of catastrophizing MIGHT include:
- increased stress
- lower self esteem
- lack of appetite
- increase of appetite
- exacerbation of physical illnesses
Hmmm. I wonder what catastrophes my using the word “death” in this blog post will unleash in the blogosphere?
If this blog post helps you become SO good at catastrophizing that you have trouble turning it off (like lots of other people), try these antidotes:
- Take a breath.
- Tell yourself: “I am safer than it feels.”
- Soothe yourself with nature, music, or other things that have helped in the past.
- Connect with somebody trustworthy, if possible.
- Make sure you’re taking care of yourself by getting enough nourishing food, water, sleep, etc.
- Remember you are not alone.
Okay! Let’s see if I have any photos on my iPhone to illustrate “How to Catastrophize.” I know I took very few pictures yesterday, so chances are all those photos are going to suck!
Any potential catastrophes there?
Catastrophizing thanks to all who helped me create this catastrophic post and to you — watch out! — for reading it.