What Is Catastrophizing and How Do You Stop It?

Catastrophic thinking causes someone to always assume the worst-case scenario occurs. It also leads some people to believe that things are much worse than reality.

Catastrophizing is a form of distorted thinking. It can happen to anyone, but there are also ways that people can shift their thinking and avoid spiraling into negative thought patterns.

Best Ways to Stop Catastrophizing Today

Catastrophizing won’t disappear by itself. You must implement a plan that adjusts your mindset. 

The following options typically provide the best results. 

1. Embrace Psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular way to manage catastrophizing thoughts. Your therapist can help you reframe or restructure your processes to determine how accurate the self-statements are each time. You’ll also get coping strategies and ways to challenge what you think to start establishing new patterns. 

2. Take Medication

Although there aren’t specific meds that can help prevent these thoughts, you can discuss your situation with your doctor. There could be an underlying condition that’s leading to your mindset or contributing to negative thinking behaviors. 

It’s not unusual for an anxiety disorder to be present. Your doctor might discuss the benefits of using antidepressants or benzodiazepines to treat the condition. 

3. Use Self-Guided Exercises

Anxiety is usually present during a catastrophizing episode. Try taking a few deep breaths, download a meditation app, or embrace a meditation exercise you prefer. Anything that brings you back to the current moment can stop the spiral.

It helps to seek the advice of professional therapists if you suspect that catastrophizing is holding you back.