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From Catastrophizing to Calming

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a particular kind of cognitive distortion called catastrophizing, and also of course, how we can overcome it. So, first of all, what is a cognitive distortion? Well cognitive distortions are unhelpful thinking patterns that causes us to view reality in inaccurate, usually negative ways. Most people experience cognitive distortions from time to time. Now, but if they're reinforced and repeated often enough, they can drastically increase our chances of experiencing anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.

They can also be really damaging to relationships and to our ability to really thrive at work and in life in general. So catastrophizing, often also called a magnifying, is one form of cognitive distortion. And when we engage in catastrophizing, we start to imagine the absolute worst thing occurring, or we expect disaster does strike. So a simple example, let's say somebody went for a job interview. So they went to the interview and then they go home and they're really not sure how they went.

So most of us would maybe worry a little bit about whether we're going to get the job. But from here, they might start to, if they start catastrophizing, ruminate about how stupid they are, how no one would ever hire them, they're probably never going to get a job, and they'll end up destitute and alone. So see how quickly this thinking style can escalate. Within moments, we can be taken over by catastrophizing and end up feeling really, really horrible. So, and of course, this way of thinking creates a lot of anxiety and negativity.

But the good news is that you can move from catastrophizing to calming in three very simple steps. If you practice these steps ongoing, you can totally kick the habit of catastrophizing in your life and deal with life's challenges with more wisdom and more skill. T he first step. The first step is to identify the thought pattern of catastrophizing. So when you realize you're feeling anxiety or you're feeling a negative mood, a good step is to just check in and see what you're thinking in that moment.

Just checking in with what's happening in the mind. Step two, if you notice catastrophizing thoughts, you mentally note them. So at the heart of catastrophizing is simply this aggravated form of worry. So you might like to mentally note to yourself in a soothing tone. Ah, there's the worry story again, or, Oh, just worrying.

Step three is from my co-host at Mindfulness.com, Cory Muscara and he says, you switch your what if to what is. So in other words, bring your attention out of your mind and back to what's happening in the moment. Not what could happen, but what's actually happening all around you right now. The smells, the sounds, the sensations. So if you find yourself catastrophizing today or this week, just simply remember the three steps.

Identify what's going on in the mind; if you're catastrophizing, mentally note; and then bring your what if to what is, and by doing so you can switch your catastrophizing back to calm and bring more presence and peace back into your day. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

From Catastrophizing to Calming

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a particular kind of cognitive distortion called catastrophizing, and also of course, how we can overcome it. So, first of all, what is a cognitive distortion? Well cognitive distortions are unhelpful thinking patterns that causes us to view reality in inaccurate, usually negative ways. Most people experience cognitive distortions from time to time. Now, but if they're reinforced and repeated often enough, they can drastically increase our chances of experiencing anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.

They can also be really damaging to relationships and to our ability to really thrive at work and in life in general. So catastrophizing, often also called a magnifying, is one form of cognitive distortion. And when we engage in catastrophizing, we start to imagine the absolute worst thing occurring, or we expect disaster does strike. So a simple example, let's say somebody went for a job interview. So they went to the interview and then they go home and they're really not sure how they went.

So most of us would maybe worry a little bit about whether we're going to get the job. But from here, they might start to, if they start catastrophizing, ruminate about how stupid they are, how no one would ever hire them, they're probably never going to get a job, and they'll end up destitute and alone. So see how quickly this thinking style can escalate. Within moments, we can be taken over by catastrophizing and end up feeling really, really horrible. So, and of course, this way of thinking creates a lot of anxiety and negativity.

But the good news is that you can move from catastrophizing to calming in three very simple steps. If you practice these steps ongoing, you can totally kick the habit of catastrophizing in your life and deal with life's challenges with more wisdom and more skill. T he first step. The first step is to identify the thought pattern of catastrophizing. So when you realize you're feeling anxiety or you're feeling a negative mood, a good step is to just check in and see what you're thinking in that moment.

Just checking in with what's happening in the mind. Step two, if you notice catastrophizing thoughts, you mentally note them. So at the heart of catastrophizing is simply this aggravated form of worry. So you might like to mentally note to yourself in a soothing tone. Ah, there's the worry story again, or, Oh, just worrying.

Step three is from my co-host at Mindfulness.com, Cory Muscara and he says, you switch your what if to what is. So in other words, bring your attention out of your mind and back to what's happening in the moment. Not what could happen, but what's actually happening all around you right now. The smells, the sounds, the sensations. So if you find yourself catastrophizing today or this week, just simply remember the three steps.

Identify what's going on in the mind; if you're catastrophizing, mentally note; and then bring your what if to what is, and by doing so you can switch your catastrophizing back to calm and bring more presence and peace back into your day. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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