10 Tips to Avoid Catastrophic Thinking in Our Lives
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
One of my friends tends to boycott my plans every time I propose to do something with our children. "Let's take the boys to the park", immediately replies: "And if they fall from the games and break a bone...", "and if someone kidnaps them while we are distracted...", "and if a car loses control and gets into the park and runs over them...", "and if they eat a poisonous flower and they die... ". Going to the park begins to look like a terrible and most dangerous adventure that only a crazy one could occur.
Just as this friend, there are many people who have incorporated in their way of thinking a distortion that does not let them live in peace and filled with fear and anxiety: catastrophic thinking.
This gallery explains an interesting point about it and leaves us a few tips to overcome, meet and love and charity help our friends to have a more realistic, safe and hopeful view of reality, trust more in God and in ourselves.
1. Catastrophic thought takes away our freedom. Learn not to let us stop acting
Thinking in this way removes freedom, full of anguish to the person and sums it up in a situation of stress and anxiety that in extreme cases can make life unbearable. Everything represents a threat and an imminent danger that is believed unable to escape. If your head hurts, it is because of a malignant tumor and you will die soon. If the phone rings, it's probably only bad news. If your husband is delayed half an hour without notifying insurance, he is cheating, and the marriage suddenly ended ... The worry and the fear to live are a constant. It is about thinking objectively and acting even if our thoughts tell us otherwise.
2. Stay calm. Don’t try to control everything.
How can we have a crystal ball that tells us exactly what's going to happen in the future? That way we would be prepared to face all the dangers and disappointments that might arise. The greatest desire of a catastrophic thinker is to have total control over each event that life will hold. This thought can be learned, it can be influenced by the information that we are exposed to and is fed by a lack of trust and faith. In this sense you have to try to release things a little and let reality teach us.
3. To seek real evidence of the danger we feel afflicted for.
Every time catastrophic thoughts come to our mind it is necessary to confront them with reality. For example: is it real that there are poisonous flowers in the park and that your children eat them? If in your marriage you get along with your husband, is it real that for half an hour delay your marriage is over? Confronting reality is a good exercise.
4. The absence of God in our lives, the true fear.
Fernando Robs Rebaque in his book: "Therapy of spiritual diseases in the fathers of the Church" tells us that fear has two sides: the fear-virtue that is related to our survival and rejects everything that goes against life, especially the death. This fear is expressed through the fear of God and is not a fear that has to do with punishment but is the fear of being separated from God. To be separated from God means to be separated from life. It comes to my mind the fear that a child feels when they separate from their mother and look helpless, deprived of their love and all that love means.
The other side of fear is the fear-passion that unlike the previous one moves us away from God and places in his place worries. Consider possessions, goods as gods. In the end we put ourselves as the center, as the only ones who have control of life. Living in a deformed reality without God. Without him the person always imagines the worst.
Coward is, in effect, evil and herself is condemned; harassed by the conscience, always imagines the worst; it is not fear but the abandonment of the support that the reflection lends.
5. Overcoming fear in the spirit.
Trust in God is the first step in combating these thoughts. Spiritual growth, prayer, friendship with God. We will not leave all of these thoughts but accept that it is God, who loves us, who will come to meet in all situations of our life. Praying frequently and asking God to increase faith is an excellent practice. Faith is a virtue that God grants us, we must always ask for it.
6. Do not let our thoughts control us. It's important to change that way of thinking. It's important to take control of your thoughts. Every time we discover ourselves waiting for the worst of life it is essential to reflect a moment and honestly evaluate the situation, to measure risk objectively. What is the possibility that a car loses control and crashes just in the place where your children play? It's good to measure these odds in percentages. Analyze the real possibilities of catastrophes and look for evidence in reality. Focus on emotions, simplify life.
7. Use your body to rest the mind.
Occupying the day, doing sport helps a lot. To do activities that help to silence the voices inside, to go out for a walk, to converse with other people, to paint, to sing. Occupy life in different activities and teach the body to walk safely, that security of being in the presence of God, who comes to meet us.
8. Do not forget the patience.
Changing thoughts is not an easy thing, it takes time and patience. So, it's important to take the time and move forward one day at a time. Let's begin to be aware of the present and forget the catastrophic futures. At the moment it is essential to seek solace and help in others, but above all in God.
9. Talking to someone to show you the reality you don’t see.
Sharing our problems with close people is always good. Tell someone who is close and willing to listen. May this person help us to see our life with objectivity.
10. Keep a diary. Write what we experience when a catastrophic thought comes to mind.
To discover and demonstrate that we can be catastrophic thinkers keep a diary in which you write that emotions are experienced when thought comes to mind is an excellent exercise. In this way we will know the kind of thought that occurs and at what times. This is a good way to design strategies to combat it.