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URMC / Employee Assistance Program / News & Events / UR Medicine EAP Blog / October 2018 / Stress Tip: Reduce Catastrophic Thinking

Stress Tip: Reduce Catastrophic Thinking

Humans worry, but when we focus on the worst-case scenario, it is called catastrophic thinking. It’s worry on steroids. Catastrophic thinking is agitating and exhausting. It can be toxic to your mental health. Catastrophic thinking can be applied to almost anything—child safety concerns, bills, personal health, the environment, deadlines, etc.

Remaining concerned while avoiding one’s worst fears is possible:

  1. Recognize that catastrophic thinking is a drain on your mental energy.
  2. Reduce worry levels by constructing contingency plans and solutions in writing.
  3. Take a mental break with “thought blocking” by refusing to worry about something for a set period of time.
  4. Consider how you engaged in catastrophic thinking in the past, but here you are today with those past fears or concerns never having come to pass or coming without the impact you originally imagined.

Keith Stein | 10/25/2018

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