An Effective Tool for Dealing With Catastrophic Thoughts

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Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 204

We all imagine catastrophic things happening sometimes. Maybe whenever a loved one doesn’t reply to a text message right you automatically think something terrible has happened to them. Or perhaps every time your boss asks you to meet, you assume that you’re about to get fired.

Not only do catastrophic thoughts overestimate how bad things are going to be, but they also underestimate our ability to cope if something bad does happen.

You might tell yourself that you’d be completely destroyed if you got laid off or that you’d never recover if your love interest broke up with you

Catastrophic thoughts cause us to feel awful. And they can keep us from taking productive action if you let them. While you can’t stop them from happening, you can choose how you respond to them. 

It’s a common issue we address in the therapy office–skills for managing catastrophic thoughts

In this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, I share a strategy that can help take some of the sting out of those catastrophic thoughts. I also explain how to move forward in a productive way even when your brain is dwelling on the worst-case scenario. 

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.