Looping is often linked to a “catastrophe” kind of situation. A thought like “I am a failure” is a catastrophe psychologically! It means our identity at the moment is, well, a total LOSS. No wonder we keep looping!

We desperately need relief from that thought, don’t we? Same with thoughts like I am unlikeable.

This article explores the wisdom we’re learning about how to shift out of these patterns.

Here’s a summary for us to engage around:

Breaking free from the trap of catastrophic thinking can feel like a big leap, but it’s absolutely possible with some smart strategies. Think of it as learning to redirect your thoughts from “worst-case scenario” mode to something more grounded and realistic. Here’s a friendly guide with tips from the pros:

  1. Catch Yourself: When you notice your thoughts spiraling into doom and gloom, pause and remind yourself, “This is just a catastrophic thought. I’ve been here before, and things turned out okay.”

  2. Question the Catastrophe: Challenge your anxiety by asking, “What’s the absolute worst that could happen?” and then, “Could I handle that?” Spoiler: You’re stronger than you think.

  3. Follow the Thought: Instead of stopping at “everything’s terrible,” see where that thought leads. Sometimes, tracing it to its absurd end can show you how unlikely it is.

  4. Separate Yourself from Your Thoughts: Remember, you are not your thoughts. Instead of saying, “I’m a failure,” try “I’m having the thought that I’m a failure.” It’s a subtle shift that can make a big difference.

  5. Stay Grounded: Use grounding techniques like the 5-4-3-2-1 method (naming things you can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste) to bring yourself back to the present moment.

  6. Notice the Good: Make it a habit to acknowledge when things go right or when your worst fears don’t materialize. It’s a great way to balance your perspective.

  7. Embrace the Tough Times: Sometimes, accepting that bad things happen (and that you can get through them) is healthier than obsessing over avoiding them.

  8. Problem-Solve: Focus on solving problems rather than dwelling on them. Break big issues into smaller, manageable steps.

  9. Focus on What You Can Control: Remember, you can’t predict the future, but you can control how you respond to it. Focus on the actions you can take.

In essence, it’s all about catching those runaway thoughts, questioning them, staying grounded in the present, and reminding yourself of your resilience. It’s not about ignoring the negatives but balancing them with a healthy dose of reality and self-compassion.