Catastrophizing! 7 ways to fight the anxiety.
I had a doctors visit about anxiety and in it a word came up... "catastrophizing".
It is where you create a scenario that has disastrous outcomes and it can come in two forms.
The first; is making a catastrophe out of a situation, maybe you forgot to lock the gate at your home and you create scenarios about the kids escaping, getting run over, or getting kidnapped.
The second; is scenarios involving the future, when you look to the future and anticipate things going wrong, in my case it usually involves natural disasters and fighting for your life.
I have an over-imaginative mind, hence why I am drawn to writing. you give me one item a theme and a character trait and I can probably write you a novel!
I have many fears... car crashes, trucks being too close to me, the kids getting hurt, the kids getting kidnapped, getting cancer, Tsunamis... isolation.
So when the hubby suggested we go on an overnight road trip to visit his friends at their kiwi bach in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, I was excited, but the shadow of fear crept in.
The area is where his iwi (tribe) is... "Ngati Kuri" and the Rohe (tribal area) of Ngati Kuri is situated around the northern tip of the north island of New Zealand, it has cultural significance for my husband and my two young daughters. Something that I know I need to let them connect with.
I grew up in the far north and I have memories and fondness towards the area (especially the township of Pukenui). But the connection that my husband has to the area is deeper.
My fears disappear when I am actually participating in an activity, so when I was there paddling in the river with the kids, taking pictures of making coffee on the hob or walking in the forest, I am fine... also... wine helps :)
But no matter where I am the scenarios come at night like the waves I could hear in the distance from the bach that I was sure was becoming a tsunami, what if a cockroach was planning on laying eggs in my ear and hatching in my brain, what if there was a murderer on the lose! You know all those usual scenarios.
...Sometimes the noise wont stop....
The habit of catastrophizing is a hard one to beat, especially for someone like me who is slightly introverted. Being active and around other people keeps your mind busy but it is exhausting and sometimes you just need to be by yourself... but being by yourself means that you are with your own thoughts... thinking about things!
So what can you do differently?
1. Talk about it - In my case, I talk to my friends and my husband, I am fortunate (I think) that most of my friends are as crazy as me! I am also fortunate enough to be able to write a blog about it.
2. Join a group - There are also great groups on Facebook where you can speak up among others with similar issues. I am a part of an online Facebook group where the members are supportive and friendly.
3. Distract your thoughts - I have been doing this with books lately, some meditation, some exercise, and when "Game of Thrones" starts back up I'm gonna distract myself with that lol
4. Talk to yourself - Literally talk to yourself... out loud if need be. When thoughts arise, talk to yourself and tell yourself... "this isn't real" "I am not going to lead myself down that path", or like my kids say..."No, stop it, I don't like it!"
5. See a professional - Seeing a doctor, medical professional or counsellor might be needed. Medication might be required, or further tests could be beneficial, there could be something medically wrong such as a thyroid issue (let's be honest you have probably googled your way to a medical diagnosis as I did and convinced myself you had cancer or graves disease).
6. Look at your diet - Could you be eating better? eating more nutrition? Eating more or eating less?
7. Investigate complimentary or alternative therapy -
There are other alternative therapies that some of my friends use, such as aromatherapy, homeopathy, flower essence therapy, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, faith healing, hypnosis, meditation, osteopathy and yoga.
For more help and information please contact any of the organisations and businesses below or see your local doctor X
Mental Health Foundation of NZ
The depression.org free 24/7 HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202