Is “catastrophising” a common phenomenon? Do lots of people do it?
If you have a wild horse secure in a stable and you open the door what happens to the horse? It bolts off down the paddock and then it is very difficult to get a calmed down wild horse back into the stable. There is no point shutting the stable door it is too late for that. One would have to spend a lot of time and effort to coral the horse and get it safely back into the stable. One might have to use ruses and tricks to re-capture the horse.
This is a metaphor for the catastrophising mind, once you have started to catastrophise mind pisses off down the paddock quicker than Usain Bolt and all calmness is lost. One lurches from terrifying conclusion to the next getting ever more fear full and anxious. Mind jumps from A past Z until it is halfway down the add symbol menu and well into the Cyrillic section.
I’ll wager that over the last year or so many more have catastrophised that they will die of Covid-19 hooked up to a ventilator than have actually done so. Someone coughing across the aisle in the supermarket is obviously the direct precursor to instant infection and prolonged painful death.
The trick with catastrophising mind is not to open the door, so to speak. The moment you open the door more than a smidgeon the wild horse will bolt. By all means takes a quick peak at the future but don’t fully open the door. Do not conclude that your worst fears will manifest immediately.
Some people, I guess, actually enjoy catastrophising because it gives them an excuse not to do anything.
Once catastrophising has set in scaling is very difficult to bring about. This is where the simple just like this can be very helpful.
One can use bizarre questions to help scale:
Are you likely to experience full on gang rape as a part of organised ethnic cleansing in the next 24 hours?
Is a 400-year-old European vampire going to drain you of 80% of your blood tonight?
Is that freckle on your thumb actually stage four skin cancer?
Nah, I don’t really think so..
Is it possible Donald Trump might get re-elected?
Yeah, it is possible.
If you are wrong and lose the argument, will a vortex open up in space-time and suck the entire galaxy through it into another dimension?
Seems a tad unlikely.
If someone disagrees with you does that mean that they hate you and will do so until the end of the Kalpa?
No, I guess not.
Are you overreacting?
Maybe you might be a bit more proportionate?
Yes, I guess but what if the werewolf comes to eat my gizzards?
That is unlikely. Where do live?
On the seventh floor in a secure flat in central London.
What is the data concerning werewolf density in your neighbourhood?
There isn’t any…
Why do you suppose that is?
Because they can’t afford to live in Chelsea.
You do know that your nail will grow back, don’t you?
I suppose so….