Are you always thinking of the worst case?
Catastrophizing is thinking the worse case scenario. Assuming the worst possible outcome will happen. And generally ignoring the other less negative possible outcomes.
With the COVID-19 crisis, we as a society are scared and uncertain about what may happen. So it is entirely normal that our brains are spending time trying to predict what the pandemic will be like. We may be thinking about global outcomes, community outcomes, family or personal outcomes. As an individual we may be worrying about our own health, the health of our patients and family members, our work environments and financial impacts just to name a few.
All of this is normal and makes sense in our current situation. It is normal brain behaviour.
Catastrophizing can cause some problems
The problem with all this predicting future outcomes is that it can be exhausting and it can generate a lot of anxiety and other stress. And the reality is that our predictions may never come true. We may spend all that time and energy thinking about something that was never going to happen.
There are ways to manage your catastrophizing to lessen the anxiety it creates. In this bonus episode, I have Dr. Devon Gimble and Dr. Melissa Kwak joining me. We are talking about all things catastrophizing and giving our best tips for managing this in your own life during the COVID-19 crisis.
This Week’s Guests
Devon is a board-certified dermatopathologist who found coaching after experiencing what she calls “early career misery” and knows the difficulty that comes from feeling stuck or trapped in a medical career after having spent decades educating and training to be a physician. More information about her coaching practice can be found at https://www.physicianlifecoaching.com. Devon can also be reached directly here.
Melissa Kwak, MD is a full-time practicing family physician with Edward-Elmhurst Health in the suburbs of Chicago. She experienced burnout for a few years before finding the help she needed in a life coach and has since become a certified life coach herself to help others who are struggling as she was. You can find her at www.physiciansinspired.com or email her here.
Listen to this bonus episode below.
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