Do you ever think about the worst-case scenario? Tell me if this sounds familiar: Your teenager is driving somewhere but never texts to say he arrived safely. Immediately your mind jumps to a horrific car accident. Or you email your boss, but don’t hear back right away so you create this unsubstantiated story in your head that she hates you and your idea, and you’ll ultimately get fired.
The examples I shared are clearly worst-case scenarios; they are definitely possible outcomes but the probability of them happening is extremely low. Why do we let our mind skip right over the logical answer and escalate the situation to worst-case? More importantly, how can we override this unhealthy response?
First, you must catch yourself in the act. Presumably, you will be experiencing a visceral response to this “threat”; You can say to yourself, “I’m doing it again!” Stop at that point and take a few really deep breaths. Second, activate your logical thinking. Ask yourself, as a percentage, what is the likelihood of this scenario? Keep breathing deeply. Third, decide what is the most logical and likely outcome to the quandary you find yourself in. Breathe. Look, rabbit holes are for rabbits—let’s keep it that way.