Something happens, and we imagine the absolute worst. Our minds play tricks on us, and we start “awfulizing.”
To stop this:
First, on a piece of paper or in a journal, write down and answer the question, “What am I afraid will happen?”
Next, write down a response to this question: “What could happen?”
If we actively apply realistic optimism, looking at the facts of the situation at hand without embellishing or minimizing them, we can avoid a “spiraling” effect.