Definition by dictionary.com “to view or talk about (an event or situation) as worse than it actually is, or as if it were a catastrophe.”
Now this is an interesting one for me because I used to be quick to catastrophize anything and everything to do with vomiting. My husband is the exact opposite. He is so laid back and it takes a lot to get him in a flap. In terms of the phobia, this is good for me because J never ever catastrophizes being sick – as much as I want to. When I was sick on the m4 –no big deal. Sick last summer – no big deal, still here, my boy still here. Life goes on etc etc. If only it were so easy to think like this though.
It’s very easy for one thought to spiral out of control. I used to suffer really bad with IBS and team that up with a 40 minute car journey to work, it used to stress me a lot. Usual catastrophic thoughts ended with me having diarrhoea on the m5 hard shoulder in full view of the whole world. And the stress would always bring on pains and cramps! Yeah. Not. Anyways, so here are some things that help me to try and stop my mind going off in all directions!
• Distraction. Once the mind starts wandering, it can lead down a slippery slope to despair and panic. If you feel bad thoughts creeping in, distract, distract, distract. Whatever your top distraction method is, DO IT.
• Talking less about a vomit event. I do like to go on and on (and on) when something has happened. My husband doesn’t entertain this and I know deep down this is good for me. I don’t need to relive the vomit incident.. I don’t need to mentally document the date, the weather, what I was wearing when it happened.
• Being prepared. This relates to the IBS scenario above. Ok, so worst case, I crap my pants, I just go home! But to help me make things easier, i find if i am prepared for the worst, i often feel better about the worst happening. Yep, I packed a spare pair of knickers and trousers in the back of my car, as well as some carrier bags and tissues. Just knowing I was prepared for an IBS attack alleviated some of the anxiety!