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If you find your mind constantly wandering towards all of the negative outcomes of a situation, doing a deep dive into the worst case scenario can help you shake it. Playing out the worst case scenario can help you address it directly and look at all the reasons it’s actually an unlikely outcome. This allows us to decatastrophize the situation and establish a healthier outlook.
When you find yourself worrying about the worst case scenario and experiencing anxiety about the potential outcome, it’s a good time to do this exercise.
Like most CBT techniques, this works by looking at the possibilities that frighten you and exploring your reaction to them. When you start to feel anxious about a possible worst case scenario and take a minute to relax, you ground yourself to the reality of the situation. Instead of dwelling on anxiety, you play the scenario out and find the logical conclusions that are most likely to occur.
Any time you worry about worst case scenarios
As counterintuitive as it may seem, digging deeper into your fears around a worst case scenario can be incredibly helpful to decatastrophize an event or thought process. The more extreme your scenario, the less likely it is to actually occur and the easier it may be to recognize its unlikelihood.