Dec 2023
Tell me why I dont like Mondays…


 Wasting precious energy 


So yeah, I’m well past worrying about how I look and come across to people these days. I’ve done enough schlepping and hard work on myself to know that I will never be perfect and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Mehhhh……

I had a client who did not come back after one session with me a few days ago .

Historically that would have seen my questioning my ability to counsel and had me on a spiral of rumination about what I could have done differently.

I should not have said this …or that…. Tried this or that …. Arghh !!

The fact is as I tell my clients, we never know why people criticise you, don’t come back or reject you or your work. There are a myriad of reasons and many of them may have nothing to do with your ability.

So why waste our precious energy and time on worrying and playing the guessing game? We can also end of in spiral of dot-to-dot thoughts that begin with “Why did that not succeed?’ to “I might as well end it all now !!” What a landslide! Was it really that bad in the beginning that, that is where my thought pattern has cornered me!

Years of catastrophizing involves imagining and expecting the worst-case scenario in a situation. It can be challenging, but there are strategies you can use to stop or reduce catastrophizing thoughts. The first think as I say to my clients is started to think about your thinking. It’s called mega cognition, and it has us being detective with our own back thoughts.

You will never know what has upset your equilibrium if you don’t know what has been happening to you subconsciously as you mull over the dregs of your negative experience.

You don’t simply go from feeling a bit flat to sobbing into your soup out of nowhere. When I ask my clients what you have been thinking today that has made you feel so rotten. Invariably I will get,

“but Sian, I have not been thinking anything, I just feel like crap “.

Well, that is actually not the case, you have been thinking, you just aren’t consciously aware of it. It’s under your radar or like an ear worm that doggedly sits in your ear playing that sticky Boom Town Rats song, ‘Tell me why I don’t like Mondays ….” Over and over again. Every now and then you realise it and say “Why have I got that darn song on high rotation “. These are thoughts that hijack our brain and if negative enough in nature over a period of time can leave us feeling flat or worse suicidal!!!

What can you do to safeguard that thinking , therefore feeling and therefore behaviour…..



Recognize Catastrophizing Thoughts: Start by becoming aware of when you’re engaging in catastrophizing. Notice the negative thoughts and acknowledge that they are catastrophizing rather than realistic assessments.

  1. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Once you identify catastrophizing thoughts, challenge them. Ask yourself if there’s evidence to support these extreme predictions. Often, you’ll find that the likelihood of the worst-case scenario is much lower than your initial thoughts.


  1. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help you stay grounded in the present moment. Focusing on your breath or the sensations in your body can help break the cycle of catastrophic thinking.



  1. Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with more positive and realistic ones. Instead of thinking about the worst possible outcome, focus on more balanced and optimistic thoughts. For example, “I can handle this,” or “It’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be.”


  1. Consider Alternative Outcomes: Catastrophizing tends to involve an “all-or-nothing” mindset. Consider alternative, more balanced outcomes. What are some other, more likely scenarios that could unfold?


5. Seek Perspective: Talk to friends, family, or colleagues about your concerns. Getting an outside perspective can help you gain a more realistic view of the situation and provide emotional support.


  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger problems into smaller, more manageable tasks. Setting achievable goals can help you focus on practical steps rather than overwhelming possibilities.



  1. Limit Exposure to Negative Information: If you find that negative news or information is triggering your catastrophizing thoughts, consider limiting your exposure. Take breaks from news or social media to give yourself a mental rest.


  1. Professional Help: If catastrophizing thoughts persist and significantly impact your daily life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional. They can provide coping strategies and support tailored to your individual needs.

Remember, changing thought patterns takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you work on developing healthier thinking habits.


Catastrophizing, or thinking the worst is going to occur, can be influenced by various factors.

Understanding the potential reasons behind this tendency can help you address and manage these thoughts more effectively. Here are some common factors that contribute to catastrophizing:

  1. Anxiety and Stress: High levels of anxiety and stress can lead to negative thought patterns. When you’re feeling anxious, your mind may exaggerate potential threats, leading to catastrophic thinking.


  1. Negative Past Experiences: Previous negative experiences or traumas can contribute to a mindset where you anticipate the worst as a way of protecting yourself. Your brain may be trying to prepare you for potential threats based on past events.



  1. Perfectionism: If you have perfectionistic tendencies, you may fear that anything less than perfection is a failure. This mindset can contribute to catastrophic thinking, as you imagine the worst possible outcomes if things don’t go perfectly.


  1. Low Self-Esteem: Individuals with low self-esteem may be more prone to catastrophizing. They may doubt their ability to cope with challenges, leading to an expectation of the worst possible outcome.



  1. Lack of Control: Feeling a lack of control over a situation can trigger catastrophic thinking. If you perceive a situation as unpredictable or beyond your control, your mind may jump to the worst-case scenario as a way of trying to regain a sense of control.


  1. Cognitive Biases: Certain cognitive biases, such as the “negativity bias” (where the brain gives more weight to negative information), can contribute to catastrophizing. Recognizing and challenging these biases can be helpful.



  1. Genetic and Biological Factors: Some individuals may have a predisposition to anxiety or negative thinking due to genetic or biological factors. In such cases, seeking professional help, such as therapy or counselling, can be beneficial.


  1. Media Influence: Exposure to negative news and sensationalized media can contribute to a heightened sense of fear and catastrophizing. Limiting exposure to negative information may help reduce these tendencies.



  1. Cultural or Environmental Factors: Cultural or environmental factors can also play a role. If you grew up in an environment where catastrophic thinking was prevalent or normalized, you may have adopted this mindset.

It’s important to note that these factors are interconnected, and individuals may experience catastrophizing for a combination of reasons. If you find that catastrophizing thoughts are significantly impacting your well-being or daily life, consider seeking support from a mental health professional who can provide personalized guidance and strategies.


Remember, changing thought patterns takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you work on developing healthier thinking habits.

Happy Day Wellbeing Warriors  !