I have, what I like to term as, a vivid imagination. At times, this works well for me, but more often than I care to admit, it works against me as I imagine all sorts of dire consequences, when heavens above I make a mistake [for some reason I don't have an issue with others making error, only me]. It can be something hilariously minor [oh the joy that is hindsight], take for example the recent blue bath episode, but I can quite easily jump from the reality to virtually being put in the stocks with rotten tomatoes being hurled at me within a nanosecond.
At least now, having completed my amazing CBT course, I understand what it is I do and to my amazement I discovered that there are others out there who do exactly the same thing. It has a proper name and everything...catastrophizing. When I catch myself doing it I have now learnt to sit down and check that my conclusions are accurate by checking my perceived proof i.e checking the evidence for and against my "belief". Every time so far it has not stacked up and I have been able to readjust my thinking to give a more balanced view. If I'm driving and start down the familiar anxiety provoking thought route I start to notice what's going on around me and giving a running commentary to distract myself. Finally, I have been taught to ask myself how I would react to a friend if she/he had made the same mistake- I would never talk to a chum in that way so why do it to myself. It has been a most enlightening process showing how your thoughts really do affect the way you feel about yourself. For more information on this there's a fabulous free resource here courtesy of the NHS
Dear old Mr Benjamin Franklin sums up what I've been trying to say very succinctly!
"Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight."