Reframe Negative Thoughts To Positive Options

Posted on January 10th, 2013

When you find yourself catastrophizing about a negative event (“What if this happens,” “What if that happens”), write down:

  1. The absolute worst case scenario (your catastrophic thoughts).
  2. The perfect world best case scenario (exaggerated, extremely unlikely positive outcomes).
  3. The real world most likely case (realistic analysis of what’s likely).
  4. What is your action plan - what can you do about your problem?
  5. What is the most likely outcome?

This may be difficult to do in the heat of the moment. It may be helpful to start with relaxation techniques such as focusing on your breath.


Seligman, M. E. (2002). Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Questions or comments? Send me an email