How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions When Bad Things Happen

January 5, 2012
4 minutes read
How to Control Your Thoughts and Emotions When Bad Things Happen

Do you want to learn from my mistakes?

Well if you do, then read on, as this post will help you Control Your Thoughts and Emotions When Bad Things Happen.

Who feels good when you realize that you just messed up and made a blunder? Nobody! Some of you get angry, vocal, beat yourself up, or curl up and pretend that it just didn’t happen. Maybe you made a mistake at work, or you said something without thinking, or it was an error in judgment.

All mistakes can leave you feeling poorly about self, or give you anxiety. Your mistakes do not define you. Do you allow mistakes, or the opinions of others to define you? Well…he who is perfect can throw the first stone (yes that is paraphrased from the Bible).

My positive affirmation to self when I fall short is to encourage me to get back up and try again because, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”

So where did I make a blunder and fall short, in my computer skills. I have learned a great deal about computers and I’m growing in the use of technology to bring you truth. Yet, I have to admit it is a challenge for me. I am a counselor not a computer guru. I can learn and grow but with growth comes failure and then you get up and try again. I recently made a mistake in accidently sending out a few unintended, unfinished drafts of several emails and I wasn’t real pleased with myself. It set off my thoughts, emotions, speech and anxiety.

The red flag in my head went up quickly and screamed “stop and grab your thoughts” because the mistake is made and this will do no good. I instinctively go to a tool – one I teach my clients called a “Catastrophe Rating”. Let me explain the tool.

Catastrophe Rating

Rate your worst catastrophe at 100

  • 100 – For me the worst case catastrophe I can think of in life is if all my family members died in a car or a plane accident. That is a TRUE catastrophe.

Rate your moderate catastrophe at 50

  • 50 – I rated having cancer that is treatable and requires surgery and other treatment but is survivable as a 50.

0 is neither good nor bad.

So when you realize that you forgot a file at home and you are almost to work, your dog just chewed up your slipper, you said something offensive that you may need to apologize for or communicate correctly later, or you are stuck behind the train when you are already late, what do those experiences actually rate in line with your Catastrophe Rating. Maybe a 2?

So when I felt myself get upset, embarrassed, or anxious I stopped and asked myself what is the rating on the catastrophe scale for sending out an erroneous email – maybe a 2-or-3, if I push it?

So when you blow it, or someone offends you, the waitress messes up your order or there is a long line, ask yourself where does this fall on the Catastrophe Rating scale and react accordingly. The result will be healthier thinking, more peace in your emotions, and additional grace for frustrating experiences.

As you begin using this tool please share your experiences with us on our website, Life Renewal Inc.  And don’t forget to leave a comment below, we love hearing from our readers!

Please share your thoughts with us at

Dr. Michele
(904) 730-0775

Copyright (c) 2012 by Michele Fleming

Dr. Michele

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