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Let’s talk about …. Awfulising and breaking free from the cycle of negativity

In our daily lives, it is not uncommon to encounter situations where things don't go as planned. You may wake up late for work, your favourite shirt is dirty and you were banking on wearing it, you then spill your coffee down the shirt you've spent the past 5 minutes choosing as a replacement! Now you're really late and you tell yourself it's going to be 'one of those days!' Be careful what you wish for!!

Whether it's a minor inconvenience or a major setback, our natural tendency is to focus on the negative aspects and amplify them. This phenomenon, known as "awfulising," can have a detrimental impact on our mental well-being and overall outlook on life.

Understanding Awfulising:

Awfulising refers to the act of magnifying negative aspects of a situation, often blowing them out of proportion. It involves dwelling on the worst-case scenarios and assuming that everything will go wrong. This mindset can quickly spiral into a cycle of pessimism, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and a distorted perception of reality.

The Effects of Awfulising:

When we engage in awfulising, we inadvertently sabotage our own happiness and well-being. By constantly focusing on the negative, we fail to appreciate the positive aspects of our lives. This negative slant can also impact our relationships, as we may become overly critical and pessimistic, pushing away those who care about us.

Awfulising can also hinder personal growth and success. When we constantly anticipate failure, we may become hesitant to take risks or pursue new opportunities. This fear of failure can limit our potential and prevent us from achieving our goals.

So what can we do?

Breaking Free from Awfulising:

1. Recognize the pattern:

The first step in breaking free from awfulising is to become aware of when we engage in this negative mindset. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions, and identify the triggers that lead to awfulising. By recognising the pattern, we can begin to challenge and change our thought processes.

2. Challenge negative thoughts:

Once we identify negative thoughts, it is crucial to question their validity. Ask yourself if there is any evidence to support these negative assumptions. Often, we will find that our fears and worries are based on irrational thinking. Replace negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.

3. Practice gratitude:

Cultivating a sense of gratitude can counteract the tendency to awfulise. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small. This practice can shift your focus towards the positive aspects of your life and help you maintain a more optimistic outlook.

4. Embrace resilience:

Instead of dwelling on failures or setbacks, view them as opportunities for growth. Embrace resilience by learning from your mistakes and using them as stepping stones towards success. Remember that setbacks are a natural part of life, and they do not define your worth or abilities.

5. Surround yourself with positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help break the cycle of awfulising. Seek out supportive friends, engage in activities that bring you joy, and limit exposure to negative news or social media. Surrounding yourself with positivity can foster a more optimistic mindset.

Awfulising is a common but destructive habit that can hinder our happiness and personal growth. By recognising this negative pattern, challenging our thoughts, and embracing resilience, we can break free from the cycle of negativity. Remember, life is filled with ups and downs, but it is our perspective that determines our overall well-being. Choose to focus on the positive, and you will find that even in challenging times, there is always a silver lining.

If this post resonated with you and you still find yourself being challenged by this phenomenon, get in touch with me at


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