Creative Catastrophizing

An anxious mind is a creative mind. Why, then, do we allow the irrational, catastrophic thoughts to negatively impact our physical and mental well-being?  Recently I was on a vacation with my family and I disconnected from my business activities. Allowing my mind to rest, to be still, to be at peace.

As I rested my head on the pillow one night in our unfamiliar rental home, my mind began racing.  Worries about my son, who slept upstairs in an unfamiliar place. “Will he walk in his sleep, fall down the steps and break his ankle?”  Hearing a noise, “Is someone breaking in? Who know the door code? Is someone watching us through hidden cameras? Are we safe?”

The worries are irrational, I know this.  I keep them to myself the next day and do not verbalize them to my son because I do not want to plant these irrational thoughts in his mind. The more I fought the thoughts, the more my heart raced, my stomach tightened, my body tensed. In between hearing random creaks and pops in the house, I heard the fast, loud pumping of my anxious heart.

I prayed. I recited positive affirmations. I did a mindful body scan. I did progressive yoga breathing. It didn’t help that night.

Finally, just from pure exhaustion, the whirlwind of irrational thoughts stopped. The next day, I felt tired, frustrated and disappointed in myself.

This is Generalized Anxiety Disorder explained!  I was never officially diagnosed with this disorder, but it is something that I have “tendencies” toward occasionally (according to my therapist).

I believe this experience was meant to happen. To help me see just how far I have come in my healing journey. These types of thoughts used to fill my day and night along with the social anxiety disorder-related thoughts. I didn’t know what true peace felt like back then…

The therapies and self care practices I learned over the years did help. Sure, in this story, I’m sharing a struggle… But I maintained a steady exploration of my mind and body as I navigated the treacherous waters I had “sailed” into. I felt it was important to share this – to be “real” with you! To express my vulnerability. I was re-assured that sharing was important when I listened to Brene Brown’s talk on Vulnerability.

My family vacation was still amazing! The relaxing, downtime with my family was wonderful! And I was happy to know that I had my next blog topic all figured out!

Lisa Klarner Anxiety Educator

Have you had similar experiences with anxious thoughts? What has helped you to navigate the treacherous waters in your mind?

It is my hope that you are taking care of YOU! What practices do you have in place to help you move through all your emotions?

Have you explored different techniques like Mindfulness Meditation (Thanks Peter, my guest blogger for sharing your experiences!)?  Check out an app such as the Insight Timer for a wealth of meditations (thanks Chris L for the recommendation!).  Have you practiced gratefulness?  What is going well for you in your life? What do you have to be grateful for?  Write it down… make a list… And, most importantly, what about gently exploring ALL of your emotions and accepting your perfectly, imperfect self!

I want you to know that you are perfect! Everything about you is magnificent! Love and appreciate yourself. Deep down. Underneath any self doubt. Your true self is always there – waiting for you to finally accept the wonderful person you already are!!


Lisa is passionate about helping people to discover and live their best life. As a life and career coach, Lisa thrives on building solid, trusting emotional connections and being a positive advocate and accountability partner for you. Her coaching certifications and tools along with her personal and professional experiences result in a coaching experience that can help stressed out, overwhelmed clients to experience the joy and life satisfaction that Lisa now experiences. As an author, speaker and educator, Lisa speaks from the heart. Her engaging and inspirational style motivates people to continually grow and learn. She shares her personal struggles with anxiety and extreme stress openly and honestly while encouraging people of all ages to seek help.


  1. Jeanne Loehnis /Reply

    Lisa, thank you for sharing! Being real, sharing our struggles and successes is SO needed and helpful. One of my tools for dealing with challenges like yours is my support team. For me, it helps to have a “safe other” to confide in, share with, express out loud to. “getting it out” helps me to clear it.

    1. Lisa Klarner /Reply

      Thanks Jeanne! Yes! When struggles arise, a great way to move through them more easily is a strong support team. My support team is very intertwined in my life and I greatly appreciate them with all my heart! 🙂 Thanks for being part of my support team!

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