The other night I was at my kitchen sink steadily scrubbing the brown spots off the bottom of a frying pan. When I finished, I realized that for a good five minutes, I had focused on nothing except the methodical action of scrubbing and rinsing, scrubbing and rinsing.
I excel at expecting the worst. I have a vivid imagination, and when something happens, my mind leaps ten steps ahead constructing a worst case scenario. In my twenties, I learned that psychologist Albert Ellis had coined a term to describe what I was doing. He called it “awfulizing,” imagining that things are as bad as they can possibly be.