When we think thoughts we not only think the thought we are thinking, but we already get prepared for the next thought to come up. Thus for example if we were discussing sexuality, the next word or concept thought would probably have to do with partners or bedrooms or positions. These would be easy to think because it is on the same thought string or concept.
Let me use an analogy to illustrate:
It is as if you were pulling up the fishing line out of the water while fishing. Although you can see the one thought or the one string coming out of the water, you realize that under the water many things are happening such as the lure may be wiggling etc., even though you can’t see it in the occluded lake water. Thus we tend to think things and be ready to think thoughts that are connected on the same string or fishing line. For example if someone was discussing sexuality, and their next word that comes out of their mouth was kumquats, we would be surprised. Unless you have a very unusual sex life kumquats belongs on a different string, probably one related to exotic fruits.
Now: notice what is connected to the concept of “awful”. When we think awful, we find it very easy to think, “It is awful” and “I can’t stand it” and ultimately to the thought “I am too weak to cope with it”.
Thus, we do not want to exaggerate negative things into awfulness, but replace it with something more realistic. If we were to say that something is bad or unpleasant or unfortunate we may be still truthful. We could additionally think, “It is bad but I can manage it” or “Bad but I could tolerate it” or “Bad but I can live through it” or “Bad but I could still be happy again”. Notice in the last part that this is consistent with feeling and believing “I am strong” and “I can cope with it” and “Bad but I’ll be okay”. These latter sets of thoughts are much more useful when facing a situation that seems dangerous or scary. Use them, rather than the thoughts about it, that include any concepts of it being awful.
In essence, when you label anything awful with your mind, you are accidentally labeling yourself as weak. It is as if you were saying to yourself, “It is awful, and I can’t cope with it, and I am too weak”. There are very few times when it is useful to feel weak.
If you are helping a friend face any difficult situation you’re probably not going to suggest to them that they are too weak. Additionally, you can help yourself face a difficult circumstance, if you say to yourself “This is tough but I can handle it”, “I can cope with it”, “I’ll be okay”. If you need to remind yourself, of how strong you are, by using self strengthening thoughts and sentences, it will help you manage things that seems scary, anxious provoking or fearsome.