My neighbor took a photo of a bobcat one morning recently—at the house across the street from ours.

Yikes! We overreacted—and worried about our dog Jack—and all of the smaller dogs and the cats in the neighborhood. Disaster!

However, my friend Mary, a retired biologist, didn’t panic. “How exciting,” she said. “Not very many people get to see a bobcat in-person!”

What is catastrophizing? In the January 16/23 issue of Time magazine, Martin Seligman, a professor at University of Pennsylvania, explains.

When something bad happens, catastrophizers think: Everything will unravel, and my life will be ruined.

However, this professor suggests that, if you have the opposite, optimistic mindset, you will likely be more resilient. And, maybe the world won’t come to an end.