10 reasons why you feel like something bad is going to happen

Do you feel like something bad is going to happen?

Chances are that you’re not alone in that feeling. Many of us sometimes feel like we might get sick, have an accident, or get into trouble at work. 

Our intuition, indeed, warns us of bad things coming our way so we can avoid them. 

But there may be other underlying reasons why you feel like something bad is about to happen to you. And they have nothing to do with your intuition.

Keen to know them?

Here are the 10 reasons why you feel like something bad is going to happen. 

1) You have negative core beliefs

Core beliefs are something we all have. They originated in childhood when our parents or guardians were our whole world. It was them, the people who took care of us, who formed our core beliefs.

These beliefs are fundamental because, on a subconscious level, they can dictate how we perceive the world and the people in our lives. If you learned from a young age that the world is dangerous, it’s more than likely that you often feel as if bad things are going to happen. 

The good news is that core beliefs can be deconstructed and reframed into something positive. 

So if you work on them, you’ll know you can trust your intuition the next time your gut warns you about something. It won’t be just the representation of your core beliefs but rather an actual warning.

2) You’re anxious about the future

We’ve all been there. I can waste an entire day feeling nervous when I have a doctor’s appointment. 

Anticipatory anxiety is the medical term for fear of the future. Here are some examples of it:

  • Feeling nervous before a job interview;
  • Worrying about rejection from a loved one;
  • Being terrified of deadlines and the consequences if we don’t manage to do tasks on time.

Everyone experiences anticipatory anxiety, and it’s the most normal, human thing to feel. However, our response to it can vary, and this is where the “gut feeling” enters the game. 

If your anxiety is triggered all the time by actions you have to take on a daily basis, it’s time to get help from a professional. 

Every symptom can be managed, and you’ll trust yourself and your sixth sense even more if you learn to curve down anticipatory anxiety. 

3) You’re feeling overwhelmed

When you’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to think straight and make reasonable choices. There are a few factors that can contribute to feeling overwhelmed in life:

  • Financial strain;
  • Uncertainty;
  • Time constraints;
  • Sudden life changes;

And more.

Feeling overwhelmed can cause anxiety and trigger our gut feelings in daily life. If you struggle with keeping your boundaries intact, it can also be the source of feeling like something bad is about to happen. 

The solution is simple: take some time for yourself, establish new healthy routines, and create at least some stability in your life. Something you can rely on. This way, you’ll be able to trust your gut feeling again. 

4) You’re being disoriented or confused

Try to think of the last time you felt confused about what to do or what to say. 

While it could have happened to you only once in your life, some people experience this on a regular basis. Here are some examples of when one feels disoriented: 

  • Having trouble connecting speech to thoughts;
  • Feeling lost and having trouble understanding where you are;
  • Forgetting things you need to do or doing things you don’t need to be doing; 
  • Experiencing strong emotions out of the blue. 

Of course, with these kinds of occurrences, you’ll feel that something’s wrong. 

The worst part is that your mind will start trying to find an origin for these “symptoms,” so you will come to all kinds of anxiety-inducing conclusions. 

My advice is to speak to someone you can trust and ask for their advice. Or, get a few therapy sessions, and this may help you feel much better very soon.

5) You may be consuming too much negative content

Nowadays, there’s too much traumatizing content online that you may bump into when scrolling.

And once you see something that provokes strong negative emotions in you, it may leave a damaging impact on your mental well-being.

This is, of course, without taking into consideration the addictive nature of social media in general. You can be scrolling all day, from one catastrophic event to the next. 

Although it’s good to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world, it’s even better to prioritize our mental health. This is why some people have a “social media detox” once in a while, aimed to help them put things into perspective again. 

Feeling as if something horrible is about to happen all the time can be a consequence of reading and watching the news for hours.

6) You’re anticipating having a bad experience

If you’re going to board a plane for the first time and all you know are the negative stories about plane flights, you will, of course, feel that something will go wrong. It’s the same with every activity: skydiving, surfing, and even a Zumba class can make you feel like this. 

Our brains are usually against us making a change or going on an adventure, so we can easily jump into the worst-case scenario. However, only knowing about the bad things will trigger your anxiety and perhaps limit your experiences. 

You can start to learn the difference between intuition and catastrophic thinking by shifting the focus from the bad to the positive. 

7) You may have side effects from substance abuse 

I don’t think I need to explain this one a lot. Many substances and medicine can have detrimental side effects, like dread, anxiety, panic attacks, and more. 

Caffeine and sugar can also trigger anxiety or even lead to sleep problems, which in turn, will make you feel less happy.

It’s no secret that addictive substances highlight anxiety and negative emotions, making people who take them feel a sense of dread. This is especially true for people with underlying mental illnesses, such as paranoid tendencies or schizophrenia. 

Being mindful of the things and substances that trigger you is the best thing you can do. That way, even if you feel anxious, you’ll be able to discern where that feeling is coming from. The origin of the feeling can help you manage all the symptoms. 

8) You’re prone to overthinking

Thinking too much can be your mind’s greatest adversary. It creates an inner self-critic that fears and disparages everything, including yourself. 

Overthinking adds unnecessary complexity and exacerbates problems. As a consequence, you live in fear, and your mental health declines.  

Instead of overthinking every single time, ask yourself a straightforward question: “How do I know that what I’m thinking is true?” 

More often than not, we’re making assumptions that never come true. Remember that.

9) You’re making assumptions too fast

Jumping to conclusions is one of the worst things you can do because it leads you to interpret situations without having all the relevant information. 

And the worst part is that you react to your conclusions instead of the actual facts. It’s a slippery slope. 

For example, your partner comes home looking serious and doesn’t say much. Instead of asking how they feel and if there’s anything wrong, you immediately assume they’re mad at you. 

Consequently, you keep your distance…. When in reality, your partner simply had a bad day at work, and more than anything, they need some support from you.

I’ve been guilty of “mind reading” attempts in the past, and I can assure you: there are better ways to go about it. 

Start by asking what’s happening and if it has nothing to do with you. Then, knowing how the situation is in reality, rather than in your head, you can try to help or leave them be until they’re back in a better mood. 

10) You may actually have a personality disorder

Some people see the world differently than others, and that’s ok. 

It becomes a problem when someone’s worldview prevents them from living a normal, happy life.

Folks with personality disorders have more difficulty adapting to daily life than most people, whether they’re diagnosed or not.  

In some instances, specific personality disorders may cause one to sense danger. For example: 

  • People with paranoid personality tendencies believe that others are plotting against them and that malevolent individuals govern the world; 
  • People with schizophrenic tendencies can perceive danger in unusual ways, such as hearing the television speaking to them; 
  • Borderline personality disorder can cause individuals to overreact and feel threatened by minor events due to oversensitivity.

I have a tendency to feel anxious, so sometimes, this translates into thinking that things will never be okay. Once you know what you gravitate towards, you can work to improve.

But if you feel like you want a second opinion about your situation, don’t hesitate to ask for help!

feeling empty inside 10 reasons why you feel like something bad is going to happen

Why is my imagination about bad things so active?

You might be imagining that something bad is happening to you because you are anxious, or you lack sleep, or you’ve had a chain of negative events happening to you, and it’s hard to feel good overall. 

But in some cases, you might be experiencing cognitive distortion, which is called “catastrophizing.”

While catastrophizing, the person imagines the absolute worst from the most mundane and harmless stimulus, for example, finding a mole and thinking it is cancer.

While this may seem harmless, in fact, such negative thinking is very mentally consuming and frustrating.

If you feel like you’re prone to “catastrophizing,” it’s advisable to seek professional help. And by that, I mean simply finding a reliable therapist and dealing with this situation with their help.

Can worrying about something make it happen?

Contrary to popular (TikTok) beliefs, no. 

If you constantly worry about something, you’re definitely not manifesting it. 

However, it can make you feel bad and anxious about yourself and the world. 

Worst of all, constantly worrying can actually lead you to fail at something you really want to succeed at, such as a final in university, for example. 

Because if you spend all your time worrying, when will you actually prepare for the exams?

These are some things you can do to diminish that catastrophic feeling in your chest:

  • Consider incorporating meditation and mindfulness practices into your daily routine; 
  • Acknowledge all the emotions you are experiencing;
  • Write down everything you’re feeling without judging it;
  • Determine whether the feeling is consistent or varies in intensity and frequency; 
  • Think if this feeling is recurrent in your life;
  • Breathe deeply and observe whether the feeling subsides when you are engaged in other activities;
  • Consider hiring a professional in mental health to help you manage your feelings. 
  • Engage in activities that create a sense of productivity and positivity that are the opposite of negative emotions;
  • Focus on activities that make you feel in control, such as creating something artistic or engaging in physical exercise;
  • Staying hydrated and nourished by drinking water and eating something nutritious is also important.

How to cope with the sense of doom?

Coping with a sense of impending doom can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to manage these feelings.

1) Embrace a “can-do” attitude

A positive mindset involves focusing on the good aspects of life and anticipating favorable outcomes. 

It doesn’t mean ignoring life’s negative sides but rather focusing more on the positive ones. 

Here are some tips to help you adopt a positive mindset:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal;
  2. Engage in positive self-talk;
  3. Identify triggers that contribute to negative thinking and work to eliminate them;
  4. Surround yourself with positive people;
  5. Focus on the opportunities and benefits that challenges and goals present.

While failures and setbacks are a natural part of life, having a positive attitude can increase the likelihood of success. 

It hasn’t always been easy for me to focus on the good things. But it’s important to shift your mindset towards positivity if you want to leave the feeling of “something bad is about to happen” behind.

2) Don’t believe everything you think

I’m an overthinker.

I’ll turn every situation into something way worse than it is and spend hours thinking of how I could’ve answered that guy instead of what I actually said.


This problem bothered me for a long time, and I decided it was essential for my mental health that I stop following every thought I have in my head.

We must challenge the way we think, especially if we’re prone to anxiety and a sense of doom. So, instead of accepting what your mind tells you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • To what extent do your thoughts align with reality?
  • Have you always been right about how things are?
  • What could be some positive outcomes in this situation?

If you challenge yourself often, your mindset will change. You will hold space for more positive emotions. 

It helped me, so it will help you, too, at least to some extent.

3) Nurture your physical and emotional health

It was a huge revelation for me, but did you know that physical activity can reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue? 

If you engage in regular sports, your self-esteem will also improve, which will help a lot with feelings of dread. 

Pair this with good, balanced nutritional habits, and you’ll start significantly improving your life!

If you recognize that your feelings are rooted in anxiety, you can take steps to regain control by doing the following things: 

  • Taking a deep breath;
  • Holding it for three to five seconds; 
  • Exhaling slowly;
  • Repeating it at least ten times. 

This simple breathing exercise can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate and shift your nervous system from fight-or-flight to a state of calm.

Additionally, identifying triggers and engaging in stress-relieving activities that bring you joy and peace can also be beneficial for daily stress management.

4) Don’t hesitate to seek professional help

Recognizing irrational thoughts does not always prevent us from feeling anxious. Fortunately, therapy provides a space for exploring the roots of these thoughts and envisioning a life without them.

Your therapist will point out the tools you can use to manage these irrational thoughts while also tackling the symptoms effectively. Over time, you won’t have to live with anxiety and fear anymore.

Personally, I benefited a lot from therapy. I was able to let go of my old useless (but very powerful) beliefs and adopt a new, positive worldview.

If you feel like you can’t cope by yourself, it’s totally fine! Ask for help, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to start living a better, happier life!

In a nutshell

Feeling impending doom can be a distressing and overwhelming experience, and I’ve felt like this in the past. 

However, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. With the right tools, you can manage and overcome the frustrating feeling of “something bad is about to happen.” 

Remember, prioritizing your mental health and well-being is key to living a fulfilling and balanced life. Taking proactive steps to manage feelings of impending doom is an important part of that journey.

Don’t hesitate to get help if the symptoms are overwhelming, especially if you feel shortness of breath, nausea, or an intense, long-lasting headache. It’s wise to rule out physical illness before focusing on mental health. 

Picture of Anna Dovbysh

Anna Dovbysh

With 8 years of writing experience and a deep interest in psychology, relationship advice, and spirituality, Anna’s here to shine a light on the most interesting self-development topics and share some life advice. She's got a Master's Degree in International Information and is a life-long learner of writing and storytelling. In the past, she worked on a radio station and a TV channel as a journalist and even tought English in Cambodia to local kids. Currently, she's freelancing and traveling around the globe, exploring new places, and getting inspired by the people she meets and the stories they tell. Subscribe to her posts and get in touch with her on her social media: Facebook & LinkedIn

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