16. Catch Your ANTS
ANTS; Automatic Negative Thoughts.
Negative thoughts cause your brain to immediately release chemicals that affect every cell in your body, making you feel bad. The opposite is also true—positive, happy, hopeful thoughts release chemicals that make you feel good. You can learn to eliminate the automatic negative thoughts and replace them with more helpful thoughts that give you a more accurate, fair assessment of any situation. This skill alone can completely change your life if you embrace and practice it.
So, I would like you to get curious and start to notice which of the listed ANTS are in the way of you accessing your authentic self and stopping you from getting where it is you want to go in your life.
Once identified, write your critters down, mentally put them in a cup and hypothetically pop them outside as far away from you as possible!
- All-or-Nothing ANTs: Thinking that things are either all good or all bad
- Less-Than ANTs: Comparing and seeing yourself as less than others
- Just-the-Bad ANTs: Seeing only the bad in a situation
- Guilt-Beating ANTs: Thinking in words like should, must, ought, or have to
- Labelling ANTs: Attaching a negative label to yourself or someone else
- Fortune-Telling ANTs: Predicting the worst possible outcome for a situation with little or no evidence for it
- Mind-Reading ANTs: Believing you know what other people are thinking even though they haven’t told you
- If-Only and I’ll-Be-Happy-When ANTs: Arguing with the past and longing for the future
- Blaming ANTs: Blaming someone else for your problems