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A.N.T's - Automatic Negative Thoughts

Building an emotionally healthy lifestyle requires work. Dr. Daniel Amen created an exercise called A.N.T.S which stands for Automatic Negative Thoughts. The exercise is perfect if you ever find yourself thinking more negative than positive thoughts. It allows you to analyze those negative thoughts. If you catch yourself with too many A.N.T's, it is time to change. It is essential to check your negative thinking because it can affect your body. We have to check and challenge those automatic negative thoughts. There are different types of negative thoughts that come up, let’s discuss what some of those may be. One is the blame game when something comes up, and you instantly blame someone or something else.

Labeling is also a negative thought that occurs often. For example, calling yourself stupid when you should change that negative way of thinking into something more positive. For instance, instead of labeling yourself as stupid, saying, “sometimes I do things that aren’t smart, but I am not stupid.” You need to take your thoughts, write them down and pick out all the negative thoughts that went through your head. You take those negative thoughts and make them into positive thoughts. The point of the exercise is to spin the concept and negative thoughts we have in our mind to train ourselves to think more positive thoughts. You have to shift how you perceive things. Another negative thought can be mind reading. Do not misread something before you know what is actually going on. An "always thinking" mindset can also cause negative thinking. Telling someone you never listen to me or you always ignore me, we must identify the problem and challenge it. You have to take the thought and identify which type of A.N.T it is and challenge yourself to rewrite that thought. This exercise is helpful to create a better mental mindset.

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