ANTS are Automatic Negative Thoughts. Most of us have too many ants roaming around our waking thoughts: “you can’t do this” “that was a stupid thing to say.” We however can’t blame the ANTS, they are only trying to help us try harder or pay attention. ANTS are a leftover from our brain’s innate ability to filter out potentially dangerous situations and ready the body for ‘fight, flight or freeze.’ The ANTS are trying to get us to PAY ATTENTION.
Unfortunately ANT messages can scare and discourage us from trying again. They rob us of our potential. So what is a person to do, be positive. YES, but in a specific way: PANTS. Positive Affirmations are Necessary Thoughts.
Affirmations are a purposeful desire to look for and remember what you specifically did well, what you did to keep a situation from getting worse, and what you are thankful for. Unfortunately we live in a society that thinks and says ANT messages to self and others.
Make it a point to give others affirmations, hang around affirming people or keep a log of daily affirmations. For the next ANT message you think, say to the ANT, “Stop. I know your trying to help, but you are not.” Then choose to find an exception to the current problem: Today I filled the form out wrong but I didn’t yesterday. Think about how you kept things from getting worse: After I said the hurtful word, I did catch myself from saying more. Talk to yourself as though you are speaking to your best friend: I forgive you. I understand that you were hungry and had a headache. Talk to God who loves you and thinks you’re awesome enough to give you his very best: John 3:16.
By Bill MacMorris-Adix