Kill Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)

Jun 22, 2021

Did you know physical symptoms can be triggered by your mind’s thoughts?

Maybe you have physically felt sick to your stomach at the very thought of missing a deadline or speaking in front of an audience.  These days, even going outside can be a stressor!

These thoughts trigger your brain's internal amygdala and fight-or-flight response.  These stressful thoughts trigger physical reactions across your body including: 

  • Mental focus – trouble focusing on small tasks, thinking only of dealing with the threat
  • Lungs – air passages open; breathing becomes rapid and shallow
  • Blood sugar level – increases for energy
  • Heartbeats faster and harder
  • Blood pressure – increases
  • Muscles – become tense; trembling may occur; muscles around hair follicles constrict, causing goosebumps
  • Digestion – slows
  • Immune system – shuts down

We all get Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) sometimes but some of our minds are infested with ANTs!  

Just because you think it, doesn't mean it's true.  Next time you have a stressful thought, try the ANT fighting strategy and ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Is that negative thought 100% true?  
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I think that thought? 
  4. Who would I be without that thought? Or, how would I feel if I didn’t have that thought?

Fight back and be a detective of your own thinking!  

This strategy can get you out of the downward spiral of worry thinking and reduces the physical stress response instantly.  

Take Good Care

~Daneen

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