Last Updated on April 29, 2020
All affirmations can help you to kill ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). For instance, when you think, “I suck!” which is an ANT, you can replace it with a more positive affirmation such as, “I am really good at learning how to do things!” All ANTs can be killed by having the right positive affirmations in place to attack them when they appear. You just have to find what works for you.
The Term ‘ANTs’ Was Coined By Dr. Daniel Amen
Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist, coined the term ANTs after a hard day at his office coming home to a lot of ants in his kitchen. He realized that just like the ants in his kitchen, the automatic negative thoughts his patients were having were taking away the joy and happiness in the moment.
Ants Won’t Hurt You, But ANTs Will
Ants may be a nuisance, but they are not going to ruin your life. ANTs, on the other hand, encourage things like negativity, anxiety, and depression.
This article on the Amen Clinic’s site, says that when you have ANTs, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel bad. Moreover, your memory, learning, and judgment are affected negatively. Alternatively, when you think positive thoughts, your brain releases different chemicals that do good things for your body and your mind.
In other words, if you want to be happier, killing ANTs is important. You need to develop more positive and hopeful thoughts that do your mind and your body good.
The article recommends that you identify what strain of ANT you have (mind-reading, blame, labeling, guilt, or fortune-telling) and then challenge it by talking back to it, which you can do with positive affirmations.
Jim Kwik Has A Technique To Help Kill ANTS
I took the Superbrain Quest by Jim Kwik, and he approaches the topic of ANTs, but he calls them Automatic Negative Talk. He says that killing these ANTs is very important for our brain health, along with other things like a good diet and a strong support system.
His technique to fights ANTS, which has worked very well for me, is the ABRA technique.
With the ABRA technique, you acknowledge, breathe in, release, and align.
A– Jim says that you should acknowledge the ANT because what you resist persists. So, acknowledging the ANT helps you to avoid having to continuously fight it.
B – Deep breathing helps you relax and focus.
R – Releasing the thought (imagine the thought releasing out of your body as you breathe out) helps you to release it out of your body before you spend time contemplating it.
A – Lastly, he suggests that you align yourself back to the truth about who you are. He suggests saying the opposite of the negative thought, which is simply a positive affirmation.
You Have ANTs, So Develop A Strategy To Deal With Them
We all have to kill ANTs. It’s a part of life. Nobody gets to live ANT free in this life.
So, how will you kill ANTs? Use positive affirmations with a strategy that works best for you.
For instance, you can use Jim Kwik’s ABRA technique of acknowledging, breathing, releasing, and aligning. By repeating an affirmation at the end, you can align yourself back into a better frame of mind and get on with things. It’s a quick and easy technique to kill ANTs so I recommend you try it first.
A more analytical technique from Dr. Daniel Amen requires you to ask some questions. It involves a few steps.
- Ask yourself if the ANT is true.
- Ask yourself if it’s possible to absolutely know that it’s true.
- Ask yourself how you react when you think that thought.
- Ask yourself who you would be if you didn’t have that thought. How would you feel?
- What is the opposite of the ANT? What is a positive affirmation you can use?
Contemplating your ANTs like this can help you see how they are not truths but thoughts made up of fears, worries, or criticism. And, ending with the positive affirmation can help you move towards better thoughts and beliefs that help you have more happiness.