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  • Writer's pictureTomeki Davis

Day 23 - Mental Health Awareness Month (Ants!)

Ants (automatic negative thoughts)


Hello and welcome to this 23rd day of Mental Health Awareness Month. I hope you are all doing well on this Friday-eve and that your week has been amazing. You’ve spent the past day just noticing the automatic negative thoughts that pop into your brain and how they make you feel. Now, let’s focus on challenging them.


Automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs, bring with them negative emotions. They may cause you to do things like jump to conclusions, catastrophize (think of the worst-case scenario), or enter some other form of thinking that is usually all bad and driven by emotions. To counter, we will need learn to focus on the facts.

  • What evidence do we have that the ANT is true?

  • Is there evidence to disprove or challenge the ANT?

  • We must acknowledge that the thought is not true and then focus on the evidence that supports this acknowledgement.

  • Then, we reframe the thought. For instance, the ANT “I always fail at ___” is restated as “I have failed at ___ before, but I have also been successful and will be again.” This is how you begin to change your way of thinking and, essentially, your perception.   

 

Just like anything worth having in life, it takes time and some hard work. If you are someone who struggles with recurring ANTs, it’s important to note that it will take consistent practice. There may be times when you do a great job of keeping the ANTs at bay and other times when you may struggle and feel as though you cannot change. Don’t give up. Give yourself some grace and then try again. May I suggest a simple positive affirmation to get you started on the road to change?

 

Sometimes I have negative thoughts but I know that they do not define me or my life. 

 

For best results, practice daily to build a lifelong habit of adopting a more positive outlook on life. I’ll be here cheering you on as you practice recognizing, challenging, and reframing your negative thoughts. You got this!


Mental Health Awareness Month

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