Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Kill the ANTs! Retrain your brain

Dr. Daniel Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life) suggests a big first step toward managing anxiety and depression is to kill the ANTs—Automatic Negative Thoughts. I like his easy-to-remember acronym for how distorted thinking can tank our sense of well-being.
Why try, it won’t do any good. 
Nothing ever goes right. 
I’m not good enough.
With some practice, you can reframe your thinking, which absolutely will change your attitude and bring you closer to joy.  Pick just one ANT that crawls around in your brain, and reframe it—rehearse it—make gratitude your new automatic thought, e.g.
Why try, it won’t do any good.  I will do what I can today & be grateful for the strength/progress/opportunity to practice...
Nothing ever goes right.   ‘XYZ’ went right yesterday & today I will celebrate even the small things that go right.
I’m not good enough. I am precious, important, & uniquely me. In fact, I am awesomely and wonderfully made by a loving Father.
This is just a snippet of one simple-but-powerful change you can make to bring your life in control. Dr. Amen has some great Youtube & TED talks if you want to hear more.  He makes brain functioning related to our moods understandable.  Here are some links to a few of Dr. Amen’s talks: 
·         An eleven minute talk about ANTS 
·         A nine minute talk about four ways to reduce stress & anxiety
·         A one-hour talk on more comprehensive solutions


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