Combating automatic negative thoughts

Do you have Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)? Do you destroy yourself and talk to yourself in a hateful tone? Time to get those ANTs out of your life.
  • Do you have Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) like "I hate myself, I'm fat, I can't do this, I'm a failure, or I'm worthless?" This article will help you get rid of those ANTs with positive responses and realistic goals.

  • First, use these tips to identify your ANTs:

    1. Pay attention to your ANTs. You will start to see a pattern of harsh things you say to yourself.

    2. Write them down and list your ANTs. You need to have a plan to know what your positive responses need to be.

    3. Notice times and situations when you're having ANTs. Are you hating yourself when you get ready for work? Do you insult yourself at the gym? Do you have negative self-talk when driving in your car? Whenever you are having ANTs make mental note.

    4. Is a certain person causing ANTs to rise in your mind that you feel you can't control?

  • It's time to terminate those Automatic Negative Thoughts. Arm yourself with positive responses to crush all of your ANTs. Destroy the negative voice in your head to replace it with Positive Automatic Thoughts. This will bring calm and happiness to your inner wellbeing.

  • Below is a list of example ANTs and how you can combat these thoughts:

  • 1. ANT: "I hate myself!"

  • Response: "I don't hate myself, I don't like the way I'm feeling right now." "I love myself, I just made a mistake."

  • Goal: Stop self-hate, acknowledge your anxiety and deal with the issues without hurting your inner self.

  • 2. ANT: "I'm fat and ugly!"

  • Response: "I may be different but that's ok, the world needs variety, and that's me." "I'm not fat and ugly, I'm beautifully made." "I will not shame myself, head up, life is good."

  • Goal: It's ok not to be perfect, accept who you are. Look at the people who love you, they accept you and love you. See your beauty! Don't fall for others idea of beauty.

  • 3. ANT: "I don't fit in!" "They don't like me!" "I hate being here and I want to go home."

  • Response: "I was invited to be here and these are my friends; I'm just having anxiety." "I may not know these people; I'm having social anxiety, these people are not thinking about me so relax." "I'm out on the town, and these people are entertaining me."

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  • Goal: Get out of your head and enjoy the environment. Realize you're nervous and having social anxiety. Have a plan before you go. Focus on friends. Make mini goals, i.e. talk to a new person, dance for 2 minutes or use 1 pick-up line.

  • 4. ANT: "I want to disappear."

  • Response: "I want to live!" "I am being hurt by this situation and my life is too beautiful to end now." "This too will pass and I can overcome this issue."

  • Goal: Save yourself. These thought are dangerous. Stop these thoughts with positive thoughts. You may be in a tough spot now, but reach out, as there are so many people trying (and want) to help you. This is a thought that needs more support- be brave to save yourself.

  • When in doubt, just tell the ANT to, "Shut up!"

  • Don't let the Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) take over. Be prepared with a decisive arsenal to enjoy Positive Automatic Thoughts. Write down your positive words and hang them everywhere. It will help you remember how to stop the ANTs, overcome the negative inner dialogue and stop negative self-talk.

  • For more support there's help. Reach out to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. It's a place to start if you need more help saving and taking care of yourself.

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