What are you thinking right now?
When’s the last time you talked yourself out of being happy? Or talked yourself into believing that you weren’t capable of doing what you wanted to do?
I bet it’s more recently than you’d like to admit.
The fact is that we all have negative thoughts pop into our heads. These automatic thoughts can be anything from thinking that you’re not going to do well on your exam, to thinking that your not going to get that promotion you’ve been wanting, and to even thinking that your too fat to wear that outfit!
Unfortunately, these automatic negative thoughts have the power to destroy your productivity, self-esteem, your relationships or even your earning-power.
Why is that?
Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs), as Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics has appropriately coined, can cause you to be depressed and fatalistic. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’ve already convinced yourself that you’re not going to be able to get into that swimsuit during your upcoming vacation, then you’re not going to eat right and workout as hard before your vacation. This will likely result in you not going to get into that swimsuit!
The swimsuit is just 1 example. You can replace that example with any other scenario, and the ANT will still have the same effect.
On the flip side, positive thoughts and a positive attitude can help you to attract positive energy from those around you. This will help you to be more effective and productive throughout your day which will help you reach your goals.
So how can you get beyond these ANTs?
Reframe the situation. If you find yourself focusing on the negative aspect of your situation, whatever it may be, then, reframe it! It’s as simple as 9 year old Ella explains in the video below:
The bottom line is that anytime you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals. If the thought is positive (loving, happy, fun), “good” chemicals are released which cool the deep limbic region of your brain. Contrary, every time you have a negative thought (sad, cranky, angry), the brain releases “bad” chemicals that activate the deep limbic region of the brain.
How do you start reframing your negative thoughts? First step can be reading this article which can help you see your miracle now.
Can kids squash the ANTs as well?
And, the cool thing is, as Ella shows in the video, that your kids can get this concept too. With a little guidance, your kids can start to recognize that they’re having a negative thought, and begin to reframe it themselves, before it takes control of their mind.
If your children are thinking they’re going to do badly on a school quiz, no problem. Have them reframe it as so they see every quiz as a chance to get more practice to become awesome test-takers.
If a bully at school is making your children feel sad at school, no problem. Have the reframe it as an opportunity to witness how bullying behavior is just a cry for attention by the bully.
In order for your kids to get it, you need to get it first. Help yourself with your ANTs and it will rub off on your kids. It’s an exercise worth the effort!
Do you want the “bad” chemicals, or the “good” chemicals running your life?
How do you reframe your negative thoughts? Do you even recognize when you’re having a negative thought?
Next time you feel one coming on, be aware and reframe the situation. It’ll get easier each time you do it!
Pay it forward in health and share this article with your friends, especially those that find themselves trapped in constant negative thinking. I know you have friends like that…we all do!
I am fueled by "Paying It Forward in Health" on this site.My main driver in creating this website, alongside my family, is to share our ongoing family health journey in hopes of encouraging others to have the health epiphany that we have been blessed to experience.
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