Squashing ANTS in our path
"You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf."
Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTS will poke their heads in throughout our day and aim to put us in a bad mood. Some examples include "all or nothing/black or white" thinking and assigning ourselves negative labels like unworthy or stupid. Seriously, people walk around calling themselves stupid throughout the day. I used to call myself way worse! By my mid-20's I had become my own worst enemy with my destructive mindset.
I now see the damage I was doing with my self-affirming negative beliefs. They sent my mental health into a downward spiral I was forced to reckon with once I hit rock bottom. It took feeling hopeless and helpless to realize how I had to take ownership of my life to turn it around. No one was going to do it for me. I knew there was help available, but I quickly learned that I had to seek and accept help so I could change. I also needed to change my thinking and how I perceived and faced the world. Addressing past trauma helped too.
First, I stopped the "woe is me" routine. I eliminated self-destructive thinking from my mindset by replacing negative thoughts with thoughts containing optimism, faith and hope. I was able to accomplish this by tapping into the bottomless well of Love that every human has access to. Through meditation and mindfulness I was able to become more self-aware of my thoughts. Instead of impulsive reactions to my negative thoughts, I opted for careful responses. Instead of cutting myself and others down with insults, I started lifting myself and others up with motivation and inspiration. I went from rock bottom to feeling like I was on the right path by shifting how I perceived and lived my life. Perspective!
Science shows us through neuroplasticity how we can train and rewire our brains to continuously gravitate toward positive thinking, even under the worst circumstances. Sometimes it's about survival, but it should also be about striving to be our best and thriving because we convince ourselves that we can. Mind over matter is not just a catch phrase, it's the real deal! We create our realities with our thoughts first and follow it up with inspired action. When those ANTS get in the way, we can choose to let them infect our thinking and talk us into submission, or we can choose to squash those ANTS with more self-awareness so we can live the best life available to us.