Nagging negative and worrisome thoughts that are repeated over and over in our minds rob us of peace of mind and many times the ability to see ourselves and others in a positive light. Dr. Daniel Amen calls them ANTs for automatic negative thoughts. They have a negative impact on our health both physically and mentally. I wanted to share a few techniques that I have learned, to kill those thoughts before they take over. I was recently talking with another ADHD coach who introduced me to the idea of scheduling worry on the calendar, to break the pattern of worry. This is how it works, you actually schedule time on your calendar once a week allowing no more than thirty minutes to worry, then if you catch yourself starting to worry, hit the PAUSE button and tell yourself "sorry, worry is scheduled for 3:00 pm Friday, you'll have to wait". This helps you to break your pattern and hopefully avoid building a worry path in your brain. The more you think those thoughts the more you build a neural pathway, making those thoughts more automatic. Another way to stop that pattern of negative thinking is to examine your thoughts.
Dr. Amen has a 3 step process for exterminating the ANTs, it goes like this:
3 steps to kill those ANTs:
In an blog post by Kathleen Toohill, What Negative Thinking Does To Your Brain she clearly explains what your brain goes through, when you have negative thoughts. She quotes Dr. Rich Hanson, neuropsychologist founder of Wellspring Institute for Neurosciences and Contemplative Wisdom, he said, “the brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon.” Think about that for a moment, that is powerful stuff. What thoughts do you find yourself dwelling on? How do they affect the way you experience your life?
My challenge to you this week: Wipe Out The Pests in Your Life using the 3 step process above or scheduling time to worry and see what you notice.
Hi I'm Karen, a certified life coach. I help busy moms develop effective strategies for calming the chaos so they can enjoy their kids & career.