How to Eliminate Automatic Negative Thoughts
Do They Help Or Hurt Me?
By Sherry Myers
This month we are looking at Step #6 in the series on step-by-step thinking principles used by Daniel G. Amen, MD in his article on ANT THERAPY (eradicating Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS)).
Step #6 What is it about our thoughts? Do they "just happen"? And if they just happen, are they always correct? Your thoughts do not always tell the truth. Sometimes they even lie to you. You don't have to believe every thought that goes through your head. It's important to think about your thoughts to see if they help you or they hurt you.
Processing your thoughts helps you to evaluate their benefit to you emotionally, physically and spiritually. If a thought is a destructive one and could harm you emotionally or physically it is not profitable and it would be best to promptly dismiss it. This is not meant to encourage denial of real tangible things. We are speaking of things that are strictly in our thoughts.
From a spiritual aspect the Bible tells us that Satan is the father of all lies. He is deceptive and the truth is not in him. Therefore, we need to be on our guard so that we do not become ensnared with thoughts coming from Satan or thoughts that are lying to us.
A man goes to the psychologist and tells him of a dream he is having every night. There are two dogs, a black evil dog and a white good dog. The man reports he wakes up in a cold sweat wondering which dog is going to survive the fight. The psychologist calmly states, “Why the one you feed, of course!” You see the thoughts we feed are the ones that win over in our minds.
Training our thoughts to be positive will lead to more blessing. Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. (caps mine)
If a thought is heavy or burdensome, it is imperative that you rid yourself of it to make room for thoughts that are beneficial to promoting your health and well-being.