How to Eliminate Automatic Negative Thoughts
Keeping Us Physically Healthy
By Sherry Myers
This month we are looking at Step #5 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# 5: Thoughts are very powerful. They can make your mind and body feel good or they can make you feel badly. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have. That is why when people get emotionally upset they develop physical symptoms – headaches, stomachaches, and some doctors even think that negative thoughts could be linked to cancer.
If every thought you have affects your body, it makes sense to focus on the positive thoughts for better health. We need to limit the negative thoughts which, in return, may assist in limiting negative health effects. Each time a negative thought comes into your head, question whether it is worth the impact on your body to allow the thought to manifest and grow into something unhealthy. Even the little nagging thoughts that don’t seem like a big deal can have a negative impact.
If I made you a batch of fudge and it smelled good, looked good, and had all of the right ingredients; but, I put in one extra ingredient - one tiny pinch of dirt - would you eat it? You can’t see it, taste it, or smell it, but it’s there and it could be toxic to you. Of course you wouldn't eat it! Think of someone with a peanut allergy. Certain people with allergies to peanuts can’t have even a trace of peanuts in their food. In fact, a food that is made with equipment that has come in contact with peanuts has to be labeled as such because of the seriousness of this allergy. Like negative thoughts, we must be constantly watchful, ready to identify and protect ourselves against even the smallest traces of the thing which would harm us. We must guard ourselves from the seriousness of entertaining them for the sake of our own health.
These negative thoughts can infiltrate and cause damage. When negative thoughts come, remember to evaluate the worth of entertaining the thought, redirect the thought to something positive, and move forward feeling strong and determined to take control of your thoughts and your health!