As the coronavirus makes its way around the globe, it has prompted a spike in negative thinking. We’re all so concerned about sanitizing our hands, but many of us are forgetting that we need to be just as vigilant about disinfecting our thoughts.
If ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) are infesting your mind and making you feel scared, anxious, worried, hopeless, or stressed, it’s time to fight back. It’s time for you to develop (or strengthen) a Warrior mindset so you can kill the ANTs and have a more rational, positive outlook even in the most distressing times.
Know the 7 Most Common “Species” of ANTs
There are many types of ANTs, but these are some of the most common:
1. All-or-Nothing ANTs: Thinking that things are either all good or all bad.
2. Just the Bad ANTs: Seeing only the bad in a situation.
3. Guilt-Beating ANTs: Thinking in words like should, must, ought, or have to.
4. Labeling ANTs: Attaching a negative label to yourself or someone else.
5. Fortune-Teller ANTs: Predicting the worst possible outcome for a situation with little or no evidence for it.
6. Mind Reader ANTs: Believing you know what other people are thinking even though they haven’t told you.
7. Blaming ANTs: Blaming someone else for your problems.
3 Steps to Kill the ANTs
The Brain Warrior’s Way to kill the ANTs is simple and involves just 3 steps:
- Write down your negative thought.
- Determine which species of ANT it is.
- Kill the ANT by talking back to it.
In this exercise, I’ll take 5 fearful ANTs you might be having now and show you how to identify them and then squash them.
Fearful ANT: We’re all going to die from the coronavirus.
Type of ANT: Fortune-Teller
Kill it: A small percentage of people may succumb to the illness, but the vast majority of people will survive.
Fearful ANT: I’m going to go crazy if I have to stay at home.
Type of ANT: Just the Bad ANTs
Kill it: Staying home can be challenging for my mental well-being, but I can use this time to reconnect with my family and to do projects around the house that I have been wanting to do for years but haven’t had the time for. I can also use this as “me” time to focus on self-care, and I deserve it.
Fearful ANT: I should lock myself in my room now even though I have no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, so I don’t spread it to my family.
Type of ANT: Guilt-Beating ANTs
Kill it: I need to be the health leader for my family and provide a good example of how to respond in a crisis. Hiding in my room when there is no reason to believe I have the virus isn’t being a good role model. By taking precautions and following CDC recommendations, I can help keep myself and my family healthy.
Fearful ANT: I can’t work out without a gym, and if I can’t work out it will make me depressed and it will lower my immune system, and I’ll get sick and die.
Type of ANT: All-or-Nothing ANTs
Kill it: Just because the gym is closed doesn’t mean I can’t do anything to stay active. I can find other ways to get some physical exercise, which will boost my immune function and enhance my moods and help keep me healthy.
Fearful ANT: My boss didn’t include me on our video conference today. That must mean she’s going to furlough me, and I’ll be broke and will lose everything.
Type of ANT: MindReading ANTs
Kill it: I can’t know what my boss—or anyone else, for that matter—is thinking unless they tell me. These are stressful times for everyone, and maybe she just forgot to include me on the video conference invite. I should just ask her why I wasn’t invited and see what she says.
Practice mental hygiene every day to fortify your Brain Warrior mindset. When you adopt rational thinking, you make better decisions for yourself and your family that will help keep you all healthy.
Some Brain Types are more vulnerable to an ANT invasion, so take the free Brain Health Assessment to find out if you’re at increased risk for negative thinking patterns. You’ll also get recommendations for supplements that are targeted specifically to your Brain Type. Take 21% off when you order any supplements through BrainMD. Just enter TANA21 at checkout.