Getting Rid of ANTs

Meat eater ants feeding on honey

ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts, and individually, these thoughts can be annoying, but if you find yourself infested with an army of ANTs, it will really affect your mood and outlook on life.

Here’s a list of ANTs that you need to be aware of:

All-or-Nothing Thinking
Seeing people or events in absolute terms, without recognizing the middle ground.

Focusing on who is to blame for problems rather than what you can do about them.

Blowing things out of proportion.

Downplaying Positives
Minimizing or dismissing positive qualities, achievements, or behaviors.

Emotional Reasoning
Relying too much on your feelings to guide decisions.

Fortune Telling
Making negative predictions about the future.

Intolerance of Uncertainty
Struggling to accept or tolerate things that are uncertain or unknown.

Describing yourself or others using global, negative labels.

Mind Reading
Jumping to conclusions about another person’s thoughts, feelings, or intentions.

Negative Filtering
Focusing only on the negatives, and not seeing the big picture.

Not Accepting
Dwelling on an unpleasant situation or wishing things were different, instead of accepting what has happened and finding ways to move forward.

Using sweeping terms like “always” or “never” to describe a single incident.

Telling yourself that events relate to you when they may not.

“Should” and “Must” Thinking
Treating your own standards or preferences as rules everyone should live by.

You can either exterminate these ANTs when you notice them, or take a more Buddhist approach and mindfully shoo them away.


image credit:
Meat eater ants via Wikimedia Commons

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