On Monday I posted about Thinking Errors, or A.N.T’s – Automatic Negative Thoughts. Today I am giving you a few strategies to challenge those negative thoughts. Once you see that you have fallen into the ANT trap, you can learn to FIGHT BACK! The first part of any solution is seeing that you have a problem to solve. Check and see if any of these ANT traps are on your yard. If you think they might be, try the strategies and see if they help.
- If you have negative glasses, you will need to learn to be purposeful in finding the positives. Once you hear the negative thought, stop and look closer at the situation – switch out the negative glasses for a magnifying glass and search for any positives that you have overlooked.
Positive Doesn’t Count
- If this is your ANT trap, you need to learn to catch yourself when you dismiss something good that you’ve done, accept it and celebrate your successes!
Blowing Things Up
- If this is your habit, you will need to learn to stop the runaway train! When something has happened and you find yourself feeling like it’s a major big deal and it’s not – stop, take a breath and practice reminding yourself “this is not a big deal”. Stop it from growing into a mountain when it’s in the baby hill stage! When you feel calm, go back and try to problem solve – plan for how you will overcome!
Mind Readers & Fortune Tellers
- If you have a habit of predicting bad things will happen, force yourself to step back into the real, present world. Repeat things that you absolutely know to be true, and discard thoughts that are “what ifs”.
The more you let yourself get caught in these traps, the stronger these thoughts can get. Challenge yourself to fight back and become stronger, more confident. These steps to a better mental health aren’t always easy – especially if they have become a habit, but they are possible! Keep working at them, and if you need any help or you would like to chat about it, send me a message.