Personal Growth

Automatic Negative Thoughts – ANTS

By Albert PerryNov 24, 2021

Automatic negative thoughts or annoying negative thoughts are the issues we’ll be discussing. Here, we refer to them as ANTS. The acronym is obvious, and the insect ants are almost as annoying as brain ants!

There are ANTS in my brain!

It’s automatic and it’s annoying. They keep coming and they’re everywhere. Am I crazy? Can I stop it?

It takes work, but yes, you can stop it. The thoughts are from conditioning. Over time, your parents, teachers, friends and family, even media has told you things about yourself that you took to heart and your neuron network in your brain programmed them as facts. An example of that is that someone you cared about said you looked fat in a certain outfit. Your brain now believes you always look fat. It could be anything, but if the thought is persistent, and annoying, its likely not true and needs to be reprogrammed. This ANT will keep you from realizing your true authentic self, your life purpose, and most importantly, your happiness.

Reprogramming your brain.

Like I mentioned, it takes work. This is a practice. Elite athletes didn’t hone their skills overnight, it requires repetitive exercises. This is no different. Do you want a joy-filled life? Then let’s do the work, you’ve got this!

OK, a thought comes up, maybe it’s there right now, maybe it says,

“This is stupid, why am I reading this?” or “I don’t have the time to do exercises.” or “Whatever this is about, it won’t work for me, nothing ever works for me.”

Whatever the persistently annoying thought is, it happens. It’s there in your brain, that ANT, and you’re thinking it! At the first awareness that you’re thinking a negative thought, first say to yourself, “I’m thinking.” This is a true a present statement, that brings you into this very moment. After you’ve identified that you’re thinking, it’s important that you don’t grab onto the thought and follow it. One ANT leads to another and all of a sudden you have an infestation and you’re miserable.

How do you avoid grabbing onto a thought?

You allow it to pass, like a cloud floating by. You give it absolutely no power over you. If someone was having a conversation a few feet away, you’d probably ignore most of it because it has nothing to do with you, they’re just words someone is saying. The same is true with these ANTS. They’re just thoughts, you don’t have to analyze them, believe them or give them attention. Identify them as thoughts, let them go, and focus on something that’s happening right now, like your breath. It’ll go something like this. “He looked away from me, I probably look fat.” “Oh, I’m thinking.” “I’m inhaling, I’ll count to 4. Now I’m exhaling, I’ll count to 4.

Now go on with your day. That’s the practice. It doesn’t take any time away from your day. In fact, it’ll save you time, and you’ll be more efficient, because you won’t be following the parade of thoughts that would have come after the first ANT. You’ve avoided the infestation, for now. Remember, ANTS are persistent, you have to be more persistent with your practice.

Is it that simple?

Is this a simple practice? Yes. Is it easy? No, it’s not easy. It takes a conscious effort. However, by being conscious and making the effort, the benefits will start rolling out. First of all, you’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll be more engaging with others. You’ll see more beauty in the world. The more you practice, the better you and your world will be.

Will negative things stop happening? No, this is not a perfect world. Bad stuff happens. However, if you’re present, and not programmed with ANTS, that are often fear based, you’ll be able to deal with each situation in that moment, without your thoughts taking you into the abyss.

Wrapping it up.

Automatic negative thoughts, or ANTS, are a normal processing of conditioned thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just needed a tool to call on to help process them. We’re all conditioned by our experiences and the words we’ve heard people say to us, especially as we were growing up and more susceptible to what was told to us about ourselves. As we grow and evolve, it’s important that we re-discover who we really are. You are not that person that was conditioned to believe whatever it is that brings you down, makes you angry, or feel bad about yourself or someone else. We are all beings of the same Light. You are Love. To re-discover that Love-filled being that is your true authentic self, it takes practice.

Please consider doing this simple act. It works, but only if you do it as persistently as the ANTS that you’d like to be out of your brain.

Be well and thrive!

When you’ve fully realized who you are, then you can model it and make a difference. We can only change the world around us by changing ourselves. I hope this little simple practice is helpful to you. I have other simple short practices in the form of Qigong exercises. Most of them are less than 5 minutes, and I have them for an array of issues of physical, mental and emotional health. Here’s the Link To My YouTube Channel.

I want you to be well and thrive! Let’s get rid of those annoying ANTS and get to the good stuff!

To Your Health!


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  1. I want to tell you that the simple fact of reading your article provided me relaxation and calm. I will totally try the exercises and I am sure they will work. What a catchy way to name Automatic negative thoughts as ANTS in our brain!!! Just one question, do you think it is better to do it during the day or at night?


    1. Hi Jonny! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      The best time to do the exercise is any time a negative thought cones in. Catch in as it happens and you’ll change your brain quickly!

      Stay well and thrive!


  2. I love the way you named it ANTS! That is very catchy haha. I always tend to have negative thoughts in my head, especially when it is time to make a big-money move. This article will help me relax. Everytime I see myself overthinking, I will come back to this article

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Glad you liked “ANTS” 🤣

      Definitely takes into your “big-money” moves, then they’ll be the right ones!

      Stay well and thrive!


  3. I was slightly confused when I read the title and saw ants as part of it, but what a great acronym for Automatic Negative Thoughts! And yes we can reprogram our brains to ignore the ANTS. You mention a great little exercise, that can be done every time a negative thought pops into your brain. This also reminded me of the book “The Power of Positive Thinking”. I will certainly ignore the ANTS and follow your advise. Thanks for sharing. 

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