Just a Little ANT Spray

October 30, 2015 by  
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Last week I talked about those damn ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and how they can invade you and influence your body and your brain. Sometimes they come by the dozens or even hundreds and can ruin your hour, day or even your life.  So how does a person get rid of those ANT’s—what do we use for an ‘ANT’ spray? How do we program our brains to stop the ANT’s from marching one by one through our minds?

Here’s 3 ways to control those ANT’s, given to us by Dr. Daniel G. Amen.  He and others have discovered that just like negative thoughts that can go deep into the limbic system of the brain, happy thoughts have been shown to affect a person by “cooling of the deep limbic system”.

No. 1: When you have those ANT’s, try to quickly think happy thoughts that can push the negative ones out. “Every time you have a good thought, a happy thought, a hopeful thought or a kind thought, your brain releases chemicals that make your body feel good (and cools your deep limbic system),” says Dr. Amen.

No. 2.  Your thoughts are not always correct. “Your thoughts do not always tell the truth,” Dr. Amen again tells us. “You don’t have to believe every thought that goes through your head”. The lesson here is to challenge those negative thoughts that you at all suspect are not true.

No. 3.  Pay more attention to your thoughts. That is, be very aware of what your chatter box is saying, pay attention, and when they are negative, talk back to them.  To quote Amen, “If you can correct negative thoughts, you take away their power over you.”  He goes on to say, “One way to crush these ANT’s is to write them down and talk back to them.  When you write down negative thoughts and talk back to them you take away their power and help yourself feel better.”

Last night I had some very negative thoughts as I didn’t plan on staying the night in cold Idaho Falls, Idaho. I was visiting my brother and had the entire day planned out, but a minor car problem had made it impossible for me to drive home.  As a result, I was having an invasion of ANT’s. So I started talking to myself and changing those negative thoughts to “Hey, wait a minute. Now I can spend more time with my brother and his wife and talk about all the good memories of our childhood etc.” Wow, things started to change big time in my head. I took a long walk in the brisk night air and listened to the loud mooing of the cows and the strong field and farm aromas, staring into the beautiful sunset sky as I watched literally hundreds of geese flying overhead. My brain, my mood, my whole being was lifted so high I felt I was 50 years younger. It brought back so many fond childhood memories and I felt I was walking on air.  Talk about quickly killing thousands of ANT’s!

Even now, a day later, my body is still reaping the huge benefits of denying the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive brain activity. It’s not just a momentary thing that you change when you get rid of those ANTs, it’s can contribute to a whole better outlook on life.



Eradicating ANTs–It’s a Mind-Body Connection

October 23, 2015 by  
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You are walking along the side of a busy road when suddenly a car swerves and is heading right for you! You are just ready to jump out of its way when the car self corrects and doesn’t even come close to hitting you. So now how do you feel? Well, if you are like everyone else on this planet you’d feel a huge rush of adrenaline flow through your entire body. So what just happened? Well it’s pretty simple. Your brain sent a super quick signal to your body to prepare it to take evasive action. That action may even have been you jumping faster and further than you ever thought possible.

I don’t think that the average person really understands or fully appreciates how big the connection is between the brain and the body. You see science has pretty much proved that our thoughts send electric signals throughout our brain. Yes, our thoughts have physical properties. Then messages can and do get sent to virtually every cell in your body. Why is knowing this important? Because by using or directing our brains and thoughts we can overcome anger, depression, sadness, negative thinking and yes, even our body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.

A few days ago my daughter shared with me a manuscript written by Daniel G. Amen, MD (I think it came from one of his many books) entitled “Ant Therapy” or “How to Develop Your Own Internal Anteater to Eradicate Automatic Negative Thoughts”(otherwise known as ANT’s). A fascinating read indeed. It’s all about understanding the direct connection between thoughts and your body and how to automatically turn negative thoughts into positive ones to greatly improve your life and relationships.

The connection between mind and body he points out is clearly shown by observing a polygraph or lie detector test. He points out that a lie detector test measures heart rate, blood pressure, breathe rate, muscle tension and how much the hands sweat. He goes on to state, “The tester then asks questions like ‘Did you do that thing?’ If the person did the bad thing his body is likely to have a ‘stress’ response and it is likely to react in the following ways: hands get colder, heart goes faster, blood pressure goes up, breathing gets faster, muscles get tight and hands sweat more.” And all of that is the results of the brain sending messages to the body.

If we really understand what is happening in our brains, we then can turn things totally around and start reaping big benefits for our bodies and life. Amen further says, and we all need to burn this into our brains, “Remember, the deep limbic system is responsible for translating our emotional state into the physical feeling of relaxation or tension.”

So how do we control or program our brains to automatically turn our negative thoughts that are causing problems in our lives to positive ones that will improve virtually everything we do? Those answers will be given in next week’s post. But do consider sharing this weeks’ blog along with next with week’s with friends or relatives that you think might benefit from knowing more about the brain body connection and how to control it.