Break Free from Automatic Negative Thoughts

automatic negative thoughts

Automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) are negative thoughts that happen automatically without you really thinking about them. They can cause a lot of harm by making you feel bad about yourself and the situations around you. But they’re also pretty easy to change once you know what they are and how they work! In this post, I’ll explain what ANTs are and how they can affect your life. Then I’ll give some tips for figuring out which ANTs might affect your life, along with ways to change those negative thoughts into positive ones.

What are Automatic Negative Thoughts?

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are thoughts that pop into your mind without any conscious effort. They tend to be repetitive, irrational, and automatic. ANTs usually start with a belief about yourself or the world and then quickly turn into a negative thought pattern that self-sabotages your efforts to feel better.

Why are they so difficult to overcome?

It is so hard for most people to break free from these negative thoughts because they’ve been reinforced by repetitive thinking over time. It’s common for people who experience anxiety or depression to have these types of automatic negative thoughts when they’re feeling stressed out or in a bad place mentally/emotionally. For example: if you have an ANT about having no friends or making mistakes at work, this thought will make you feel like there’s nothing good in life worth pursuing—which makes sense because it seems like there’s nothing good happening right now! This can make someone feel hopeless or helpless and less motivated than usual, which could affect their work performance too.

How can they cause me harm?

Automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) are very bad for your mental health. They can cause you to feel anxious, depressed, or stressed, causing you to make bad decisions. They can cause you to be unhappy. And they can even lead to physical illness in some cases!

Figuring out my ANTs

Ants are automatic thoughts based on mental habits that have been built up over time. They appear without any warning because the brain has learned the route for thinking in a particular way and doesn’t hesitate to follow it.

Identifying your ants helps you understand them better and change them more easily. If you don’t figure out what is causing your negative thoughts, they keep coming back repeatedly – even when you’re not thinking about them! This can make things very difficult as it means that every time an ant appears, it will be hard for you to resist following through with the thought that follows. For example, if “I am stupid” appears in your head regularly, then this will become a habit which makes other thoughts related to being stupid come up too – like “I will fail my coursework because I am stupid” or “I should never speak in public because people won’t like me if I do so poorly at university…

How to change your thinking

The first step in changing your thinking is to develop a positive attitude. You can do this by recognizing the good in every situation. For example, if you are feeling depressed, try looking for the things that make you happy instead of dwelling on how terrible everything feels. Maybe it’s spending time with friends or watching a favorite TV show—whatever brings you joy is worth celebrating! In this way, it’s possible to turn any negative thought into something positive.

As another important step toward changing your thinking patterns, be aware of your thoughts and feelings as they occur: when do automatic negative thoughts occur? Do certain situations trigger them more often than others (like getting ready for work)? Take control over those situations if possible—for example, by turning off the radio while driving, so music doesn’t distract from thinking positively about other drivers around you on the road—and try replacing them with something else (such as listening to an audiobook). If nothing else works, keep practicing until these new habits become second nature!

You have the power to decide what you think about

You can make a conscious decision to change your thoughts. Although automatic negative thoughts are a natural response, they don’t have to be the only response. You can learn to think positively and train your brain to think in a new way.


You have the power to decide what you think about. Your thoughts are powerful and can significantly affect how you feel and act in any given situation. With practice and patience, you can learn how to control your thoughts so that you live a happier, more peaceful life!