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Conquering Automatic Negative Thoughts (A.N.T.s)

by stephanie reck  
2/04/2014 / Self Help

If your mind is filled with negative thinking, you will live a defeated life. Negativity is a by-product of how you perceive life. Your perceptions about your life and circumstances, greatly influence your thoughts. A lot of the times our perceptions about our lives are not realistic. We have unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others, this can cause us to have flawed perceptions. Flawed perceptions will invariably led to negative thinking.

Our thoughts usually are automatic. If you have been raised in a negative environment, it is likely you will struggle with or have struggled with negative thinking. If you have had a series of chronic, stress-related issues, it can be common to develop a negative mind-set, because of difficult circumstances. If you are around negative people frequently, their negativity can affect you. It is important that we are careful who we spend our time with. Negativity breeds negativity. Hang-out with positive, faith-filled people. It is also common if you are depressed, your thinking will be negative.

It is important to consider how we develop Automatic Negative Thought (A.N.T.s):
1. From learned environments (the family you were raised in).
2. Difficult circumstances that have overwhelmed you and caused you to feel hopeless.
3. Negative influence (people who you hang around).
4. Depression (medical or spiritual).
5. How you perceive your life and circumstances (Do you see the cup half-empty or half-full?).
6. Unrealistic expectations of yourself or others.
7. A combination of any of the above.

Key Steps to Overcoming A.N.T.s:
1. Take every thought captive. DO not allow yourself to entertain, ponder, or dwell on negative thoughts.
2. When negative thoughts come, say, "STOP," out loud to retrain your brain to stop the negative thoughts. If you are in public, you can say, "STOP" to yourself.
3. Replace negative thoughts with positive, faith-filled thoughts. Confess God's word over the negative thoughts.
4. Don't give up! It takes usually between 21-30 days to form a new habit. Retraining your brain does take time, but with the help of the Holy Spirit it can be done.
5. Know your weaknesses and be ready to respond in faith to them.
6. If you are depressed and it is medical, consider talking to a holistic doctor/nutritionist and take a supplement to build your serotonin levels (make sure the doctor/nutritionist beliefs line-up with yours). If your depression is spiritual, find an intercessor, prayer warrior to pray in agreement for your deliverance.
7. If you have been devastated by your circumstance, start applying faith and hope again to each difficult circumstance. We walk by faith, not sight.
8. Let go of ALL expectations for yourself and others. Apply grace to yourself and others. Stop excepting people to be something they are not.
9. Change your perceptions. How do you view your life? Be determined to see the "glass half-full."
10. Pray and seek the Holy Spirit to help you overcome negative thinking.
11. In the morning, when you arise, say, "This is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad and rejoice in it."
12. Meditate on God's word. Choose a scripture and roll it over your mind throughout the day.

Negativity is toxic to your mind, emotions, soul, and your physical body. Negativity will cause you to live discouraged, defeated, and depressed. Be determined to live victoriously and hopeful.

A.N.T.s that need to be squashed immediately:

Positive Confessions. Confess God's Word over your life daily.
1. By His stripes I am healed. Isaiah 53:5
2. The Son has made me free. I possess absolute freedom. John 8:36
3. The love of God is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I have the ability to love everyone. Romans 5:5
4. I can do all things through Christ who strengths me. Philippians 4:13
5. God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
6. Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
7. Casting all my cares upon Him, who cares for me. 1 Peter 5:7
8. There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
9. I have learned, in whatsoever state (circumstance) I am, to be content. Philippians 4:11

Bible Verses on Positive Thinking:
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer every man. Colossians 4:8
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but which is good to the use of edify, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29
Refute arguments and theories and reasonings and lofty things that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and lead every thought captive into the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Philippians 4:6
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat of its fruits. Proverbs 18:21

Change your thoughts and change your life.

For additional reading on negative thinking, you can order a copy of the author's book, Wilderness Mentality Stop your Stinkin' Thinkin' from

Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
Founder of Hope Ministry
[email protected]
Hope Ministry, @2020
Author of, "Disciplining Your Mind 30 Days to a Better You!"

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