What is Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
Negative automatic thoughts increase the level of anxiety. Therefore, it is very important to eliminate them.
We teach people that they upset themselves. We can’t change the past, so we change how people are thinking, feeling and behaving today.Albert Ellis
According to Albert Ellis, rational thoughts lead to healthy emotions and irrational thoughts lead to unhealthy emotions.
Why Negative Automatic Thoughts Are Important?
Our negative automatic thoughts; Our mental functions, are formed subconsciously and it deeply affects our emotions and behaviors.
When an event occurs, an automatic thought is formed in our brains. These automatic thoughts determine how we think. How we think determines how we feel.
How much of our thoughts are hurting us?
Does automatic thinking help?
How much of our thoughts are negative?
What are the negative automatic thoughts that complicate our lives in daily life?
What would have changed if we could get rid of these automatic thoughts?
Let’s answer these questions together.
What are the negative thinking patterns?
Brain reading: You assume that you know what they think, even though you don’t have enough evidence about people’s thoughts.
Fortune-telling: You predict future, everything will be worse or soon there will be something dangerous.
Labeling: You have subconscious negative opinions about yourself or others. You claim that the positive things you or others have are insignificant.
Negative filter: You’ll focus on them almost all the time by sorting out the negative things and you’ll rarely notice the positive things
What you need to do: instead of focusing on understanding everything , you interpret it in terms of how it should be.
Personalization: you attribute a great deal of negative events to yourself, and you don’t see that certain events are caused by others.
Blame: you see someone else as the source of your negative thoughts and refuse to take responsibility to change yourself.
Unfair comparison: You evaluate events in terms of unrealistic standards; for example, you focus primarily on those who have done better than you, and compare yourself with them.
Regret: You can focus on the idea of what you could do better in the past rather than what you can do now.
What if it is like this? Do you ask questions like What if? ”. None of the answers you receive will satisfy you.
Emotional reasoning: You allow your emotions to guide your interpretation of reality.
Failure to survive: You reject any evidence or argument that may conflict with your negative thoughts.
Focus on the judiciary: Instead of simply accepting and understanding others or events, you look at yourself in terms of good-bad, superior-down assessments. You constantly evaluate yourself and others in inadequate and artificial standards. You focus on the judgment of others.
Examples of Negative Thoughts
I actually can’t do anything.
All men should see me pretty.
I must be very rich.
I must look perfect.
Everyone should talk about me.
I can’t go there.
You can’t trust any people.
All people are monsters.
All spiders are toxic and harmful.
Experts (Therapists) try to change the negative thinking patterns listed above using the cbt techniques. For this they offer alternative perspective to their clients.
How do automatic negative thoughts occur?
Our negative experiences are our beliefs about events affects our thinking process and when we experience the same kind of event, our ‘automatic thoughts’ emerge.
The point is that when we think negatively, we should try to change it. Step by step, we can get rid of the learned helplessness in your brain by transforming negative thought into positive.