On ANTS and Your Mental Health

On ANTS and Your Mental Health

Mental health has become a big issue because of our social isolation. It is like having ants
in your home! How many are there? Where are they coming from? Where have they been? How can I get rid of them? There are ANTS that affect our mental health. These are Automatic Negative Thoughts (an acronym coined by Daniel Amen). What can we do about it?

 

1. Be preventive. Take care of them ahead of time. Usually, we wait until the ANTS become an obvious problem. Then, we have to clean up the mess. Decide now…that this will become a problem unless you address it.

 

2. Avoid negativity from outside you. Limit daily news intake about COVID-19 (to 10 minutes or less). Limit the relentless message from the news: “This situation will keep getting worse. There is no end in sight. There is nothing you can do about it.” A steady diet of this message will paralyze you.

 

3. Recognize negativity from inside you. These ANTS might show up as:

 

4. Challenge the ANTS. You can choose to challenge the ANTS by:

 

So, get out the bug spray. Kill the ANTS. Move on.


Rev. Mike Winters is pastor of Wise Baptist Church, Wise, VA. He has served other churches in Kentucky and Virginia prior to coming to Wise. Mike is the longest-attending participant in the Leadership in Ministry workshops, having missed only one session since the workshops began.

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