Automatic Negative Thoughts

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are negative thoughts that can arise automatically in our minds, often leading to anxiety, stress, and depression. Here are some common ANTs and ways to distinguish them:

To distinguish these ANTs, it's important to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Notice if you are having any negative thoughts that seem to be causing you stress or anxiety. Then, try to identify which of these ANTs you might be experiencing. By doing so, you can start to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.

While the concept of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) is a modern psychological theory, there are certainly examples in the Bible that could be interpreted as negative thought patterns. One example might be King David's experience with Catastrophizing.

In Psalm 3, King David is facing a difficult time in his life. He is on the run from his own son Absalom, who has led a rebellion against him. David is feeling overwhelmed and afraid, and he says:

"Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.'" (Psalm 3:1-2)

David is catastrophizing, assuming that everyone is against him and that he will not be able to overcome his troubles. However, he goes on to challenge this negative thought pattern and find hope:

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain." (Psalm 3:3-4)

David is able to recognize his negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones by reminding himself of God's protection and care for him. This is a great example of how we can challenge our own negative thought patterns by finding hope and positivity even in difficult circumstances.

For more, see my Blog on Thought Records or Ask me for some that I can give you from the Award Winning CBT book "Mind over mood."