I loved this acronym as soon as I heard it. The mental image of ants scurrying, scuttling the way that they do, marching methodically, spreading like wildfire and a pain to get under control – much the same as those Automatic Negative Thoughts that pop into our heads.
I have often wondered what this is about – is it that some people are more negative than others or that the same person might be in a more negative state of mind at different times? I found an interesting plausible explanation from Nick Begley, researcher at Headspace in London who explains that negative thoughts have been “hardwired into us through evolution.”
Fascinating – but how to we combat these ANTs so that we don’t end up in a state of ‘paralysis by analysis’ (over thinking things so much that we become frozen by the fear of ‘what if?’ negative thinking)?