Knowing how to handle ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) can reduce anxiety and increase wellbeing. Recently, in ANTs—Automatic Thoughts Can Ruin Your Picnic, I explored how ANTs can be pesky little creatures that get in the way of our living life fully. These automatic negative thoughts that pop into our minds in certain situations can cause great stress and anxiety. They can even intensify depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. We all have ANTs (they’re not exclusive to mental illness). Unfortunately, it’s natural for the human mind to get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns that drag us down. There are ways to deal with ANTs so they don’t ruin the proverbial picnic of your life. Here are three approaches whose effectiveness has been proven by research.
Reading is an activity that enhances our mental health and wellbeing. Settling in with a good book is a very nice thing we can do for ourselves. Our mental health and wellbeing are much more than the mere absence of problems. In fact, the absence of problems isn’t even part of mental health and wellbeing. It’s impossible to live a problem-free life, but it is very possible to create wellbeing and live mentally healthy despite problems and challenges. The process of increasing and maintaining mental health can be quite pleasant. It can involve reading!
Dealing with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be overwhelming. The best part of that sentence is the phrase “dealing with.” I know from experience that TBI can indeed be dealt with. A delightful way to do it? Read! It’s brain injury by the book.