Killing Ants with Dr. Daniel G. Amen

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Dr. Daniel G. Amen is not a scientist that created a chemical that kills ants. Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist that teaches people how to kill ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). In this post, we are going to learn about ANTs and how to get rid of them so we can live for the better.

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What Are Automatic Negative Thoughts?

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are limiting beliefs that affect everyone. They pop up every time we think about something that we are scared of or do not believe we can do. They have the ability to keep us from trying new things, accepting the ideas of others, and even accepting ourselves for who we are. They are so bad that they can lower self-worth and even lead to depression and mental disorders.

These little ANTs create stress in our lives. They cause us to feel anxiety, dive into depression, fuel negativity, and can lead to suicide. These ANTs may seem like little thoughts in our heads, but they have big and disastrous impacts on our thoughts and actions. These little things have the ability to control our lives.

How Do These ANTs Have This Impact?

Our brains release chemicals every time we have a thought. Sometimes the chemicals make us feel happy or feel pleasure. Sometimes these chemicals make us feel sad, lonely, and scared. These more negative chemicals are the ones released when an ANT crosses our mind.

When we have thoughts of sadness, fear, or anxiety; our brains release chemicals that make us feel not-so-good. Your muscles become tense, your hands get cold and sweaty, you breathe more shallow, and your heart beats faster. Your body goes into fight or flight mode. In your brain, your frontal and temporal lobes decrease in activity which has negative effects on your ability to make judgments, learn, and remember things.

No one wants to go through the emotions one suffers when they go through negative emotions and if we don’t learn how to deal with them, then we can pass our anxieties to our children. The easiest way to keep yourself from going through these emotions and the outcomes and eliminating them in a healthy way is to learn how to kill ANTs.

Dr. Daniel Amen is an ANT Killer.

Dr. Amen coined the term, “Killing ANTs,” in the early 1990s. He noticed that many of his patients were suffering from limiting beliefs and these untrue beliefs were holding them back and creating depression. He went home one night and found ants, yes, the little bugs, all over the counters in his kitchen. That’s when the light bulb in his mind became bright and he decided to teach his patients how to kill the automatic negative thoughts that were plaguing them.

Different Types of Ants

There are many types of limiting beliefs that anyone can suffer from. I am going to list a few of them so that you will recognize them when they try to raise their scary little heads in your life.

Mind Reading

This type of ant tells you that you know what other people are thinking about you. This ant tells you that the other personTypes of Negative Thoughts

thinks very low of you and is so convincing, that you believe them without even asking the real person.

Fortune Reading

This ant tells you that it can read the future and that doom is headed you way. It causes you to panic and run in fright even without evidence that the threat is real.

The Blaming One

This ant always blames others for the problems in your life. This ant tells you that you are a victim and have no control over your lot in life.

The Labeling One

This ant labels other people and yourself with negative terms. This ant blurs your mental vision so you can not see things clearly and makes you feel not-so-good for yourself.

The Guilt Giver

This ant always makes you feel guilty and uses words like; should, ought to, and have to. This ant is not very good at motivation and is happy to hold you back from taking action.

Now that we know so of the ANTs that can affect us, let’s talk about removing them from our lives.

How To Kill ANTs

According to Dr. Amen, there is an easy four step process to use to rid yourself of ANTs. The process is very easy andKilling Automatic Negative Thoughts

when practiced enough, can give you the skills needed to instantly eliminate automatic negative thoughts from effecting your life so you can live for the better.

Step 1) Ask yourself, is this limiting belief or negative thought true?

Be very truthful with yourself when you ask this question. Question who told you this limiting belief or why your brain instantly thinks about it any time you make it to this point in your life.

Step 2) Can I really prove it is true?

What proof do you have that this limiting belief is true. Has there ever been a similar time in life where you acted differently?

Step 3) How do I react when I think this thought?

What feelings do you feel when your brain comes across this thought? Why?

Step 4) How would I feel if I didn’t have this thought or who would I be without this thought?

Imagine in your mind how great life would be if you didn’t have this thought. Relish in that feeling for as long as you need to appreciate it.


Killing ANTs from your thoughts is going to relieve so much of the stress that you put yourself through. That’s right… other people do not create our stress. Your own thoughts and actions create all the stress you feel, but don’t think I am trying to blame you. You just need to be aware of this fact so you can take control.

When we blame ourselves or others, create guilt within us, call ourselves names, predict gloom in the future, and think we can read the negative minds of others; we are creating our own stress by letting automatic negative thoughts control us.

Kill Those ANT’s and you will find it easy to live for the better.

You can learn more ideas about getting rid of negative thoughts by reading my earlier post about how to overcome with negative thoughts.

==>I would love to hear your experiences, questions, and thoughts about this subject, so please feel free to leave a comment below. I normally respond within 24 hours. Feel free to share this information with anyone you think will benefit from it. Talk with you later, Greg<==

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7 thoughts on “Killing Ants with Dr. Daniel G. Amen”

  1. What a wonderful article. Luckily I wasn’t looking for a way to kill real ants but knew the concept. I am looking for ways to help my students with this. Whenever they perform and in the whole preparation process, ANTs are so very present and it is hard to turn the thinking around into a more positive one. For now, I might have convinced some of them to let those thoughts pass, acknowledge that they exist, that they make them feel bad and try to not identify with the thought. It gave some relief so far, at least I hope so. But what could I do, to help them when they start telling themselves that they are not good enough (labelling) or blaming themselves for not studying enough (guilt). Other than try to disconnect them from their limiting believes, I have not managed to turn them into positive ones. Would you have some advice for me?

    • Thank you for your thoughts,
      I would tell them to think about a time that was hard for them when they did overcome those nasty ants. Every time one of those thoughts appear, replace it with that memory of accomplishment. That’s how I would kill that ant?

  2. Greg,
    This is a well-written article. It is difficult to get rid of negative thoughts but I think it is important to always remember that our mind does not define who we are. Always remind ourselves that what is in our head will still be in our head. These are only thoughts, not facts. Negative thoughts are just the product of imaginative thoughts that we have unwittingly practiced to make us even more pessimistic. Instead of saying “I’m a failure”, say “I think I’ll be successful next time”. This way, we can reprogram our mind to start bringing back happy and positive thoughts to avoid negative thoughts that destroy our inner peace. Because happiness is from within, we create our own happiness, not other people.

    • Hi Ferra ?
      I cannot agree with you more. Thinking of those negative thoughts as ants make them even easier to squash on my mind? like you said, our happiness comes from within. To find true happiness, We must first feel happiness and avoid negative self talk.
      Thanks for leaving your thoughts?

  3. Hey Greg,

    I am glad I came across this article. This is the first time I am learning about this concept of ANTs. It is really a very interesting theory.
    The best thing for me about this theory is that it categorize the negative thoughts so well. All our negative thoughts are jumbled and without guidance, it is hard to figure out these differences.
    Steps to remove these ants are also pretty cool.

    A very practical and a useful article. Thank you very much for sharing.


    • Hi Rajith,
      I was able to get the ideas for the classification of negative thoughts front the Amen Clinic. Dr. Amen has so much good advice on killing ants and understanding how the brain works. These two subjects are very interesting to me and will be covered more in later post.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.


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