Hey everyone, hope you all had a great week. As many of you know, I preach that healing is truly an inside job. We need to focus on habitual thinking and change it with consistent, repetitive and emotional imagery we already accept as true to reprogram our brains. It’s not about positive thinking. It is thinking aligned with the doing. Coaching, support and accountability are what we all need to prescribe the do’s. Today I will be talking about uncovering your ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) as an autoimmune patient (rebel).

Autoimmunity gives us a fork in the road, but we have a path and a choice. We don’t know where we will end up.  And we don’t take action in life because of uncertainty, marriage, divorce and business. Because when we don’t have certainty, we don’t make a decision.  

Parts of Our Brain

We talked about the three parts of the brain: the prefrontal cortex, mammalian brain (emotions) and reptilian brain (limbic brain), the oldest part of the brain.  

Our prefrontal cortex is what’s listening right now. It may think that what I’m saying is exactly what you need to do. If you don’t take action or make the changes in our life, at least you will know what will happen, which is staying the same. And even if we believe making the change could bring better results, we don’t know what result it will bring, so we don’t take action.

Research has shown that the reptilian brain likes predictability. It is invested in knowing and certainty. Doing nothing rewards our brain by preventing it from the anxiety of making a choice. Even if it’s not producing favorable results, it provides you with short-term relief, even if you forgo the long-term gain. This is the peril of our tendencies. Our brains are seeking short-term gains all the time. Doing something that will actually transform us requires us to BE right now. It requires us to tap into our prefrontal cortex, which is our higher level consciousness.

Our Comfort Zone

Even though our place right now is uncomfortable, we’d rather stay in our comfort zone. The anxiety that comes from the reptilian brain is the prison. Once you decide to leave it, you are essentially breaking out of your own created prison. You must push through the anxiety and fear, which is not real anyways, to transform and elevate yourself to choose the healing path.

What will that path look like? It’ll have a lot of ups and downs, but you will be in complete control, free from the shackles of your thoughts of coulds, shoulds, can’ts and shouldn’ts. But what is actually at stake? You will never leave your comfort zone until you make the choice.

Your comfort zone is an illusion; it’s not comfort. The only way to leave is just to leave. You get stuck in life because you get trapped in your comfort zone. Take a step forward and do it. It’s the path to transformation.

At some point, you and I will leave the planet one day. How do you want to live right now? Transcending your thoughts and willing to feel the discomfort is key. We are uncomfortable right now, but we would rather be at the mercy of the doctors. Is that where you want to be?

Defining Automatic Negative Thoughts

Today is my most favorite topic. It is all about uncovering ANTs, or Automatic Negative Thoughts. Dr. Amen, a psychiatrist, defined the acronym ANTS as the “cynical, gloomy, and complaining thoughts that just seem to keep looping.”

Examples of such ANTS are:

  • I’ll never feel better.
  • I’ll never be able to heal from autoimmunity.
  • I’m not going to get over this.
  • I can’t get pregnant.
  • I can’t meet someone.
  • This isn’t going to work; it never does.  

It’s important to point out that when uncovering our ANTS, the thoughts themselves are not the problem.  It’s that such negative thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies.  If you are convinced that you’ll never get well, you’ll create feelings of defeat.  When you are feeling defeat, your actions will reinforce defeat.  The results you create will validate your thoughts that you’ll never get well.

This is where I’ve got to check your thoughts.

Many times, such negative thoughts are so subtle and under the radar that if you don’t pay close attention, they can get away from you and begin ruling your life. How do I know?  

Uncovering Your ANTs

I’ve not only been the ANT queen, but because of my own tendencies, I can see it in everyone else.  This is why I do what I do.  I want to save you from the unnecessary thoughts that rob you of your potential for a healthy life.  But in order for us to get to the root of our issues, we must first level up and understand that ANTS can have a physiological effect in ways you can never imagine.

Thoughts trigger feelings, feelings drive actions and actions create results.  Results are always a direct reflection of your thoughts.  So take a look around you: your health, relationships or career. If you like your results, you’re golden.  But most of us struggle with not liking our lives.  The results that we seem to create aren’t what we want, yet we don’t get busy doing the thing to create better results. This is because we are not aware of this relationship.

Second, it’s because we are habitual in our thoughts. If it’s something that we don’t bring to our awareness, we will never be free from this incessant and unnecessary bondage of limits that we set.

When uncovering your ANTs, this kind of thinking determines your prognosis not only with autoimmunity but in life as well.  It limits your ability to enjoy your life.  How you think, feel and act are intimately connected, but it’s super important for us because it allows us reclaim our power in creating the future that we want.

When we think positive thoughts, that triggers positive feelings of joy, gratitude, empowerment, etc, and from that place our actions are significantly altered.  Yet so many us live held hostage by the habitual thoughts that traps our forward progress.

The Most Common ANTs

Let’s talk about the 9 most common ANTs that Dr. Amen shares.

  1. “Always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything.”  Using such words are dangerous.  For example, “I’ll never get better.”  “Everyone hates me.”  “I always feel sick.”
  2. Focusing on the negative of every situation.  Glass as half empty vs half full.
  3. Fortune telling by predicting the worst possible outcome.
  4. Mind reading.  You assume you know what the other person is thinking without evidence.
  5. Letting your feelings dictate your thoughts.  This is when you believe negative thoughts without questioning them.
  6. Guilt ridden.  You become plagued by “should, must, ought or have to.”
  7. Labeling or judging.  You judge or label yourself or someone else.
  8. Ego focus.  You take things personally.  
  9. Blaming:  This is the worst and most harmful ANT. It’s when you blame someone else for your problems.  There’s no upside to this.  

Stopping ANTs

If you can effectively stop the cycle of ANTs, your life will be so much more productive, and you’ll have complete control and power to create what you want in your life. You will gain confidence, focus and the determination to go after exactly what you want.  After you begin uncovering your ANTs, here are the three ways you can squash them.

  1. Become aware of them. Do brain dumps and plug each thought that you want to question into the Mindset Model.  Figure out the root cause of your results, starting with any of the components of the Mindset Model works.  Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Results. Sit with your ANTs and recognize what thoughts or feelings you are creating.  
  2. Challenge them. Because of how our brains work, changing the thought to a better thought isn’t as easy. You’ve got to sit with what is and then question your current ANT.  Then starting with your thoughts or feelings, try on new thoughts or feelings and practice them until you believe them.  If you don’t do this part, you’ll suffer with cognitive dissonance where no matter what actions you take, if they are not aligned with thoughts and feelings, then they won’t be long term.  This is why autoimmune coaching is so important.  It takes time, accountability, support and patience.  
  3. Change them. Begin uncovering your ANTs with positive thoughts.  Let’s try our earlier negative thoughts to more PAT (Positive Affirming Thoughts).  “I’ll never get better,” becomes “I’ll get better soon.”   “I always feel sick,” becomes “Healing is a process and natural remedies take longer.”

I truly believe healing is a journey.  We need conventional medicine to treat disease, and there’s a place for it, but health is YOUR responsibility.

Trusting Our Bodies to Heal

If you are reading this, like me, you likely identity as an autoimmune patient. We CAN heal…it’s a choice to trust in our bodies to heal.  The story of indoctrination is to choose not to be in fear anymore and choose to trust your body. Choose to begin uncovering your ANTS.

What’s the alternative? Support and dwell on our problem?  Because support is good, but we want to think solutions: what can we do?  In the guise of support, it’s all about poor me or woe is me. It’s a victim mentality sharing in the challenges of our fate, but this group is about elevating out of this doom and gloom.

We want to create a global family where we put the past behind us and look forward toward where we must go.  The fork in the road was presented, and we all chose ourselves and our body’s ability to heal. From that place we are actually committed to being healthy versus doing healthy.

We must free ourselves from the doom and gloom, let go of guilt, shame, blame, fear and choose elevation, empowerment and embodiment of health.  This is the place we’ve been operating from.  Everyone else is reinforcing victimhood.  We don’t want to enable low level thinking.

Set clear boundaries and choose your support carefully.  People are busy projecting where they are in life.  As we spoke of the three parts of the brain, we live subconsciously from a place of victim mentality, and we have to be careful to place our attention where it is due. We need constant adjustments in what and how we speak to ourselves, take responsibility and level up to cultivate fiberless courage and self integrity to keep ourselves at an elevated state where we keep promises to ourselves.

Moving Away from the Autoimmune Story

What stories are you telling yourself about autoimmunity? I can tell you that I have so much more peace, healthy and joy than without autoimmunity. I want to let you know it’s not about what we “do.” It’s all about shifting to what we will “be.”

Will we be a “baggage of warrior or survivor? Or tell ourselves, “I’m a healer who is elevated, empowered and the embodiment of health.” It’s an identity shift first and foremost. It’s not something we “wait’ for. Give yourself permission. You have the choice to be whoever you choose to be.  

Don’t accept the stories. You will get the pity looks from the practitioners, and all you are left with is what they said. You will thinkin their words are super powerful.

It wasn’t until I was able to realize that I had the choice. Be fearlessly brave, feel confident, do what you need to do versus the opposite

I’m suggesting that you choose you, the blind spots of your identity and subconscious thinking is something you’ll need help with.  You can circle around for a long time on your own in self doubt, fear and anxiety. Or you can choose to work with me and let me guide you.  

Joining Me

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Let’s elevate our thinking, be empowered with the tools and tactics that are proven to work, and live embodying health and wellness. What’s missing in the holistic treatment of autoimmunity is personalized intervention, connection, accountability, support and a principally oriented approach.  Too many interventions focus on a specific area but fail to address the whole being.  

The treatments also lack personal connection, understanding, coaching and wisdom.  They are too short-term oriented and typically do not offer a clear goal for their care.  At best they are fragments resulting in the patients feeling incompletely treated with no long term follow through.  

Also they haven’t been where you are.  So my motto is, seek someone who’s been where you are and achieved the success you want to achieve.  Healing can’t be based on theory.  It’s an artful interplay between human connection, science and wholeness.  

Our Program

So if you’ve been frustrated with the progress you’re making in your health or life with autoimmunity, I want to invite you to come with me on this journey

Here’s what’s missing from the other programs:

  • Accountability
  • Coaching
  •  Human connection
  • Whole body healing
  • Show vs tell
  • Theory vs personal experience
  • Short term vs long term
  • Lack of clear goals
  • Tactics vs principles

Here’s what we provide:

  1. Individualized treatment path with an initial functional medicine consultation with Dr. Connie, monthly functional medicine follow-up visits and specialized lab testing (extra fees apply).
  2. 24/7 access to our membership portal with online training modules, video lessons, downloads and worksheets.
  3. Self-healing tools, including healing mindset coaching, an on-demand library of autoimmune movement classes, guided meditations, cooking classes and more.
  4. Accountability coaching with weekly calls with your accountability coach to stay on track with your plan and health goals.
  5. A supportive and knowledgeable Facebook community with a private group for clients going through the program, live educational sessions with Dr. Connie, real-time interactive lessons based on your needs and support, accountability and connection with other AHT clients.
  6. Alkaline Method™ blue print to transform your health and life, complete with detox protocol to reduce inflammation and prime your body for healing, nutrition therapy and supplement prescription tailored to YOUR needs and a full-body approach comprised of nutrition, movement and mindset coaching.

Join us today to begin uncovering YOUR ANTs! Sign up HERE for a FREE consultation. And make sure you join our FREE Facebook group, Tribe of Autoimmune Health Rebels!

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