GETTING RID OF THE ANTS
BECOMING A "TERROIST"
FOR RIGHT NOW OR BIGGER AND BETTER FOR THE LONG TERM?
"Terro" is an ant killer that attracts the ants and has them carry the sweet tasting toxin back to the ant colony, thereby killing the whole bunch of them.
I have the choice now to kill them directly each time they pop up in various places, which kind of works but takes alot more time. It is a bit like a person thinking he will kill a cold by quashing the symptoms. He'll get more colds or the colds will last longer or his body will suffer in some way, taking alot more care.
Or I have the choice of being more patient and perhaps redoing the spots with the attractants - and getting rid of the whole problem, without it re-cropping up again and again.
The test: Do you have the same problems cropping up again and again?
If so, you are seeking relief from the symptoms and not dealing with curing the cause. Although that might work in the short term, overall it will have you suffer more in total over time - plus you'll suffer by being disappointed in yourself!
A person who answers yes to the above question may also say that they are diligently doing their best to learn how to solve their problems and to do the actual solving.
But the sign is clear: that person is not! If the result (the effect) is not good, then the "bad" cause is still in place!
ANTS ALSO MEAN SOMETHING ELSE
Although this piece is about curing the cause in each problem, it also applies to "automatic negative thoughts" - called ANTs by Dr. Daniel Amen and a few others.
We can try to set up a "guard at the gates of our minds" to keep the ANTs out, which takes alot of effort and has a fairly low percentage of successes, though it does help.
Instead, it is best to look at the ANT as an effect that causes another bad effect. And then to ask what the cause is and then learn what it takes to correct the erroneonus beliefs that underlie it and/or compose it. There is almost always a "causal chain" that we need to trace back as far as we can, even if we have to "make up" what the lower mind is "thinking" (it doesn't actually think, it just coughs up recorded patterns that we think of as thoughts but there is no logical thinking and reasoning).
Most people do some forays into the jungle of their beliefs, but as soon as the symptoms are gone, they're "outta there" in a flash, going off to enjoy themselves in front of the TV (dropping into a mild state of depression). They do not finish off those beliefs - and, guess what!? The bad belief keeps on recurring and making problems.
DO "THE CURE"
The cure is always identifying the false belief, first. Since a belief is something you believe to be true about how something works, if you get a bad result that means you have a false belief. Pretty simple. (It would be useful, in my opinion, to make sure you have at least watched the shorter videos on critical thinking and the videos on how our brains mislead us (and how we think we are clear), in The Thinking Brain Contents/Links page.) Then you could, to help you learn to think better, identify which type of cognitive distortion or thinking error is involved, using a form something like the Mood Log. This identifies how you made the thinking mistake (whether you were 3 or 33 at the time does not matter; incorrect is incorrect and it needs to be corrected). It is a good idea to write about "how I made this error" in a sentence form, rather than just labeling the type of error.
Next you begin to formulate what the healthy, correct belief is. Often one goes through what is called the "disputing" of the false belief, as part of the process. You must also write down why this new belief is correct, citing facts and true beliefs it is based on and the logic of arriving at the new belief.
Once you've established the correct belief, then you must install it, by repetition several times a day for at least a month or until you have it "top of the mind" and ready to come out automatically when needed.
Do whatever it takes to put the harmful beliefs out of commission and to adopt healthy, true beliefs!!!!
If you don't diligently finish this process, you'll keep living the unnecessary suffering and difficulties in life that are not there if you have corrected beliefs.
Do this as your major project for the next six months at least (or as long as is needed to finish this up, once and for all!).