Sunday 11 December 2016

Working it out: Put those Ants in the dock and smile

John Masterson

Published 18/05/2015 | 02:30

Dr Eddie Murphy
Dr Eddie Murphy

It was a blustery day when I went into a shop for a much-needed cup of coffee. The young woman serving was particularly cheery and I commented that she was in great form. She explained that when she got up the day was sunny, and that if a day began sunny she was set up for the day. I didn't let her know that the weather was not as good as it had been earlier and left the shop with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. A positive outlook goes a long way.

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I had not gone far when I met someone else and stopped briefly to pass the time of day. I began with something innocuous about the weather and this person went to some trouble to explain to me that we were about to settle into rain and storms and that we were probably all better off to take to the bed and not emerge until it was all over. Everything they said was probably going to come true but sometimes one can decide not to believe things until it is absolutely necessary.

It did get me thinking of a recent conversation I had enjoyed with Dr Eddie Murphy whom people might know from Operation Transformation. He is a psychologist of some repute, and has published a book called Becoming Your Real Self - a practical toolkit for managing life's challenges. He had introduced me to the concept of the Ants that we need to exterminate from our lives. These Ants are Automatic Negative Thoughts and we could do with a lot less of them. How we think has a big effect on how we feel and Ants are a great way to ensure that you feel lousy.

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