I am out of the office for a few days, so I'm sharing a chapter of my book that didn't make the final edit. Enjoy! Steve
Seven Ways To Optimize Your Brain and
Daniel G. Amen, MD
Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Times Books 1/99)
Dr. Daniel G. Amen writes: “The thoughts that go through your mind, moment by moment, have a
significant impact on how your brain works. Research by Mark George, MD and colleagues at the
National Institutes of Health demonstrated that happy, hopeful thoughts had an overall calming effect
on the brain, while negative thoughts inflamed brain areas often involved with depression and anxiety.
Your thoughts matter.” ...
He goes on to identify Automatic Negative Thoughts which he calls ANTs which are conditioned
responses to certain situations
Here are a few that he describes. Do you recognize any of these in yourself?:
Mind reading --- predicting you know that another person is thinking something negative about you
without them telling you. That look they’re giving you, that you are probably mis-interpreting could
be nothing more than stomach gas, or a toothache. Don’t try to read minds, even magicians can’t
Fortune telling -- predicting a bad outcome to a situation before it has occurred. Remember what
you think about becomes real, so if you think of the bad that can happen, it will.
Guilt beatings -- being overrun by thoughts of "I should have done... I'm bad because…. I must do
better at… I have to…). Guilt is powerful at making us feel bad. It is a lousy motivator of behavior.
So if any of you are considering a model thought that includes an element of guilt, eliminate it now.
Capture all of the positive energy you can muster and put it into your picture, not only will it be
good for your future but it’ll be good for your brain.