How Many ANTs did you Consume Today?

I invite you to go on an ANT fast

With the exception of what is going on right this second of your existence, everything else is a story. A story is an account of an event that is not currently present to your senses. It can be based on memories or entirely imaginary. Either way, the stories that circulate through your head can be categorized into 4 main types:

1. Stories about your past:

Things that happened or things that could have happened. Things that you believe have happened or things that you have been told have happened. These include interpretations of history/herstory.

2. Stories about your future:

Things that you imagine as possible or likely. Things you hope for and things you fear. Things that others predict or things that others think about your future.

3. Stories about others or the world you live in:

These might be gossip or interpretations of what’s going on for others and the stories that they have shared. These include news stories and perspectives on the world you live in.

4. Stories about who you are and your core identity:

These are our beliefs about ourselves, our values, our personas and how we present ourselves to others.

All these stories can be empowering or disempowering, depending on where you focus your attention and which stories you repeat again and again. The ones that are disempowering lead to the formation of ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). ANTs have an important role in our lives – they help us stay safe. But too many ANTS impede our ability to explore new possibilities, grow and enjoy life to the fullest.

I invite you to go on an ANT fast

  1. Start your fast day by writing down three things you are looking forward to.

  2. Avoid watching, reading or listening to any news for 24hrs. As you know, news stories tend to be dramatic, exaggerated and negative.

  3. Take some time to read some stories about human progress, positive innovations, successful social movements or change leaders who had a positive impact on the world. Here’s a potential starting point: 7 emerging Environmental technologies that bring hope for 2020.

  4. Make a list of at least 20 people who have had a positive impact on your life. This should include people who helped you when you needed help, people who love you no matter what, people you enjoy spending time with and people you find easy to connect to.

  5. Make a list of 20 things you have that are easily taken for granted (i.e.: electricity, water, shoes, pillows, etc.)

  6. Send someone a message letting them know why you appreciate them.

  7. Remember a story about a time in your life when you managed to be resilient, resourceful and creative. Share this story in writing or out loud.

  8. When a negative thought pops into your mind, notice that it’s playing an important role and likely trying to protect you. Appreciate the role it plays.

Have a smarter day, a smarter week and a smarter life,
Ginny Santos, your holistic coach.

PS: If you like getting these reminders and you know someone who could also benefit from them, please invite them to sign up.

A love note from your future self:

You already know that boats are safe in harbour, but that’s not what boats are meant to do.

It is thanks to your ability to imagine positive futures and focus on empowering stories about your past, that I have had the privilege and courage to lead an interesting life. I am grateful to you for the risks you’ve taken and the endless challenges that you have managed to overcome.

Love, from your future self

Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog is for educational and inspirational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice because of something you may have read on this blog.

Dr. Anke Verlinden is an award-winning clinical haematologist at the University Hospital of Antwerp in Belgium. As a senior staff member, she specializes in treating patients with acute leukemia, guiding them through the process of stem cell transplantation. She initiated a project on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the immune system function and quality of life of cancer patients in 2019 while also deepening her understanding of the role that food plays in our health and wellbeing.

Anke is the mother of three kids, one of whom was born with severe heart disease. This, combined with the increasing number of questions from patients on the possible effects of nutrition and lifestyle on their healing process, gave rise to several years of study and experimentation in areas that are not covered in medical school, plus a nutrition science degree from Stanford Medical School and a certification in Functional Medicine. She is now also a WILDFIT certified coach as part of her effort to help patients recover better and more quickly from cancer treatment.