|Automatic Negative Thoughts|
Fast forward to the present. It's a stormy afternoon in June, and I'm sitting in a new counselors office, working on a wide range of personal and professional issues. After multiple sessions focused on healthier communication and lowering my anxiety, the real work begins. Tears flow and a new layer of the onion is peeled back. Slowly, I am surrendering to a lifetime of battling cognitive distortions. The lesson on A.N.T. smashing seems to be set on rewind, repeat, and replay.
Last summer during a lunch conversation with a kindred spirit, we joked about how entering our own minds is like walking through an unsafe neighborhood, ill-prepared and defenseless. The old tapes we play and the well-worn ruts known as neurological pathways take us places we don't really want to go. Debbie, who is now a school counselor and one of my "move-a-body" friends, whipped out her new Ipad and we giggled uncontrollably as she demonstrated the the latest game she'd downloaded from the Apple Itunes store. I found myself wishing I could quiet the negative self talk with the swipe of my finger.
This morning, my email notification lit up, and an email from the Denton Public Library indicated a book on my digital hold shelf was now available. I downloaded Don Harris's new book titled, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works. The lengthy subtitle caught my attention, and I Googled his name. I watched several videos of his on-air panic attack, and after watching his appearance on Colbert Nation, my interest was piqued.