Getting Rid of the ANTs2 and the Power of Total Behaviour

This brief article may help those in education think about ways to teach children of any age about their brain. We can help students learn how their thinking and acting are impacting their behaving so they may move from the feeling of fear and what their bodies are telling them [Body Talk] to states of hope and success.

Returning to the classroom a few years ago to pilot the Brain Science Curriculum developed by Jesse Payne, Educational Director of the Amen Clinics, inc. [Brain Science Curriculum: Making a Good Brain Great!] Newport   Beach, CA:  Amen Clinics, inc., afforded me firsthand that wonderful experience of interrelating with twenty-five (25) smiling faces.  I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Daniel Amen during conferences offered by Eric Jensen through the Jensen Learning Corporation.


Drawing from diverse linguistic, religious and cultural backgrounds, my adopted students, along with their parents and teacher, willingly embarked on a journey of self-discovery. The students were going to learn about how choices impact the neural pathways of their brains.  My intimate relationship with Choice Theory® and Certified in Brain-Based Learning and Teaching3 through the Jensen Learning Corporation proved to be most valuable in helping students learn that they are responsible for what they do.4 The concept of Total Behaviour in Choice Theory® provided the very tool I needed to teach students how to get rid of the ANTs in their brains.  Metaphorically, the car would get the job done, ridding their brains of Automatic Negative ThoughtS.

Students discussed various models of cars, drew and sketched their favourite models, and shared why they liked specific ones.  They cut pictures of cars, indicated why a particular model was so appealing and how it represented certain hopes and dreams. Students loved the ideas that they were in the driver’s seat, in control, and made decisions every day to choose a course that would be either more or less effective in helping them get what they wanted. 

In groups of five, they became the car:  the driver and four wheels with the front wheels representing their Thinking and Acting and with the back wheels representing their Feelings and Physiology [Body Talk].  Each group created scenarios about situations, problems or decisions that students face each day.  Each day, students shared their group’s work. The learned that they had more direct control over their thinking and acting but this was not the case for their feelings and physiology. They could get rid of the ANTs by changing their thinking and acting, and, in doing so, they could effect changes in their feelings and physiology. As a result, the ANTs were trampled or chased away on a “search and destroy” mission.  Now, students gained invaluable insight in knowing how to change states by moving their cars in a direction toward better health and nutrition for their brains and ultimately for their bodies, so crucial to the success and happiness they sought for themselves in school and at home. So, dear reader, may I invite you to get rid of your ANTs?  Shape your daily lives with Choice Theory® in Mind!

1Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study and the structure and function of the nervous system. It encompasses the evolution, development, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology of the nervous system, as well as computational behavioural, and cognitive neuroscience. Retrieved December 25, 2020 from Natur Research


2ANTs from Brain Science Curriculum: Making a Good Brain Great!] Newport   Beach, CA:  Amen Clinics, inc.


3Check Dr. Jean through


4 Choice Theory®. William Glasser, M.D. First Edition. Choice Theory: A new psychology of personal freedom. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998.



Biographical Profile of Jean Seville Suffield, DNM

With her experience in business and the many years in educational administration, Dr. Jean has gained a wealth of knowledge and acquired innumerable strategies in working with people throughout the world with schools and leadership being close to her heart. Dr. Jean particularly enjoyed playing a key role in the 1st Glasser Quality School, Rochester School [Bogotá, Colombia] recognized by William Glasser International, Inc. Dr. Jean’s Certification in brain-based teaching and learning with the Jensen Learning Corporation, her work in Biofeedback, the Insight Genius on frequencies, Quantum Health and Wellness Coaching, and self-healing through the ©Brain, Soul Success System as a coach with Dr. Louise Swartswalter, have brought her to this moment in time to help at all levels of a community. You may reach Dr. Jean at to obtain more information. Her website is in progress but may be viewed at to offer feedback. Check for her new programs which shall commence m January 2021. Stay tuned and in touch.