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How to Break Patterns – Relationship, Behavioural, Obsessive & More

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Are there negative patterns in your life or in your thought processes that are bothering you? Maybe you’ve determined to stop thinking those negative thoughts and yet they keep coming back. How to break thought patterns so that they no longer have such a grip on you?

Let’s look at a few different types of bad mental patterns that can develop and give you some tips on how to conquer them.

How to Break Codependency Patterns

You may find yourself overly dependent on someone in your life. It’s a good thing to rely on others for help and strength from time to time, but you shouldn’t need their constant support in order to function on a basic level.

One of the best ways to break these kind of codependency patterns is to start doing some things for yourself. Try to go somewhere on your own, make a decision for yourself, finish a project without any help, or do whatever it is that you have trouble doing on your own. That sounds scary, right, but the trick is to start small.

If you feel that you need someone to be with you wherever you go, try walking a block or two on your own.

If you feel like you cannot complete a task or project on your own, start with something very small and manageable.

How to Break Obsessive Thought Patterns

Do you find yourself obsessing over someone or something? Obsessive thought patterns are hard to break because they are always with us. They are such a part of who we are that it becomes hard to believe that they would ever not be a part of us.

To break this kind of pattern, it can help to write down all of the triggers that cause the thoughts to start. Listing those triggers helps you to identify what could be the catalyst for those thoughts and then to take the next step of doing something about that.

You can also try calming techniques, like meditation, slow beathing, relaxing music, and going for a walk. Sometimes, our obsessive, intrusive thoughts are the result of an overactive mind. The mind can be too active because the body is not getting enough exercise. Try working out a little each day and see if that doesn’t help to exhaust you a bit more and keep your mind from being overactive. This can reduce manic energy that often leads to agitated, erratic, and obsessive thoughts.

How to Break Toxic Relationship Patterns

Do you find yourself in one relationship after another where the other person is toxic to you? Maybe you are both toxic to each other, but whatever the case may be, the relationship is unhealthy. How do you break that pattern of getting yourself into toxic relationships?

It starts by being careful about getting into a relationship in the first place. Look for any red flags early on and then do not ignore them.

Make a list of your past toxic relationships and write down any red flags that you noticed early on and then disregarded. It’s human to jump into a relationship too quickly and ignore warning signs just because we are lonely or emotionally vulnerable.

Determine to take your time the next time a relationship opportunity presents itself. As you see a relationship starting, begin listing the pros and cons of being with that person so that you can logically and pragmatically weigh them against one another and determine if that person is right for you.

How to Break Out of Negative Thought Patterns

What causes us to experience a constant flow of negative thoughts? It may seem like sometimes you just start on a negative thought and you cannot stop yourself. Your thoughts cascade down further and further into a place where you don’t want them to be and you end up dwelling on awful, negative things as a result.

To break that, you need to condition yourself to think positive, good thoughts. Look for influences in your life that cause the negative thoughts to permeate your mind. One of the biggest culprits is the news. Most of it is bad news, so you need to try to cut that out as much as possible, limiting your exposure to it. One of the other biggest triggers of negative thoughts is social media. Cut back on that or take a break from it and see if that helps.

What you put into your mind is what will fuel your thoughts. Take account of everything that you let get into your head, every influence around you, and then identify the negative ones so you can start filtering them out and cutting them down. Replace them with positive influences to break those negative thought patterns.

How to Break Patterns of Behavior

When you find yourself doing the same things over and over again that you wish you would not do, you can deal with that by using the replacement principle. You take a negative action and replace it with a positive one.

So, the times you would normally be spending wasting your day on social media, for example, you can replace that with time spent reading a book or going for a walk.

This replacement method is a great place to start, but you may also need a change of environment. Changing where you live, who you hang out with, and how you spend your free time will help to change your behaviors. It does take time to change our habits and the way we behave, so be patient. It’s not enough to determine to change; most people will need some stimulus that will help to spur those behavioral changes.

How to break bad patterns in the way you behave? Try looking at informative material that dives deep into the consequences of those actions. Keep reminding yourself of the end result of that behavior, perhaps by placing notes around your workstation or in your home. This can be the stimulus you need to change the behavior.

How to Break Self Destructive Patterns

Finally, let’s look at how to change the behavior that is harmful to yourself. Some people will tell you that you need to just build up your self-worth to change that destructive behavior but it is not always caused by low self-esteem. It is often caused by boredom and thinking too much about ourselves. To change that, try making it a habit to do something for other people.

You can spend time helping out at homeless shelters or making food for the disadvantaged. You can spend time helping out family members, perhaps cutting their grass or doing housework for them.

As you start to do things for other people, you will see your worth in their lives and you won’t be as prone to the boredom and self-loathing that leads to self-destructive behavior.

These are just a few little tips you can try and some changes you can make. There are many more ways you can break these harmful patterns, but I hope this information gives you a good place to start from to make a change in your life.

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Jennifer Whyte

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