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Just as our behavioral patterns and regular habits form our lifestyles, our recurring thought patterns and regular mental habits constitute our mental and emotional health. Many of us are perpetuating toxic thought patterns that feed and magnify our existing mental illnesses. Some would argue that for many of us our toxic, self-destructive thought patterns become our mental illnesses. We give an overwhelming majority of our mental and emotional energy to thought patterns that don’t support our well-being, that hurt us and that make us feel worse about ourselves, fueling our low self-esteem and depleting our sense of self-worth. Can our thought patterns worsen our mental illnesses?

For many of us, we can see a clear correlation between the thoughts we think and how we feel. When we are negative, pessimistic, cynical and consumed with worry, we tend to feel worse about not only ourselves, but our lives and the world around us. If we wake up thinking that today is going to be a horrible day, chances are it will be. On the other hand, when we focus on gratitude and positivity, we see blessings everywhere we look. Our mentality really does impact our perspective, and that in turn can determine how we feel. When we’re feeding our insecurities rather than building ourselves up, when we’re constantly feeling down on ourselves, it’s very hard to stave off the impending self-doubt, insecurity, self-hatred and therefore depression we will inevitably feel. Conversely, if we’re speaking to ourselves in uplifting and encouraging terms, self-love and appreciation will naturally follow.

When we take the time to examine and dissect our thought patterns, we can see the ways in which they directly impact our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. The key is in becoming more mindful of how we think, how we view ourselves and the world, and how we speak about ourselves and other people. It is absolutely possible to change our thought patterns and to redirect them in healthier, more positive and affirming directions. We can restore faith in ourselves by practicing believing in ourselves. We can help offset our depression by actively thinking positively. We can work to heal our anxiety by conscientiously being calm and mindful. Our thought patterns can worsen our mental illnesses, but once we have more clarity and a greater understanding of them, we can transform them to contribute to our healing instead.

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.