How Do We End Our Self Destructive Behaviors and Patterns?

Very often our patterns, especially our patterns around addiction and mental illness, are so ingrained within us that they’ve become second nature. They become our impulsive, automatic, default, go-to behaviors. They’re part of who we are, how we function in life, and how we treat ourselves. So many of our patterns are self-destructive, full of all the insecurity and self-hatred we haven’t yet healed from. We come to think our patterns are permanent parts of our identities, that we can’t change them or alter them, and that we can’t discontinue them even when they’re hurting us. Can we in fact put a stop to our self-destructive patterns? 

When we’re struggling with addiction and mental health issues, we often don’t realize that we have much more control over our thoughts, feeling and behaviors than we think we do. We think we’re powerless over our addictions, our depression, our anxiety and our self-defeating habits. We think they’ve rendered us weak and helpless. We give up hope that we’ll be able to recover and find happiness. With conscious awareness, though, there is no pattern we can’t change or put a stop to. 

What are the self-destructive patterns you want to eliminate from your life? Maybe you isolate when you’re unhappy instead of reaching out for support. Maybe you rely on your drug of choice any time you’re feeling confused, overwhelmed or anxious. Maybe you turn on the people you care about when you’re feeling scared or stressed out. Let’s first become more mindful of our existing patterns so that we can then work to replace them with new ones.

When we have a pattern we’re unhappy with, we tend to give all of our energy to it. We become hyper-focused on it. We obsess about it. We talk about it repeatedly. We dwell on it. We research about it and seek out advice for it, which in and of themselves aren’t bad things, but we’re often giving them so much energy we’re not giving any energy to the solution, the new pattern we want to implement. Let’s switch focus and apply our energy to the new, healthier pattern we’re going to be establishing. Let’s give that pattern our focus, our awareness, our motivation and our commitment. If we’re unhappy with how much we isolate ourselves, let’s focus on practicing reaching out to people and fostering connection. If we’re dependent on a drug as a coping mechanism, let’s apply our energy to learning new coping skills such as meditation and energy healing and practicing those. If we’re unhappy that we lash out at the people we care about when we’re under stress, let’s practice instead choosing patience, calm and understanding.

The more we practice and commit to our new patterns, the more our old self-destructive ones will naturally fall away.

Your new life starts today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.