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Our Patterns Are Part of Our Story

Thinking patterns played a part in your former substance abuse habits and play a role now in your sobriety. Taking a look at why those thought patterns matter and why you should be aware that many of them may still be present in your life can help you in your recovery. Once you examine yourself and recognize old patterns that are still present, you can do the work to overcome them. Being in recovery gives you an opportunity to learn better ways of thinking and develop better coping skills for yourself.

Do Old Patterns Continue to Matter?

You can always learn new coping skills which give you new ways to handle life circumstances. Once you have new tools, you have new ways to respond to things. The most important thing is to identify old habits that may be hard to break and commit to changing that way of thinking.

It is essential to practice healthy coping strategies as much as possible in order to retrain yourself to do things the new way. It takes time to consistently choose a new way of doing things. You must identify and be aware of old destructive patterns so that you can successfully use and reinforce the better ones. It can be challenging to find the motivation to continue moving in the right direction. However, if you stay focused on the path and dedicated to the outcome, new patterns can emerge and help you with your recovery.

How Old Thought Patterns Change Current Thinking

For many people in recovery, nurturing harmful thought patterns has become second nature. Sometimes these thought patterns prevent change and recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Because unhealthy ways of thinking have persisted for so long, they color everything you do. It is hard to undo them and replace them with healthier thought patterns.

In the early stages of recovery, it is essential to identify and dismantle harmful thought patterns and give you tools to replace them with positive, recovery-affirming ones. Without first knowing what ways of thinking are harming you, you cannot effectively substitute them with better ones because they will persist. Once the thoughts and patterns are identified, it is easier to replace them with better ways to think and do things.

Resistance in Recovery

You can change thought patterns and redirect their thoughts in a healthier direction. Maintaining a new way of life in recovery takes practice and consistent implementation of healthy coping mechanisms when destructive patterns crop up. However, you may experience resistance at first.

Being positive is a conscious choice, and it takes determination and motivation. Every time you successfully replace a negative with a positive, the more resistance breaks down and the more optimistic and resilient you become. You can learn to give your energy to things that support your new patterns and practice making that choice repeatedly. Once you determine that you want health and recovery, you can truly make it a reality for yourself.

Replacing Unconscious Thought With Conscious Thought

One thing to be careful of is not allowing detrimental thoughts unconsciously to overpower your mind. It is possible to overcome unconscious sabotage by becoming mindful of the health of your thinking. Consistently pay attention to your thoughts and be aware of whether they are harmful or helpful.

Thought patterns form the foundation of health and recovery. Consistently choosing healthier thought patterns takes consistent awareness of yourself and mindful thinking. Focus your mind on consciously reinforcing healthy, recovery-supportive thoughts. Soon, these will become your unconscious thoughts as well and drive out unconscious, self-sabotaging thoughts.

Thoughts and Emotions That Undermine Healthy Thinking

To stop unhealthy thought patterns in their tracks, you must first know what to look for. The following are some thoughts and emotions that can undermine the hard work you’ve done to train your brain for healthy thinking:

  • Fears of inadequacy
  • Powerlessness
  • Self-destructiveness
  • Self-sabotage
  • Victim thinking
  • Hopelessness
  • Fear of failure
  • Guilt
  • Loneliness
  • Resentment
  • Worry
  • Anxiety

How to End Unhealthy Thought Patterns

When something negative happens, it gets highlighted in your mind because of the negativity bias. This negativity bias is hard-wired into the human brain. When the world is scary, this phenomenon is what causes you to identify threats and stay safe. Your brain is programmed to store negative experiences, their consequences, and your responses to keep you safe.

However, over time, dwelling on the negative causes a tendency to constant negative thought patterns. It is possible to train your brain to look at things differently and in a more healthy, mindful way. You can do this by:

  • Acknowledging that unhealthy thoughts are present in your mind
  • Accepting that unhealthy thoughts exist and can hurt you
  • Taking action to change
  • Staying patient and expecting change to take time
  • Having gratitude
  • Developing healthy thinking
  • Balancing your thoughts
  • Identifying and removing negative thinking traps
  • Not dwelling on the negative

Old thought patterns can harm your recovery and increase the risk of relapse. However, with the proper support, you can overcome destructive thought patterns. The Guest House is happy to provide the help you need to change your thought patterns to support your recovery. The Guest House has holistic and integrated therapies available to you. Identifying the negative thought patterns is the first step to moving to a healthy mindset. The Guest House offers group and individual therapy as well as several integrated therapies such as equine therapy, art therapy, mindfulness training, and much more. Recovery is a place to embrace your entire self without criticism or negative thinking. Self-love includes compassion towards past transgressions and mistakes. Instilling new thought patterns takes practice and repetition, but it is possible to find healing. To learn more about how The Guest House can support you in your recovery, call (855) 483-7800.