Analyzing our mental, emotional and behavioral patterns can teach us a lot about ourselves and how to heal from our addictions and mental health issues. Oftentimes we fall into and continue our patterns unconsciously, and we repeat them by default without being consciously aware of them. We attract the same kinds of relationships but don’t know why. We have recurring life cycles of depression, financial instability or dependence. Our patterns have a way of repeating themselves until we finally learn to become mindful of them. Our only hope of stopping these cycles and reversing the damage they’ve caused is to learn from our patterns. The answer to healing from our pain and self-destructiveness lies in exploring and dissecting these patterns.
We can only learn from our patterns once we’ve learned how to apply mindfulness to our self-analysis. We can practice mindfulness and conscious awareness by asking ourselves some important questions. What are your go-to behaviors? What are some of your default thought patterns and emotional responses? What cycles keep repeating themselves in your life? What recurring issues do you keep having to contend with? What kinds of problems keep arising for you? What kinds of relationships do you tend to attract?
Perhaps you have recurring depression, insomnia, or an undiagnosed eating disorder. Maybe you consistently find yourself in relationships in which your partners don’t value you, or friendships that end with bitter disappointment and conflict. Perhaps you’re always struggling financially
Make observations about the patterns in your life, and go back as far as you can remember, to when these issues first arose for you. For many of us, they began in childhood. Our formative years and the patterns we start to develop when we’re young can inform the rest of our lives. Try to be as honest, open and transparent with yourself as you can possibly be. Be brave. Holding back important information from yourself will only limit your progress and stifle your ability to learn from your patterns. When we continue our emotional habits of avoidance, denial, escapism and dishonesty, we can’t learn and move forward.
One exercise you can try is to write down some of your patterns, and then work to expand on them with more detailed information about them. How often do your patterns and cycles recur? Does anything spark them or bring them on that you can tell? Are they related to any particular situations, events or relationships in your life? Everything in our lives is related, and every aspect of our lives works in tandem with every other part of ourselves. Looking at our patterns will inevitably cause us to look at other difficult things in our lives. The more in depth we go, the more we stand to learn about ourselves, and the more we can use this information to help ourselves heal.
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