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  • How to break the pattern of unhelpful behaviour.

    by Suzanne Milbourne on


    In my sessions, I talk about patterns of unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours and I often refer to it as the “Pit” or “Pit behaviour”.  The Pit is not a place, but it is a state of mind or state of being which is not helpful to us, and does not move us towards having a great life, or life we love.

    You will recognise your own Pit once you have a true understanding of the concept, but I’m giving you some examples below so that you get an idea of what it means.

    Pit behaviour could be a low mood which spirals down to the very depths of despair, it could be a feeling of fear or anxiety which has become overwhelming and has a negative impact on your life, it could be a sense of needing to get everything done in an unrealistic timescale or it could be something like anger or frustration.  For many people who have chronic fatigue, their Pit may be overwhelming tiredness, sore and aching muscles and joints and the inability to live an active life. There are many many examples I could give, and it really is an individual thing.

    There is a recognition that this type of behaviour is not helpful for us.  Neuroscience tells us that the more we think and behave in a certain way, the more we are likely to continue with it.  It’s what creates habits within us, and when we have done something a few times it becomes an unconscious act so we no longer have to think about doing it.. it just happens.

    We can stop the thoughts or behaviour and break the chain by deciding to do something different, to take a different path.

    So how do we break those engrained programmes which have become unwelcome habits or unconscious acts? Here are my best tips from personal and professional experience:

    1. Stop your thoughts and behaviours in their tracks – use the word STOP in your mind or out loud to interrupt the thought or behaviour pattern and then choose to think or behave in a different way.
    2. Focus on positives whenever you can. If things happen which upset or bother you, always look for the positive side.  What can you learn from the situation?
    3. If you can be grateful for the good things in your life, and focus on them, then you attract more good things into your life. This can have a profound impact on your mood and the way you think about things
    4. Do things you love. Add things to your life that bring you joy. Greenspace is great and is known for its positive effect on mental wellbeing.  Find hobbies, join classes, meet likeminded people and enjoy life.
    5. Self-care. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself some time to rest and relax. Meditation is an amazing way to switch off and give your mind and body space to recuperate.
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