How to break free of negative behaviour patterns

Author: Louise Pyne

Read Time:   |  16th October 2020

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Plagued with an overworked mind? Break free of negative behavioural patterns and reset your body and mind this year, says nutritionist Louise Pyne


If you’re at constant war with your emotions, you’ll be well versed in the familiar feeling you get when things get too much. It’s remarkable how quickly your whole world can feel out of balance when just one small part of it becomes disrupted.

Emotional imbalance can see both your physical health and mental wellbeing quickly plummet into a downward spiral, and after everything that’s happened over the last few months, it’s the perfect time to think about decluttering your life.

“Stuck or stagnant energy, that hasn’t been processed, dealt with and moved swiftly through the body, can create havoc on your emotions and it’s a great time to work on moving this energy on and create space for the new,” says health coach and founder of Adira Lifestyle, Emily Wysock-Wright.

Just as you probably keep your home or workspace free from disorder, keeping your head clear can have a similar brain-boosting effect. On the other end of the spectrum, a cluttered head can weigh you down with negativity.

“This negativity sits in different parts of your subconscious and body. It can feel uncomfortable and play out as various different behaviours, mostly destructive in form. On average, our thoughts are 80 per cent negative and 97 per cent repetitive.

“If we are holding on to negative and emotional clutter it is likely we are also repeating a number of negative thoughts, without being aware. Negative emotions and thoughts aren’t a bad thing as such, and we need them, but I like to think of us as similar to a battery. We need the balance of positive and negative to flow to be our best,” says Emily.

Here we share our top ways to take control of negativity and put your best foot forward.


Beat Toxicity

We all have to deal with toxic people in our lives at some point or another, but if you’ve recognised toxic relationship patterns from someone close to you, it’s time to do something about it. It might be a boss, a friend or a partner – and you need to take action in order to help get your wellbeing back on track.

“These kinds of relationships can feel addictive. It’s not easy to let go of something that we know is bad for us, but at the same time a lot of us will be getting a gain for this or it will feel familiar to us,” believes Emily.

This can be reminiscent of our early attachments with our caregivers and childhood conditioning and is what we often call a trauma bond. We will continue to attract people and things that feel familiar to us or show us what we need to heal within to grow in life.

“When we grow up, we have a choice – we can continue using relationships, people, drink, drugs, food etc to numb ourselves, or we can open ourselves to the possibility that we can recondition our thoughts, as adults, to be our own and position ourselves in the world to be exactly who we want to be,” continues Emily.

And if it’s an immediate family member who is deliberately causing you grief, now is the time to set emotional boundaries.

“Use any feuds or disagreements as a mirror. What is it showing you? Family members, especially, will subconsciously pick up on imbalances within you. This may be mirroring back and in actual fact, there is something within the feud which is triggering you to feel angry, resistant or upset,” adds Emily.

Show Gratitude

Positive thinking is one of the best ways to get through tough times. The idea is that if you practice gratitude, then you’ll feel more positive, attracting more happiness into your life.

“Gratitude practice is my favourite, and probably the most beneficial, way to get started with achieving emotional balance. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough,” says Emily.

Crowd out toxicity by starting a gratitude journal and write down three things that you’re grateful for each day. This will help to build a more empowered outlook, helping you to eliminate negative thoughts and focusing more on the positive.

“Being grateful is about much more than just saying thank you – it’s really about not taking things or people for granted and realising a sense of appreciation and thankfulness for everything in your life, however large or small.

“Gratitude is a health choice that will leave you feeling more consciously grateful, often much happier and more optimistic,” explains Emily.


Be Mindful

Our lives reflect our state of mind, so engaging in activities that make you feel good on the inside will make you feel better on the outside too. This involves slotting some further self-care activities, such as mindfulness and meditation, which allow us to tune into the present moment in your day.

Results from a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that consistent meditation practice helped to pinpoint exactly how meditation can have a positive effect on our mental health – experts suggest that it’s all down to honing our self-compassion skills, which allows us to experience the true meaning of life and helps avoid negative thoughts, emotions or experiences that don’t make us feel good.

You could start with a meditation app, such as Headspace, which lists simple meditation techniques you can factor into your day. Try to spend more time in nature, focusing on the sights and sounds around you in order to stay present in the moment, and when things get too much, take a few deep breaths to help you stay grounded when stress and anxiety take over.

3 Mindfulness activities

  1. Follow a healthy diet – Hone your cooking skills, there’s something so Zen-like about chopping, stirring and lovingly watching simple ingredients transform into a wholesome meal.
  2. Get green fingered – Tending to a little patch of nature – a garden, balcony or even a windowsill with spring flowers and plants, will give spaces a new lease of life and help you stay more centred in the moment.
  3. Roll out your yoga mat – Fine-tune your sun salutations – indulging in some regular yoga can have profound de-stressing benefits.

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