Thought Patterns – Our Thoughts Form Habits Too

thought patterns, thought pattern

Thoughts as Habits? Did you know that the average person has around 60,000 thoughts each day and that those thoughts are similar to, or exactly the same as, the thoughts that the person had the day before and the day before last and so on and so forth?

This might sound strange at first and some people may feel that they think new things everyday based on the situation at hand but here we are talking about the quality of thoughts and thought patterns instead of the specific thoughts as such.

A Case in Point

Indu was a regular school-going teenager when she made a new friend in school, Preeti. Preeti was smart and confident and thought no end of her self. Her arrogance rubbed off on Indu too who thought it was hip to be arrogant and condescending towards other lesser mortals.

Soon, this thought pattern became a mental habit for Indu. She started to look down upon everyone including her family members.

She would find some reason or the other in her mind to justify her attitude towards others. It could either be their poor taste in dressing, physical features, level of education and refinement or lack of sensitivity towards others . . . Indu could find a fault in anyone and everyone—besides herself, of course.

When we have a mental habit, we tend to use it in most situations and with most people, too. When Indu got married and treated her husband with the same attitude, marital trouble soon followed.

This caused her a lot of emotional pain and dissatisfaction as she wanted a good relationship with her spouse and didn’t know or understand why their relationship had turned sour.

We tend to act out our mental habits without much contemplation or effort; they feel very comfortable and natural to us. When she couldn’t take the emotional pain of a bad marriage anymore, she turned to spirituality and self-awareness for comfort.

She soon realised how she herself was responsible for how her marriage had turned out. At first, her ego caused her to defend her behavior but with time, she developed the inner strength to admit her weakness and overcome it.

The results of self awareness and personal development are almost immediate. Indu’s husband noticed the positive change in Indu and responded well too. As they say, when you’re good the world is good.

If you dislike one of your spouse’s habits and feel irritated every time your spouse displays that habit, you will continue to do so without any change. That irritation and anger with your spouse with the thing that used to be THEIR mental habit has now become YOUR mental habit. If you don’t check yourself, you will continue to act out your mental habit in thought or behavior repeatedly.

This is the way it works with each one of your mental habits. Another term we could use is “Thought patterns.” This is why certain people find something positive in most situations while others tend to do the exact opposite.

Self awareness is Key

Self awareness is the first step for personal development. Unless you know what you’re working with, you won’t know what to do with it anyways. When you gain self-awareness, you become acutely aware of your thoughts and their quality.

Instead of being defensive about your thoughts and habits and branding them as “right” and “justified” which is another common mental habit due to the ego; a humble and genuinely confident person can watch his/her thoughts as a third party and judge their quality.

Once you become aware of a negative or hurtful mental habit you might possess, you can break free from its trap instead of being its victim. Such thoughts could be hurtful for yourself or for others close to you. Thinking too much about painful incidents that might have happened in the past instead of savoring all that is beautiful in the present is one such negative mental habit.

Constantly judging people around you and focusing on their negative qualities while ignoring the positive ones is another one. Expecting people to live their lives according to how you want them is yet another one. The list could go on and on.

Break the Habit

How can one get out of the trap of negative mental habits after realizing that his/her quality of life is getting impacted due to them? Self awareness almost rids you of the impact of negative thoughts because you stop believing in the validity of those thoughts. You could simply dismiss those thoughts as unnecessary and think about something positive instead. After doing this several times, you will simply conquer the negative habit and live a happier life.

Thought Patterns: Conclusion

Just like our physical habits like brushing or exercising, our thought patterns form habits too. Since most people are not consciously aware of the quality of their thoughts, they simply live their lives according to those habits.

With self-awareness, we get to watch our thoughts as they occur and question their validity too. This sets us free from the trap that negative mental habits or thought patterns can otherwise become.

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About the Author

Richa is a writer and a life skills coach with seven years of work experience in training corporate professionals. She has trained employees in Soft skills, Sales and Business English.

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