Why we slip back

I believe the reason we slip back into old patterns is because we’re governed by our unconscious thoughts, so we’re not always in a good head space. We consciously tell ourselves we want a different life, but our unconscious continues to control our conscious thoughts.

We start with good intentions. We tell ourselves we’re going to make amends that things are going to be different. That we’re going to get our act together, that we’re going to move forward, but the reality is that until we put ourselves in a better head space and deal with our unconscious thoughts, our chances remain very slim.

We can handle most things when the mind is functioning well. When the mind is right and we begin to feel better, we will start to make the changes we need to make. Although addiction has slightly different connotations, we still need to work from the same positive mind set, to change how we see and deal with the addiction.

Mindfulness allows us to concentrate on deepening the mind from a more positive place. It’s a process that allows us to explore mindful practices that we can incorporate into our daily lives through empathy, compassion, confidence, tolerance and authenticity.

Practice mindfulness takes us through the psychological process, focusing on the internal and external experiences that occur in the present moment, exploring our experiences more fully, so that we can begin to look at and perceive those experiences differently. I have used reflection as a tool to mindfulness over the years to deal with my own issues.

We can also look at mindfulness through the practice of meditation or other psychological training. We must continually try to pull ourselves up into a better head space. With a clear head and a positive mind, we become more focused and that means we’re less likely to slip back into the old bad patterns.


15 Feb, 2017

8 thoughts on “Why we slip back

  1. We slip back or stay where we are because it’s what we know and are comfortable with.

    As you say it’s a positive thing and we need to consciously want to change in the knowledge that no mater how difficult the process, we’ve got to do it.

    1. Yes, it’s what we know. The old patterns are still in there and we’re not strong enough or focused enough to change. I believe we’re comfortable, not necessarily because we’re comfortable, but it’s because it’s familiar and we’re afraid of change.

      I know from my own experiences, I wasn’t comfortable being where I was, emotionally I hated it; but it’s what I was familiar with. We don’t stop to question our circumstances, until we question it and then realise we’re not comfortable with it, but rather that then having to work through change.

  2. Yes, it can be very difficult to avoid slipping back into the old behaviors when we aren’t in a good head space and aren’t thinking clearly.

    Mindfulness is a technique that they talked about in DBT, which I should be working on more often since I can so often slip into morbid reflection. It can be so disappointing and discouraging if I dwell on the past for too long. I feel like I have wasted most of my life doing just that and have missed out on so many things, like the chance to see my daughter grow up.

    I allowed my hatred for her mother to rule my mind, which didn’t do me any good. I’m sure that most of us slip back into old behaviors, even when they are severely dysfunctional, just because it’s what we know and what we’re used to.

    You live what you know, is the expression that comes to mind. This is exactly why people choose to stay in abusive relationships or can’t seem to disconnect from their dysfunctional families.

    People tend to judge that very harshly but they don’t live in the same world, as so many of us have. It took me the longest time to figure that out, especially considering I have been doing it myself all along.

    Nobody in their right mind would have ever tolerated what I have over the years, since I thought I didn’t deserve any better. It angers me that I have wasted so much of my life because of it, but I can’t change the past so I need to stay focused on today and the future.

    Time has become short, so I need to make the best of it!

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, time is short as they say. We never know what’s round the next corner. Whether we have issues to deal with or not, I still believe mindfulness is a good technique for us all to work on.

      Because life is full of stressful situations, it’s so easy to become distracted, fall into old bad patterns through distractions, so it is a good tool to use.

      It’s also more difficult when we’re living amongst those who put us in a bad head space, but distancing ourselves a little more and using mindful techniques and training, will help us emotionally move on a little.

      I was once told when I went into counselling that it’s okay to take a couple of steps back, just so long as we don’t stay there. The idea is that we keep ourselves moving.

  3. Thank you for this Ilana, I needed it. Recently I’ve been in my own dark mind, which has been playing tricks on me, and I need to shut it down. this is a great start!

    1. You’re welcome Bonnie. I understand that feeling also. As we continue to deal with our lives, stress gets in the way and that compounds what we already feel and allows the mind to wander into dark places.

      More stress just exacerbates it further. As I write this I hope you feel better soon.

  4. I need to slip back and fall down every once in a while, so I can remember how to pick myself up.

    It may or may not be my fault, but I completely understand.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, perhaps that’s something we must all do Tim.

      I believe that slipping back keeps us more humble and grounded. We’re more likely to reassess and come back stronger when we slip back.

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