Brain loves habits and patterns because they help it go on autopilot and preserve energy, but when you want to change you need to switch gears and shake things up.
PATTERN INTERRUPT is one of the ways to change behavior.
Patterns consist of steps that lead to certain outcomes. If some pattern worked in the past our brain remembers it and repeats it. The problem is that not all the patterns work in our favor, and being able to recognize unhealthy patterns ( of thinking or behavior ) allows us to change them through pattern interrupt.
Examples of pattern interrupt:
1- When I go to visit my mom I stop by a local bakery on the main road and get us chocolate doughnuts. So let’s say you are trying to lose weight and you want to avoid doughnuts, pattern interrupt would be avoiding the main road and taking a different route to mom’s place.
2- When I finish showering in the evenings I walk past the kitchen to check the back door , then I see my laptop and start checking emails, after that I struggle to fall asleep thinking about the next day. Pattern interrupt would be either checking the back door before the shower, asking someone else to check or packing the laptop in the bag ready for the next day.
Thought pattern interrupt can also be very useful in getting desired outcome, for example: When I eat something sweet I start feeling guilty! Pattern interrupt would be after eating something sweet tell yourself : “ There is my old friend GUILT but today I don’t entertain it, I’ll rather go and research cheap flights for my holiday trip!
There are also good examples of communication pattern interrupt:
When my husband arrives hone I want to tell him about my day but he dismisses me saying his day was much tougher. Then I get upset and tell him he doesn’t care about me and he tells me to stop being so selfish! It n me asked me feel small and disrespected and it completely ruins our evening. Pattern interrupt would be first asking about his day, or having a light chat and only start sharing any complaints about the day after dinner or a few drinks when he is more relaxed.
When outcome we want to achieve is clear to us then we can start experimenting with pattern interrupt strategies.
So basically, to change the outcome we need to change one component of the pattern. Experiment and see what works best!