How Pattern Interrupts Help You To Be Happier And 6 Examples To Try

How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant PeptalksIf you’re feeling unhappy right now, it could be because your thoughts are stuck in a negative thought loop. You might need to try “Pattern Interrupts” to help you to think happier. They will quickly break you free from your negative thought patterns and behaviors.

Back in 2010, I gave birth to my awesome son Ari. Shortly after, I found myself experiencing trouble giving birth to writing a book. I was struggling with work/mommy/life balance – and experiencing a distracted, restless “mommy brain.”

My solution for the chaos in my mind:

I started experimenting with writing and designing inspiring virtual quote posters.

As it turned out, the ”designer” part of my brain was not fogged by newbie mommyhood.

When I showed them to friends and family they told me they loved them – and called them “Quote Posters.” But I had a different name for them. I called them “Inspirational Flashcards.”

Here’s an example of one of my “Inspirational Flashcards”

How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And Examples To Try

This is one of my first viral quote posters I wrote and designed in 2010 – inspired by my son Ari.

My goal for each Inspirational Quote Image:

I wanted these “Inspirational Flashcards” to quickly – in a flash – remind people to think and act more positively.

This all happened back in 2010 – when barely anybody was creating quote posters.

Pinterest was just getting started. Hardly anybody was sharing quote posters on Facebook. And Instagram did not even exist (gasp!).

As a result, people were truly happy to receive my quick instant reminders to think happier.

Soon, my “Inspirational Flashcards” began to go viral. First hundreds – then thousands — then even millions of people shared a single “Inspirational “Flashcard” of mine.

My Facebook Page quickly grew to over 1 million followers!

I began receiving hundreds of emails from people — thanking me for the virtual quote posters. They described how my my “Inspirational Flashcards” were truly helping them with depression, anxiety, fear, divorce, loneliness, self-doubt, health challenges, etc…

I wondered:  How was it possible for something as quick as a 10 second reading of a poster to change someone’s emotional state?

I realized…

My “Inspirational Flashcards” create what’s called “A Pattern Interrupt”

A “Pattern Interrupt” is a psychological tool, recommended by practitioners of Neural Linguistic Programming, to help stop limiting beliefs.

If you saw the movie Shallow Hal, then you saw a Pattern Interrupt in action in that elevator scene — albeit a humorously re—enacted example of a Pattern Interrupt.

A quickie synopsis of “Shallow Hal”:

Tony and Jack get trapped in an elevator. They talk about dating. Tony speedily discovers that Jack’s character only dates gorgeous women – for shallow reasons. Tony performs a “pattern interrupt” – by surprising Jack with a clunk on his head — then shouting “Devils come out!”  At this point in the movie, a new mental window opens for Jack – and he can now think about dating with a less shallow lens.

Other known methods for Pattern Interrupts:

All these various Pattern Interrupts work like a “Thought Intervention.” They create a jiggling affect on your tightly held negative beliefs — then jumpstart a new positive pattern of thought.

You probably have heard this famous Albert Einstein quote:  “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

As it turns out, Albert’s philosophy is a good explanation for why a Pattern Interrupt can snap you out of a negative thought loop.

A Pattern Interrupt changes your brain’s energy state.

MRI’s of the brain show that every time a person thinks angry thoughts or imagines worst-case scenarios, they literally send a surge of blood flowing into brain regions associated with depression and anger (the right prefrontal cortex) — thereby refueling depression and anger.

Happily, MRI’s have also shown that when a person starts to think happy thoughts, they send a surge of blood to brain regions associated with happiness (the left prefrontal cortex). The result? They literally refuel positivity.

Plus, recent studies on learning show that when you use visuals into your learning process, you can better “record” a message into your permanent memory bank.

When you put words within pictures, your brain immediately perks up in an effort to make sense of how/why these words relate to the picture — thereby stimulating more neuron activity. The more neurons you have firing up, the greater the chance that your brain is paying attention and recording what it is perceiving.

This is why using flashcards with pictures help people to learn info better! Similarly, positivity pushing posters jackhammer drill home positive messaging in a stronger way than words alone. 

Examples of Fun Pattern Interrupts

I wound up turning my favorite “Inspirational Flashcards” into a book – called Instant Happy.

I’m tickled to say that Instant Happy became a bestseller – now in its 11th printing.

The posters below are a sneak peek inside my best selling book.

It’s the perfect inspirational self-help book – for people who don’t have the time or patience to read long self-help books!

Whenever you’re feeling stressed, stuck, blue, pissed off, or pissed on, simply flip open a page in Instant Happy.

You will create a quick “Pattern Interrupt” – and kick yourself out of that negative thought loop.

Here are 6 excerpts from Instant Happy–  which work as Pattern Interrupts


How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant Peptalks

“View your tormentors as mentors. As yourself: ‘What is this person meant to teach me?’ Everything person in our lives has a lesson to teach. Some lessons include: how to be strong, how to be more communicative, when to trust your intuition, how to be more self-loving, when to let go, why you want to be nothing like this person.” – Karen Salmansohn



How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant Peptalks

“True happiness isn’t about the things you have; it’s about the thoughts you have. That’s why it’s called positive thinking – not positive thing-ing.” – Karen Salmansohn


pattern interrupts make you happier

“Think of yourself as being negative-thought intolerant. Just as drinking dairy is bad for the lactose intolerant, thinking negatively is bad for you.” – Karen Salmansohn


How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant Peptalks

“Even bad days have happy moments. Look for ’em.” – Karen Salmansohn


How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant Peptalks

“When one door closes try a window. Then try a new door. Then try a new window. The world is full of doors and windows. Eventually you’ll find one that stays open.” – Karen Salmansohn


How Pattern Interrupts Can Help You To Be Happier And 6 Instant Peptalks

“Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to someone you love. You are wonderful. Worthwhile. Loveable. Not because others think so. Self worth come from only one place – [your]self.” – Karen Salmansohn

Get More Pattern Interrupts

Check out my best selling book Instant Happy!

Inside you’ll find a range of inspiring instant 10 second attitude makeovers – which will help jumpstart a happier mood!

Think happier. Think calmer.

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