In order to change a behavioral pattern it is necessary to address the mental and emotional habits that support the status quo. We tend to think the same thoughts, reenact the same emotional scenarios, and do the same things over and over. Neural pathways become well established highways and the unconscious mind continues to repeat the sequence for the comfort of familiarity and the illusion of safety. I learned this as a psychotherapist and am learning it again in my Alexander Technique lessons as I continue to focus on the interaction of body and mind and spirit.
If our pattern involves an object we develop electromagnetic circuitry in the exchange of energy. Often we give that object (whether it is a person or a substance or a role) power by believing we need it, that it will make us feel better. With over-identification, we can become dependent, passive, lose connection with our intuition and our self esteem. It is more our emotional needs that drive the addictive pattern, and they are often unconscious. As an example, many of us who felt out of control in our past developed habits of being right, doing things perfectly, winning, or controlling / caretaking others only to find that these patterns took control of us. And sometimes when the stress of these driving patterns became too intense, we often medicated ourselves with alcohol or food or sex and then became controlled by these addictions, again manifesting the very thing we feared.
The easiest way I know to make the unconscious more conscious is via observation without judgement. In Alexander lessons we pay attention to how we sit, how we move, how we think and feel. We inhibit the undesirable old pattern of misuse and re-direct in a new way to restore ease of use and motion. If we notice that fear triggers an automatic response pattern of crunching shoulders, what happens to our body if we consciously choose to think about opening and widening the shoulders? To take it a step further, what happens to the fear if we make the unconscious energy conscious and re-direct it to a new pathway? Stephen Wolinsky in his book Quantum Consciousness, wrote "in order for anything to exist in the physical universe, it must have energy". So our real power lies in recognizing and re-directing that energy into pathways that better serve us. Our real power lies in the choices we make in this moment about where we put our attention and what actions we take in response. It is not so much about what happens to us in this life, but rather how we choose to deal with it.