Are you reeling from a recent, hard breakup? Are you attempting to get over a relationship that didn’t quite take off? Wishing you could remove someone from your thoughts for just a moment of mental stability and peace?
Persistent, invasive thoughts about another person can be exhausting. We can find ourselves thinking and rethinking scenarios and what-ifs to the point of worrying ourselves sick over a crush or someone new in our lives.
For a sense of peace, it’s best to learn how to stop thinking about someone and move on. One of the first steps toward this sort of mindfulness is to remember our own self-worth.
What does this person mean to me?
Do you really need the companionship of another person to be happy? Can you truly not go on without this person?
The answer lies within your sense of self-worth. If it is low, a breakup or failed relationship can feel like you will never recover.
A lot of times, we can feel as though we are “incomplete” without that person. But separating yourself and your own worth is an essential step in how to stop thinking about someone.
Get rid of the misconception that you were somehow “better” or happier with them.
How to Stop Thinking About Someone:
1. Separate yourself from “us”
You can learn how to stop thinking about someone by separating the thought you two are not an “us” anymore.
It’s difficult to do at first, of course, because when we become obsessive over someone, we forget who we were before them.
For example, if you found yourself consulting your ex before you made decisions or plans with others, relish in the fact that you only have to consider yourself now.
2. Remember you are worthy of kindness
Whether you are in a relationship or not doesn’t define your worth or happiness. If your feelings were unreciprocated, this step is crucial.
It’s okay to feel down or upset about what happened, but don’t let it go as far as hurting your confidence or your feelings about yourself.
3. Distance yourself from nostalgia
When we can’t stop thinking about someone, we tend to obsess over what was. Going through pictures, old messages, or even memories can make it harder to move on from that person.
It can become an obsession to revisit the “good times,” but a little perseverance can make the process easier. Try working on distancing yourself from things that make you remember them.
4. Don’t reach out
As much as you may want better closure or just one last attempt at rekindling what you had before, it’s better to resist contacting them. Romanticizing the past can be harmful to healing.
Remember that the feeling to reconnect with them will pass. If you control yourself now, it will be easier later.
5. Don’t look at social media
It’s easy to settle into a habit of checking in on the other person, especially if the separation is fresh.
We want to know if they are hurting as much as we are, but it’s better to avoid all of their social updates to push yourself in the direction of healing and recovery.
If you find it hard to stay away from their page-say, you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or sign in under their name on a shared Netflix, etc. The easiest option is to delete all aspects of them that are lingering in your online activities.
6. Throw out memorabilia
In addition to avoiding reminders on their social media, it’s a good idea to dispose of physical objects that remind you of them as well. This includes pictures, clothing items, stuffed animals, or presents they may have given you.
If you find it hard to do this by yourself, get someone else to help support you in throwing away these pieces of memorabilia.
7. Focus on yourself
To get your mind off of them, refocus your thoughts on what you can do to better yourself and your mental health.
In relationships, we sometimes put our own wants and needs aside, which can be considered a form of neglect. Spend some time reconnecting with yourself and your own wants now that you have some time.
8. Restrengthen your mental and physical
Stay present, rather than letting your thoughts linger on the past. Learn to be mindful so that you can experience life and your current relationships fully.
Exercise can be an excellent option for when you need a distraction from thinking about someone. By continuing to take care of your physical health, you’ll, in turn, be taking care of your mental health as well.
9. Journal your thoughts
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by your emotions, pull out your journal. Try to write all of your thoughts down on the page.
This can be a therapeutic form of release and can help you realize patterns of ups and downs for later on when you are looking back through the pages.
10. Use your support systems
When we are in a relationship, we tend to shift our focus from those we are close with to our significant other. After the relationship is over, we need to lean on the people we had before to get our life back on track.
Try talking to the people around you and use their support as you heal.
11. Get out of the house
Sitting inside and wallowing in toxic thoughts is not healthy and is especially bad for our mental health. It’s essential to get outside to engage in outside stimulation.
Even if it’s just to sit on the porch and let the sunshine wash over you. Or a few minutes spent outside can do a world of wonders for your mental health and your mood.
12. Talk to someone
Hanging out with friends can help keep your mind off of that person. Maybe go and see a movie or have dinner with a friend you haven’t met in a while.
Engaging in fun activities can keep your thoughts from lingering back to your ex.
13. Create new relationships
Try meeting someone else, whether it’s a romantic partner or just a new friend group.
Changes in your daily life can be beneficial if you want to stop thinking about an ex or unrequited love interest. It’s okay to use a new friend or relationship as a method of distraction from your thoughts.
14. Find a therapist
Therapy can be a great resource if you’re not comfortable confiding in your family and friends with what you are feeling. Talking and getting it all out on the table can help provide a sense of relief and mental clarity.
A licensed therapist can also make professional suggestions on how to stop thinking about someone that you may not have explored already.
15. Look forward to the future
It can be helpful to imagine yourself as the person you want to be while you are trying to heal.
Think of yourself in the future tense, as someone who has gotten over this hurdle, who has come out stronger and more independent by doing so. You can do this while journaling, as well.
It is important to make sure you also reinforce the want to get over them. You are only as strong as you believe yourself to be, so it’s essential to have positive thoughts about your future.
16. Make new plans and goals
If you didn’t get to do things while you were with your last partner, now is the time to revisit those ideas. You can also talk to someone else about your goals. Saying them aloud can also help cement them in your mind.
17. Forgive and forget
You may feel angry or upset that this happened. But harboring these emotions can make it harder to get over that person and move on. Continuing to resent them will only make it worse, so try to find it in yourself to slowly forgive them if things ended badly.
18. Remember you are loved
Just because things didn’t work with this person doesn’t mean you don’t have anyone that cares about you. Remind yourself that others still love you even if this person doesn’t.
19. Reflect and grow
Because no relationship is perfect, now is an excellent time to think of what can go better in your next one. Maybe you would like to have more open communication with your future partner, or you’d like to find someone more closely aligned with your personal goals in life.
These are things to think about so you can internalize your goals and work to seek out a person who fits them.
The Bottom Line
Often, when we attempt to stop thinking about someone, we end up thinking about them more. However, to help us overcome these frustrations, it’s essential to lean on healthy habits that can redirect our thoughts, such as getting closure, creating new relationships, or seeking help from a professional.
Although these strategies may speed up the process, sometimes the mind and body just need time to heal themselves. A part of you may still love that person, and there is nothing but time that can repair certain wounds. Be kind to yourself in the beginning so that later you’ll be able to stop thinking and just let go.