how to stop thinking about someone

A couple of years ago, I thought I found the one. The guy was intelligent, funny, kind; he basically checked off every box on my list. When it didn’t work out, I took it hard. I spent half a year ruminating on what went wrong in the relationship and refusing to accept that I wasn’t meant to be with that person.

Whether you’re experiencing the same thing or you’re going through an unrequited crush, getting over someone is not easy. While there’s no magic potion that will help you erase a person from your mind, you can take some steps that will help you to move on. These tips on how to stop thinking about someone will hopefully make the healing process easier for you.

1. Cut off all the contact

The first step can be best illustrated by saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” It may be hard to cut off the contact with the person you’re so used to sharing your life with, but this must be done when you want to stop thinking about them, better sooner rather than later.

You don’t need to be reminded of their face and of their every move. Remove your ex from your social media accounts, delete their number, and discard all the things associated with that person. If needed, block their number on your phone so you’re not tempted to check on them or reply to their messages when your ex texts you out of the blue.

2. Resist stalking on social media

The addiction to the instant gratification we receive over our social media posts equals the one obtained from sugar, alcohol, or even cocaine. We get a temporary hit of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. As a result, scrolling social media has become an integral part of our lives. It is hard to resist checking your ex’s status updates, stalk what they are doing, or if they are seeing someone else. Stalking them on social media will satisfy your curiosity, but it won’t do any good for your mental health in the long run. Instead of forgetting and moving on, you will be obsessing over them even more.

Remove your ex from your social media accounts, delete their number, and discard all the things associated with that person. Click To Tweet

3. Get rid of sentimental things

If your ex-partner gave you some gifts or shared their favorite song playlists with you, now it’s a good time to trash those. Get rid of any items that could trigger memories between you and your ex. Gawking over your selfies together will not help the healing process, so clean your phone of any pictures of them.

Dwelling on the past will make it hard for you to move on. So, for at least three months, implement the “out of sight, out of mind” method, combined with cutting off contact and blocking your ex on social media.

4. Talk to someone

If you want to get someone out of your mind, one of the best tips is to talk it out with somebody else. It can be your family, friends, or a professional. Discussing your feelings will help you understand and process them faster. In addition, it can often uncover hidden issues that you may not be aware of.

Talking to your closest ones about your situation will also allow you to see things from an outsider’s perspective. When feelings are involved, we tend to look at things in a biased way. As a result, we focus on specific aspects of the relationship ignoring the red flags. Your friends and family might be able to help you assess the situation from a different perspective.

5. Cry it out

crying woman looking through the window

Crying is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is good for your mental health. Crying is a good way to release pent-up emotions that you might have buried all this time. Don’t repress or push your feelings away. By crying, you are letting go of all negative emotions so you can feel lighter.

When you repress emotions, all that you didn’t want to accept will come out to the surface sooner or later. It may be challenging, but you need to allow yourself to feel the pain and release the emotions through your tears.

6. Go to therapy

A friend can only give you so much advice, but if it is still not working, perhaps it’s time to get help by going to therapy. For many people, trying to stop thinking about someone is not a walk in the park. If you have underlying mental health issues like anxiety and depression, heartbreak can amplify those problems.

A therapist can guide you through unlearning negative thought patterns and uncover any trauma that needs to be dealt with. With therapy, not only will you stop thinking about someone, but you will heal past mental health trauma and fulfill your highest potential.

7. Try meditation

When you are obsessively thinking of your ex, it’s so easy to make your world revolve around them. Unfortunately, that’s just how powerful our brain is. Meditating for at least ten minutes every day can help keep your thoughts from spiraling down a rabbit hole of what-ifs.

Something as simple as a breathing exercise can help you focus on what’s directly in front of you. Be mindful of the present instead of fixating on the past. By making space in your mind for what really matters, ultimately, you’ll make space in your heart for new love.

By making space in your mind for what really matters, ultimately, you'll make space in your heart for new love. Click To Tweet

8. Start exercising

When you exercise, the body releases a chemical called endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters responsible for relieving stress and pain, similar to the effect of morphine.

Whether it’s running, weightlifting, pilates, yoga, spinning, or whatever type of exercise floats your boat, try to implement it more frequently into your life. In a way, it also kills two birds with one stone. First, it helps regulate your thoughts and emotions while training your body to be in the best, healthiest shape it can be.

9. Stay away from substances

When your heart is broken, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms in an attempt to numb your mind. Instead, try not to get addicted to using substances at the expense of your physical and mental health.

Concealing the pain and ignoring what you’re feeling with the help of alcohol, drugs, and other addictive substances will not make it easier. If you don’t release your pain, someday, it may explode, and you’ll go down a more destructive path. When you need to find a way to stop thinking about someone, you need to be fully aware of your emotions and allow yourself to grieve.

10. Pick up a new hobby

When you try to forget your ex, you would probably look for distractions to shift your thoughts towards something else. Try to find a new hobby that will keep your mind away from your ex-partner. Sure, you can distract yourself with work, but doing too much of that will eventually lead to burnout.

Choose a hobby like painting, writing, or gardening, something that can promote inner peace and boost creativity. Pick any activity that’s good for your mental health. Once you get really good at any of these hobbies, you can even start monetizing your creations by selling them online.

11. Elevate your career

man and woman in the office

If you feel you want to make a significant shift in your life, focusing on your career is something you can spend your energy towards. If you wish to advance in your current workplace and get that promotion, all you need to do is to amplify your grit and motivation.

Alternatively, you can dust off your Resume, determine your career goals and start looking for that dream job. Spend your time wisely thinking and working towards it. Your mind will be busy looking for new opportunities in life instead of the person you’re trying to get over.

12. Learn new things

Learning new things doesn’t mean you have to go back to school. It can be as simple as learning how to cook your favorite dishes or mastering a new language. Or, you can learn about self-help methods, from meditation to reiki and chakra balancing.

Whatever is interesting to you, occupy your mind with thoughts that are useful for your self-growth. Shift your thoughts towards the things that make you a better person. The person you’re trying to forget about is probably out there living their own life, so make sure you live yours to the fullest, too.

13. Reflect on your feelings

Ask yourself, why can’t you stop thinking about your ex? Are you really in love with them or with the potential of what could have been? It’s easy to fixate on one aspect of personality while turning a blind eye to all the red flags. One way to reflect on your feelings is to start journaling every day.

Sit down and pay attention to your emotions and why that emotion surfaced in the first place. Journaling your reflections may not come easy to you at the beginning, but as time goes by, you’ll start to get to know yourself more and more.

Ask yourself, why can't you stop thinking about your ex? Are you really in love with them or with the potential of what could have been? Click To Tweet

14. Spend time with loved ones

Prioritize people who actually love and care for you. Spending quality time with those who matter is a great way to shift your thoughts from the person you’re trying to forget. Your loved ones are your best support system. Your friends and family know how to cheer you up, and they know what’s best for you.

Don’t stop hanging out with your friends and family because you want to coop yourself up. Even if you need time and space to yourself, socializing with your support group has its benefits as well.

15. Create a self-love ritual

If you can show so much love to someone, why can’t you do the same thing to yourself? Sometimes, we tend to neglect our own well-being for the sake of the person we love. When you’re getting over your ex, it’s time to take that love and give it back to yourself.

Do things that fulfill your soul and fill your cup to heal from the pain of the past relationship. Take yourself on a date in a nice restaurant, have a weekly pampering session, sing or dance your heart out, and watch your favorite feel-good movies.

16. Meet new people

group of young happy people

Meet new people with the same hobbies or join a community of like-minded individuals. Feeling like you belong will leave you with a sense of fulfillment, and it can help shift your thoughts from fixating on a particular person.

This doesn’t have to mean you have to meet someone else romantically. Don’t go back into the dating game because you think other people can help you stop thinking about someone. The goal is not to date as many people as you can, just to forget your ex. If a rebound relationship doesn’t work out, it won’t only hurt you more but also hurt the other person involved.

17. Use affirmations

Positive affirmations did wonders for me when I was trying to stop thinking about my ex-boyfriend. Some of my favorite affirmations are:

  • I don’t chase. I attract. What’s meant for me will always find me.
  • Things are happening for me and not against me.
  • I am a being of love, and I easily find abundance.

The key is to truly believe the affirmations you’re saying. It may feel like a silly thing to do, but notice how you feel and think after just a week of saying these affirmations.

Reciting these affirmations every day can ultimately help get rid of negative and intrusive thoughts. It is said that it will take you twenty-two days for these affirmations to bring visible change. Set a few minutes a day in the morning or at night, and in less than a month, you will see your outlook changing.

18. Picture your ideal relationship

This is the perfect time to grasp what kind of person you want to welcome into your life. List down all the attributes that your ideal partner would have, such as being financially stable, a good listener, having a good sense of humor, and so on.

You can also picture the kind of dynamic you want in your ideal relationship. If you tend to have an anxious attachment style, ensure that your future partner understands and accepts these tendencies. Or, if you’re more independent, make sure your prospective partner gives you enough space for you to thrive.

If you tend to have an anxious attachment style, ensure that your future partner understands and accepts these tendencies. Click To Tweet

19. Go on a solo trip

If Eat, Pray, Love has taught us anything, it’s that a solo trip can be one of the most incredible things a woman could do after a heartbreak. You don’t need to go far. Choose the next town over and plan out an itinerary that you’d enjoy. Going on a solo trip is the perfect chance to do some soul-searching and truly understand what makes you who you are.

When you focus on your immediate surroundings and balance that with continuous self-reflection, it can help you stop thinking about your ex. Not only that, you get to widen your horizon and gain a whole new perspective on your life.

20. Don’t pretend your relationship was perfect

It’s easy to dwell on the things that happened between you and this person you’re trying to forget. But, remember, the good moments can overshadow all the bad behavior that occurred in the past, which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to stop thinking about someone.

Don’t keep looking at reality through rose-colored glasses. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes, the bad outweighs the good. Know that you deserve the best in life that is waiting ahead of you.

21. Do things you’ve never done before

woman riding a horse

When you’re trying to figure out how to stop thinking about someone, try to find new things you’ve never done before. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.

When I was looking for ways to get over my ex, I decided to go on a solo trip and chose the scenic route by taking the bus. It was my first solo trip, not to mention my first trip taking an overnight bus instead of a plane. It may feel scary to do something new, but once you’ve done it, the exhilaration is unlike any other.

22. Have fun

Life is too short to obsess over someone who doesn’t even reciprocate your feelings. Instead, get out there and do all of the fun things that you enjoy. Go out with your friends, travel the world, have a shopping spree, go on a short trip away from the crowd, or even get a tattoo.

As long as the things you do are productive and healthy, do whatever it takes to get your thoughts away from the person you’re trying to move on from.

23. Try to forgive

Forgiveness goes a long way when you’re trying to move on from your ex. Whatever happened between you two, no matter if it was a serious relationship or a crush, try not to play the blame game. Nobody is at fault just because things didn’t go the way you wanted. Maybe the timing and circumstance were not right yet.

If your ex cheated on you or hurt you, you may carry some resentment towards him. It’s alright to be angry but in the long run, when you’ve moved on, forgive them their past mistakes.

Whatever happened between you two, no matter if it was a serious relationship or a crush, try not to play the blame game. Click To Tweet

24. Take the time you need

It’s true when people say time heals all wounds. As time goes by, dealing with the pain becomes more manageable. You’ll think about your ex-partner less, and whenever you do, you’ll only be reminded of the happy memories instead of the pain.

Expect to go through the different stages of a breakup, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Don’t fight the grieving and let yourself process these emotions. Although it may take you a month or a year, be gentle with yourself and take the time you need, however long it may be.

25. Let the thoughts pass

My therapist always says that emotions are like a train; they come, and they go. So don’t be too hard on yourself when memories of the person you’re trying to forget come back again. Let them come, process them, let them go, and move on.

If the thoughts don’t serve you, don’t allow them to stay in your mind. Instead, acknowledge the feelings and start contemplating something positive to get back on track.

26. Know that you deserve the best

woman holding yellow flower bouquet

You deserve all the best things in life, even if it has thrown so many obstacles for you. Believe that you are worthy of love and the relationship that you want. Affirm that you are a magnet of everything good, and it will eventually come your way.

You’re not meant to be in pain for the rest of your life. Someone better will come along, and you will be happier than you were before. All you need to do is think about the endless possibilities and believe you deserve a happy future.

27. Find closure

Sometimes, closure doesn’t have to mean one last conversation with the person you once loved. Instead, closure can mean that you accept your relationship’s outcome and be okay with moving on. Closure doesn’t have to involve the other person, and you can decide when to have it whenever you are ready.

When you accept things as they are, you won’t be thinking about your ex as often as you did before. And when the memories cross your mind, they will bring you contentment instead of pain. You will be content that you can give love to another person in your life who comes along despite what happened in the past.

28. Unlearn old patterns

Healing is not always a linear process. Unfortunately, we can often fall back into our old patterns because that’s what we are used to. This can be anxiety related to relationships, attachment tendencies, and so on.

Find ways to improve your thought patterns instead of succumbing to your old habits. Keep on improving your coping mechanisms so you can come out of this situation stronger than before.

Healing is not always a linear process. Unfortunately, we can often fall back into our old patterns because that's what we are used to. Click To Tweet

29. Let them go

It’s easier said than done, I know. You can’t just tell a heartbroken person to get someone out of their mind. But the best thing you can do is to just let your ex go. It doesn’t matter if they were a crush or someone you’ve spent a few years of your life with. Let them go and move on.

Keep looking forward and trust that better things are coming your way. I know it may feel like the world is ending, and it can’t get better than this, but trust me, it can. Get over the idea that this pain is permanent because, in reality, this is just a minor blip in your life’s journey.

30. Be grateful

We often forget the good things in life when we’re dealing with pain. We might even develop an obsession with the person we need to forget. Combat these obsessive thoughts with gratitude. Be happy that you’re still healthy and surrounded by the people you love.

Look forward to the future and have hope that it can be blissful again.

Consider starting a gratitude journal. List down everything that makes you happy and everything that you’re grateful for in your life. Maybe it’s a supportive family and friends, your dream apartment you live in, or a job that you love. When you focus on all the good in life, chances are you won’t give the bad a second thought.

There’s no single answer to how to stop thinking about someone, as everyone deals with heartbreak differently. However, these tips can help you forget about your ex and pave the road to a happy and healthy relationship with a person you deserve.

Diana is a passionate beauty and lifestyle blogger. She loves writing about her journey of self-discovery and self-care and analyzing all the aspects of relationships.

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