“I can’t stop thinking about him or her, as much as I try”. How many times has this sentence gone through your mind?
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about your ex boyfriend or girlfriend, about your friend or simply about some event that changed you as a person, when you find yourself in the middle of this situation, you feel hopeless, helpless, and trapped.
You do your best to end this infatuation with this one person or thing, but nothing gives you a positive result.
Well, the truth is that obsessing over someone can be devastating for your emotional and mental health and that it can seriously impact the quality of your everyday life.
Your ruminating thoughts are weighing you down, not allowing you to engage in something new, and representing heavy emotional baggage you keep on carrying around wherever you go.
Nevertheless, the fact that you can’t stop these stressful thoughts from appearing in your mind is not the end of the world.
After all, this is something all of us have been through and something you will overcome sooner or later.
However, what is crucial in this process of clearing your mind space is doing it the healthy way because it is the only way for your thoughts not to come back to haunt you in the future.
The truth is that sometimes, people are convinced that they have left some emotions and thoughts behind them, but they’ve actually just buried them under the carpet, and sooner or later, these emotions and thoughts backfire on them and reappear when they least expect them.
That’s why we’re here to prevent this from happening. Just read and follow these 15 steps, and we promise you that you’ll kick out all intruders from your system once and for all.
1. Make a decision
Before you make any progress in ending your obsessive thoughts and preserving your mental health, you need to be certain that this is what you truly want, and this is the best thing for you right now.
You need to make a firm decision that you really want to get this person out of your head because they don’t deserve a place in your life or your thoughts.
Basically, you need to accept the reality as much as it hurts and face the truth about this person, no matter how harsh it might be.
It is crucial for you to lose all possible hope that they will change sometime in the future or that they will come crawling back to you.
Remember–you’re not doing this to make them chase you or because you expect them to be hurt once you kick them out of your system.
You’re doing it to get rid of your own stressful thoughts. You’re doing it for your own sake and for your own good!
If you’re not sure about this and if you still think that the person in question should get another chance, don’t force yourself to do something you’re not ready for.
However, if you really make a decision, stick to it with all of your strength, and don’t ever look back.
2. Get closure…
When you’re reading an interesting book or watching a great movie, it is natural that you wait until the end to see how it will finish.
So it would be weird if you didn’t react the same way when it comes to your own life.
This person we’re talking about was probably the main character in one of your life chapters.
It doesn’t matter if they did something to cause you heartache, if they failed your expectations, abandoned you when you needed them the most or simply ghosted you without a proper explanation–you have the need for some answers.
You want to know what happened, when and how things went wrong, and if you are at fault in some way.
So if you get the chance, seek that closure you desperately want. Don’t rely on your memories and feelings.
Be a grown up who will call this person and ask them all of these questions which have been going through your head lately.
Don’t see this as an opportunity to start over or to rebuild your relationship with them. Instead, see it as a chance to turn over a new, fresh page of your life.
3. …Or accept that you won’t get any
However, there are times when you simply cannot get closure. Maybe too many negative things happened between you and this person, your pride doesn’t let you contact them or they simply don’t want to give you the explanation you’re looking for.
Either way, sometimes you have to move on with your own life without closure.
You have to accept things as they are now, without trying to look for reasons, excuses, and justifications for the way someone treated you.
Instead of looking at things from your own perspective, understand that we’re not all the same.
There are people who are ready to do the things you would never even think of doing, and people who don’t see their actions the way you do.
So, instead of beating yourself up and wasting more time and energy on trying to resolve the questions which will obviously be left unanswered, focus on your journey of getting over this person, and do your best to let go.
4. Give yourself a deadline
When you’re going through a healing process, initially, you have the uncontrollable urge to cry your heart out.
You keep spending time locked in your room, screaming or ruminating on everything that’s happened.
And that is nothing unusual, nothing to be ashamed of, and not something that makes you weak. In fact, it only makes you a human being.
However, if this behavior of yours stops being just a phase that goes on for a certain period of time and instead, grows into one of your regular behavior patterns, you do have a problem and you can easily become depressed.
That is exactly why you should give yourself a deadline: put a date until which you’re allowed to grieve your loss and until it is acceptable for it to be the only thing that occupies your mind.
When that period of time is over, pick up the broken pieces of your shattered heart, and forget about feeling sorry for yourself.
Take a leap into your future, and don’t allow the past to eat you alive anymore.
I won’t lie to you–doing this won’t magically erase this person from your mind, and it won’t automatically bring all the positive thoughts in your brain. However, there is a solution for that, as well.
The best thing you can do is determine a time frame in which you’re allowed to think about them each day.
For example, set aside half an hour every day, and spend that time ruminating on this person.
However, don’t you dare think about them outside that time frame.
Even when a mere thought of this person crosses your mind at any other time during the day, leave the analyzing and overthinking for tomorrow’s session.
Just don’t forget to reduce this time frame as every day (or week) goes by!
Yes, this might seem like a long way to go, but trust me that it is one of the rare healthy ways to stop thinking about someone for real, without this person paying a visit to your mind ever again.
5. Write your emotions down
While you’re going through the process of training your mind to forget about the person in question, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start keeping a journal of your ruminating thoughts and emotions.
There are some things you might be too embarrassed to share even with your closest friends, and you don’t want to go and see a psychotherapist, but paper can deal with everything.
You can even write everything on a piece of paper, and then burn the paper at the end of the day.
I promise you that this will feel like you’ve talked to your best friend or a psychotherapist.
Another thing you can do which will help you let go is to imagine this person in front of you.
Imagine them being surrounded by a ball of white light and symbolically let them, together with this ball of white light, go.
6. Forget the blame game
When you’re trying to figure out how to stop thinking of someone, the thing you simply have to do is disregard everything that happened between you and that person.
After all, you’re not trying to make things right again or to rebuild your relationship, so what is the point of playing the blame game?
At the end of the day, does it really matter who screwed things up? Does it matter who should take the most responsibility and who is guilty for things going downhill?
It doesn’t! Because the outcome would be the same either way, so why waste any more energy on cracking your brain open about it?
Why do you keep on thinking of all the could have and should have beens? Why do you focus on all the potential this relationship might have when it clearly didn’t end the way you planned it to?
Realizing that every relationship is a two-way street and that it takes two to tango can be shocking at first, but it will eventually set you free.
It means that you probably carry your part of the blame as well and that it would be unfair for you to accuse the other person for all the bad things that happened.
However, this also means that you should, under no circumstances, blame yourself for everything either.
7. Forgive and let go of anger
As soon as you’re trying to get someone out of your head, it is quite likely that they’ve caused you some serious harm.
This is especially true when you’re wondering how to stop thinking about your ex who might have cheated on you, abused you or walked away from you for someone else.
In this case scenario, all possible emotions mingle inside of you. You are nostalgic for the good times that are behind you, you miss them (despite knowing you shouldn’t), but most of all–you’re incredibly angry.
You can’t stop holding grudges and resentment, and anger consumes you completely.
You want revenge and think that getting even with the person who hurt you this badly is the only thing that can help you feel better.
Well, that is where you’re wrong. It is not that this person doesn’t deserve getting a taste of their own medicine–the point is that they don’t deserve you dealing with them in any way any more.
Most importantly–you don’t deserve these negative emotions that have been overwhelming you.
You see, your anger and curses don’t impact them in any way possible, but they sure do you harm.
So, no, revenge wouldn’t make you feel better. In fact, it would only drag you down to their level and make you the same as they are.
However, forgiving, getting rid of anger and replacing it with positive thoughts certainly will.
Yes, it takes a lot of strength to accept the apologies you never got. It takes a lot of character and inner power to forgive the ones who are not even sorry for mistreating you.
However, you are not doing it for them–you’re doing it for your own sake.
You’re doing it because it is the only way to liberate yourself from your cage and the only way to finally be at peace with yourself.
You should forgive and let go of anger because it is the only way to be above the ones who hurt you.
The only way to beat their evil, to move on, and to stop thinking about them.
8. Avoid them
Now that you have completed most of the steps regarding your inner struggle, it is time for some more concrete action.
You’ll start with removing this person physically from your world, and I assure you that your mind will soon follow.
Obviously, you cut all ties and went no contact with them now that your relationship is over. You don’t talk to them, and you don’t go out for coffee.
However, this is not enough. This was the person you spent a lot of time together, so you two developed similar habits.
Maybe you have some mutual friends and family members or you both still go out to the same places you often visited together.
Well, either way, it is about time for all of your ties to really be broken–it is time for you to start avoiding them, as much as possible.
Don’t go near their street, ask your mutual friends and family members not to talk to you about them (and if they don’t obey, start avoiding them as well), don’t shop in that mall where you know you might run into them, and don’t go clubbing, expecting to meet them.
No, none of this makes you a coward. It is not a sign of you running away from them.
It just shows that you’re mature enough to choose your inner peace and your fresh new start over childish games and your need to prove a point.
You know how they say–out of sight, out of heart. Well, this can’t be truer.
I promise you that as soon as you stop seeing this person, they will simultaneously start fading away from your memory.
You won’t dissect their every look, move or word. You won’t crack your brains open about trying to decode the hidden signals which probably don’t even exist, and you won’t live in constant anticipation of whether you’ll see them or not.
Instead, you’ll be able to completely focus on your recovery without them destroying your progress every time they appear in front of you.
9. Get rid of everything that might remind you of them
When you can’t stop thinking about someone, the last things you should be surrounded by are their clothes, presents, and other things.
So, the next step is figuring out how to stop thinking about something that reminds you of this person.
If you don’t have the heart to actually throw away everything connected to this person, at least remove their stuff out of your sight. Stop wearing the clothes or jewelry they bought you.
Change your perfume if it reminds you of them. Stop listening to your songs.
Delete all pictures and videos of the two of you together, and stop seeing that TV show in which the main character looks exactly like them.
Sounds radical, I know. However, these are all the things that deepen your heartache and things which serve you as reminders of the person you’re trying to forget.
10. Block them
Blocking someone’s number and social media profiles might seem childish, but when you keep spending time obsessing over this one person, it is the only solution you have.
Stop looking at their pictures, stories, and status updates; unfollow them on all possible social media platforms, and I assure you that it will be the right move for your mental health.
Firstly, your obsessive thoughts and infatuation over this person will be reduced to the bare minimum.
You won’t check how long it has been since their last activity. You won’t investigate every person who likes their posts, and you won’t constantly check on who they follow and unfollow.
Besides, it will also make you get rid of expectations. You won’t keep on patiently waiting for them to contact you in any way possible.
You won’t stress every time you hear a notification or your phone ringing, expecting it to be them.
11. Find the good sides
Every bad thing that happens to you has its good sides, even though you might not see them right away.
So, instead of thinking about everything that went wrong and instead of seeing your break up or current state as the end of the world, try seeing it from a more positive point of view.
First of all, remember that God always has a plan which we usually can’t see.
Remember that everything happens for a reason and that losing this person probably saved you from much more pain in the future.
No, losing this person is not the worst thing that could ever happen to you. In fact, it is probably the best—you just fail to see it at this point.
Also, don’t forget that when one door closes, another one always opens.
It means that huge things await you around the corner—you just have to be patient enough to wait for them, and you have to build yourself into becoming the person who is ready to embrace them.
So, instead of mourning everything that has happened, be grateful for it. Be thankful to God for sending you these challenges which shaped you into a stronger person.
Be grateful for a chance of getting something new from life, and be grateful for all the lessons you learned.
12. Shift your mind space
The next step in your healing process consists of redirecting your thoughts somewhere else.
After all, you spent a lot of energy and time thinking about this person, so now when you’ve decided to finally call it quits, you don’t know what to do with yourself.
You developed a habit of checking up on them, rewinding your entire relationship back and forth in your head, and it is like stalking them or imagining all the possible case scenarios has become a hobby of yours.
Therefore, it is normal that you’re bored now and that you want to go back to your thoughts which became like an addiction to you.
Well, the key is in putting your focus elsewhere because you can’t expect to sit around the house all day and keep your mind clear.
That is why you have to keep yourself as busy as possible—you have to tire both your body and mind.
Hit the gym, join a book club, reconnect with your old friends… whatever will keep your mind off this person.
Just make sure you’re surrounded by the people and things which have nothing to do with them and which won’t remind you of the memories you’re trying to put behind you.
This is especially the case with the time you spend your friends and family because you’ll probably use every opportunity to share your thoughts with them.
Well, it is your job to ask them to stop you whenever they hear you repeating the same old stories over and over and to deliberately change the subject once they see that you’re digging through your old wounds again.
If necessary, meditate, listen to relaxing music or try some breathing techniques which might help you regain control over yourself once more and which will help you be at peace with yourself.
13. Remember that you’re in charge of your own happiness
When we’re down, most of us expect a miracle to happen. We secretly hope that someone will jump into our lives carrying a magic stick which will delete all of our problems in the blink of an eye.
That is why we seek advice from others: because we expect them to give us a secret formula that will chase all of our problems away.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but this won’t happen.
In fact, you’re the only one in charge of your own well being and the only one responsible for your happiness.
This person isn’t to blame for remaining in your thoughts. You’re guilty of keeping them there, and you’re the only one who can throw them out.
As soon as you understand this shocking and brutal truth, everything will go smoothly.
This realization won’t only help you get your life back in your hands, it will also help you regain control over your emotions and thoughts.
And that is the whole point, isn’t it?
14. Go back out there
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to figure out how to stop thinking about an ex, about a friend who betrayed you or generally, how to stop thinking about your past with someone, the key is to put yourself out there.
Yes, you heard it right—go and find yourself a new romantic partner or a new friend because that is a certain way of moving on from whoever you’re trying to forget.
I know you’re probably sick of online dating and cheesy pick up lines and tired of searching for a person whom you’ll trust enough to make them your best friend, but give yourself a chance of meeting someone new.
Give others a chance to show you that not everyone is like this person from your past!
15. Give yourself time
Another thing you have to understand is that healing is rarely a linear process. In fact, it has its ups and downs and most importantly—it doesn’t happen overnight.
There will be times when the object of your obsession will reappear in your thoughts out of nowhere, after you think you’ve managed to get rid of them forever, and when this happens, don’t beat yourself up because it is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that you failed.
Of course, don’t allow this moment of weakness to bring you back to square one either. Just understand that these things happen, and try to be as prepared for them as possible.
Give time enough time to do its magic because it really does heal all wounds!