You are in a situation where you find you can not stop thinking of someone. Whether it is someone you never dated and only had a crush on, or someone who has hurt you in some way, you find yourself thinking about them 100 times a day. The best way to stop thinking about them is to put time into improving yourself.
Usually, one of the leading reasons for continually thinking about someone is due to a breakup with a significant other. Most people have experienced this stress of having a relationship end at least once in their adult lifetime. But whether you can’t stop thinking about someone because of a breakup, a lasting crush or some other reason, there are several things you can do to to start refocusing on yourself and getting them off of your mind.
“The very act of trying to stop thinking about someone (or anything) makes us think about them more,” says Dr. Joanne Davila. “For example, right now, don’t think of a white elephant. What did you just think about? So, we end up ruminating about the person, which increases our negative mood and leads to more rumination.When the thoughts come, don’t get angry at yourself. Let yourself know it’s OK, you’re just going to not engage them, and remind yourself that you’re doing your best. Let yourself know that over time, by not feeding the thoughts, they will eventually lessen.”
Here are 14 tips for how to stop thinking about someone:
1. Don’t Make Contact
Many times, people want to “remain friends” after a breakup. This leads to more heartache and less time to heal. When healing, people need space to care for themselves. Contact with the other person leads to caring about what the other person thinks instead of what you need for yourself.
2. Stop Looking at Their Social Media
Looking at their social media page will keep the feelings you have stirred up. Looking at “happy posts” on social media can actually have a negative impact on your mental health. You will continue to feel hurt as you see them moving on or posting something that is unflattering about you in their social media. The best thing to do is delete them from your social media.
3. Turn to Your Support System
During this time, your family and friends are going to want to make sure that you are okay. Allow yourself to share your feelings with them and let them be there for you. They will understand and listen to what you say and might have some good advice on how to get over the relationship.
4. Focus on Self-Acceptance
Use this time to look at yourself and grow. Find worth within yourself instead of extracting it from another person’s approval. Focusing on your self worth can build self esteem and allow you to create a more loving relationship with yourself.
5. Love Yourself
You deserve the same love that you would give anyone else. If you have a challenging time loving yourself, now is the time to start. Giving yourself affirmations is one way you can start the process. You can also show yourself love by taking care of yourself.
6. Allow Yourself to the Pain You Feel
Often when a person is hurting, they want to mask it or find a way to stuff it. Instead, allow yourself to feel the pain and sit with it. This will help you to be able to deal with the pain and move on.
7. Be Yourself
Remember first and foremost that you are you. You do not have to try to be who anyone else wants you to be, you just need to be yourself. You can change for yourself, but you should not change for another person. Be proud of who you are.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about staying present in the here and now. Practice ways you can do that so that you won’t focus on the other so much. Remember that you have a lot to look forward to in the here and now.
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9. Realize You Don’t Need Them
Healthy relationships are built on wanting to be with the other person, not needing to be with them. If you find yourself thinking you need them, then identify what need they fulfilled for you. Once you identify what need they filled, ask how you can fill that need yourself.
10. Invest In Your Hobbies
Take time to rediscover the things you love to do. Spend time reading a book, going surfing, taking a long hike, or sitting in the mall watching people, or doing whatever makes you happy.
11. Identify Areas You Would Like to Grow in for Yourself
You all have things you would like to change about yourself. Now is a good time to start thinking about how you want to change. Do you need to work on time management or being more assertive? This is the time to help yourself grow in the ways you want to.
12. Develop Your Career Goals
What goals do you have for your future? Maybe you have been putting off going back to school or applying for that job you really want. Now is a suitable time to examine the goals you have and where you are currently. Once those are identified, then decide where you need to act and do it.
13. Invest in Something Outside Yourself
Take time to invest in others. Now is a good time to invest in others such as a soup kitchen, animal shelter or other volunteer positions that interest you. This will help fill your time, leave less time to think about the other person, and give back to others.
14. Accept That You’re Having a Challenging Time
Accepting that your thoughts will wander toward that person is a way to help you forget. When your thoughts turn toward that person, acknowledge the thought and then distract yourself with other thoughts.
When to Get Help
If you continue to struggle and can’t get that certain someone off your mind, it may be a good time to get help. Therapists are trained to work with you on strategies to overcome these feelings. Finding a good fit with a therapist can be challenging. This article on finding a therapist can seem daunting, but an online therapist directory is a great place to start.
Finding ways to stop thinking about someone can be difficult, but by employing certain strategies, you will do it. Taking time to improve yourself and making sure you are growing will help. As you grow, you will find new areas and interests to keep yourself busy and refocus your attention.
For Further Reading
- How to Stop Loving Someone
- Find the right online therapy option for you in our Talkspace vs BetterHelp comparison
- Great Books on Self-Love