He is a constant thought that never leaves your mind. He might be your ex, somebody you met recently, someone who you’ve known for a short period of time that made an impact on you and you keep on thinking of what could’ve been if you were given a chance. Whatever the reason is, the bottom line is the same—you just can’t stop thinking about someone.
If he is your ex, you probably keep replaying the past in your mind. Thinking about every waking moment you spent with him before the breakup.
Remembering the good times and avoiding thinking about the bad times. Questioning how you got to this point. Why had he changed so much? Why couldn’t the happiness last? If the relationship was toxic, there are some things that still hurt and the pain of going through those just keeps you hanging on.
If he is somebody you recently met, somebody who you look at as a possibility that never came true, or someone who made an impact on you but for some reason, you are unable to be together, he will still be your most common thought no matter what you are doing, no matter what time of day it is and no matter how many times you tell yourself that there’s no point in thinking about him..
It’s hard to make peace with the fact that sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be, so you keep thinking of all the what if’s: “What If I had done things differently maybe he would be more interested? What if the timing was wrong?” and similar thoughts.
Regardless of the scenario that is revolving in your life, in the end, what it all comes down to is that thinking about the potential or past relationship is making you live in the past and prevents you from living your present. You want to stop thinking about them, but the more you try, the less you are able to get them out of your mind.
Most of us have lived through both scenarios in which you are unsure if you are really in love with the person or you are just obsessing over them. Either way, it’s not easy to overcome these situations.
That’s why there are some bulletproof techniques you can use to get him out of your head and gradually stop thinking about him.
1. Stop trying to ‘stop thinking about him’
The more you try to stop thinking about him the more you can’t. Because in trying to stop, you just start thinking about him more. It’s like if somebody says to stop thinking about having a chocolate cake, guess what you will crave all the time? Chocolate cake of course. It’s something in human nature that instinctively makes us crave things we can’t have.
It’s the same with thoughts. The more we try to prevent them, the less we are able to. That’s why the best thing you can do here is redirect your focus and think about something else—think about yourself, your future, and some new wonderful ideas that will occupy your mind.
2. Avoid keeping tabs on him on social media.
There are a lot of good sides when social media is concerned but when trying to get somebody out of your head, they are not helping. You catch yourself scrolling down their Facebook timeline and using your detective skills to find out where are they, what they are up to, or if they have somebody new.
This is just making things worse. Resist the urge to type his name in the search box. It will be difficult at first but you will get used to it. Believe me, the less you know about his whereabouts the better.
3. Live your life.
This is the best cure for everything. By redirecting your focus from him to you, you have a high probability of getting your life back on track. If that’s the worst-case scenario, I say: “Go for it.”
Imagine how much better and more productive your life would be if all the time and energy you wasted thinking about him you spent thinking about yourself. You can do wonders—you just have to move and place your life into your own hands.
4. Exclude him from your daily conversations
If your every conversation with your bestie keeps on coming back to him, you are in big trouble. You are obsessing over him and making it so much harder on yourself to finally stop thinking about him.
So, for your sake and for your friend’s sake next time you start talking about him say: ‘“You know what. We talked about him enough there is no more point. Let’s talk about us and what we could do this weekend.” You will feel better because you have just made a huge move and a weekend with your bestie is just what the doctor prescribed.
5. Create new memories
Find something that helps you reallocate your thoughts to something other than him. Like a new hobby, some new work project, some course, or some volunteering job—basically anything productive that will keep your hands and your mind busy.
Travel, meet new people, and spend time with your friends and family. Every step you take is a step forward. Explore the world around you. Create stories for yourself that will last you a lifetime. Don’t sit around and moan about your life. You are better than that and your life is in desperate need of new adventures.
6. Reinvent yourself and your life
There is no better way to start afresh than when you are ending something. So don’t stay too long in the past. Think about here and now. How can you make each moment of your life count? Think about all the things you can and want to do in the future.
You can be whoever you want and do with your life whatever you wish if you just decide and keep on persisting in spite of all difficulties. The only person standing in your way is you. Once you decide to master your thoughts you will be able to.
7. Stay away from negative people.
The ones that always encourage you to talk about someone you want to forget: “Poor you! How could he do that?” “Maybe it’s something about you that keeps him away.” They are not helping; they are just making your pain stronger. Listening to their negative perspectives on your situation will make it so much more difficult to stop thinking about him.
They probably can’t help if it’s in their nature to be like that. Avoid opening up tough topics with them or avoid spending time with them at least until you are your old self again. You need positivity in your life right now, someone who will be there to support you, not to pull you back.
8. Realize that he is far from perfect
When we are missing somebody or wondering about how things would work out with our almost love, we tend to idealize them and the moments we shared with them. We make them into these perfect, flawless creatures even though they are far from it.
What we need to do here is take a step back and see the reality of things. We can’t allow feelings that we had or had to cloud our perspective. There are usually more negative sides than positives. And when it comes to somebody we recently met, of course, they seem perfect. We haven’t met them yet so we create them into these ideal men we would love in our life. That’s not the case.
9. Stop looking for explanations.
We always like to get to the bottom of things. We think if we know the real reason why something ended, why some things don’t work, why some people who could be perfect together don’t end up together, why they mistreated us, maybe we would get some kind of closure. But, questions are countless and there’s nobody to answer them.
So, we start looking for answers in our minds replaying past scenarios and trying to see where it all went sideways. We overthink situations, we divide them into fractions and analyze them some more. Essentially that leads us nowhere.
All things considered, sometimes we are better off not knowing the answer. We think that having some kind of closure would make us feel better but it usually doesn’t. We have to make peace so we are better off not knowing. Some things are better left unexplained. There is no answer that would suffice or that would put us at ease. So, there’s no use in thinking about it.
This goes for everything in life. When you hold on to resentment, when you know the name of a person responsible for your sadness, you just give that resentment power over you. It just keeps on accumulating till it gets the best of you.
Thoughts of them may make you sad, angry, or disappointed but you just can’t stop thinking about them because you are unable to forgive them. If you hold on to grudges you are allowing them to be in your life because they are in your thoughts.
Always forgive those who wronged you. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Let them go. Let karma do her dirty work for you. If they really wronged you, it will all come back to bite them even if you don’t wish them any harm. Everybody answers for their own actions sooner or later and it’s out of your hands.
11. Apply no contact rule.
I already wrote about the 90 days no-contact rule which you can apply when recovering from a breakup. It basically is what it says: no contact whatsoever for 30 to 90 days. It helps you heal and it’s also the easiest way to get somebody out of your head. The less you see them or hear from them somewhere along the line you will lose the habit of thinking about them.
If you can’t stop thinking about him, no contact is the way to go. I highly recommend it, mainly because I tried it and it worked for me and on many other people around me. It gives you a whole new view of a person you had the misfortune to fall in love with. It gives you a whole new outlook on your personal and love life. And most importantly, it gives you a chance to discover yourself and start again.
I am sure that most of you will find some or all of the things listed above helpful. Remember to go easy on yourself it takes time to be in a place where you feel indifferent.
Certainly, you will have some period where you will overthink everything and drown your grief in cookies, chocolate, and ice cream, where you won’t feel like doing anything but watch all the seasons of your favorite TV series.
Of course, you will cry your heart out from time to time. Don’t refrain from crying. It’s sometimes good to take the burden out of your heart and to take off the blindfold from your eyes that is keeping you from seeing him for who he really is.
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Just don’t let that phase last forever. You will feel when enough is enough and wallowing in self-pity won’t get you anywhere. It will just keep you concentrated on the problem instead of making you want to move on. Let go of everything that’s holding you back.
If you are intertwined in the second scenario and you can’t stop thinking about someone you recently met or known for a shorter period of time. There is no real reason for going through a grieving process. Nothing ever happened that could guarantee you that the man you are constantly thinking about would be the right man for you.
You are probably hooked on a mystery that falling for a stranger carries. You idealize him and make pictures in your head about how great you could have it if you just had the chance. That’s normal, especially if you have been in a wrong relationship with the wrong person and you recognized the potential in him.
He is something new and fresh. He might have qualities that your ex didn’t have or something you want in the man of your dreams. You might have even felt the strong chemistry between you but you have to be realistic and see that even if something looks good on paper, it doesn’t mean it will work in real life. In any case, most of the things listed above might do the trick and make you stop thinking about him.
If you are serious about getting somebody out of your head you will manage. And no that won’t happen because you simply ordered yourself to stop thinking about him, but because you redirected your focus on yourself and things that you are interested in.
Focusing on your life as a means to get him out of your system will be beneficial for you on so many levels. While working on yourself for yourself, you are diminishing his importance in your life. You are thinking less and less about him as each day passes.
One day not far from now, you will wake up and be proud of the person you have become. And it will all be because you have redirected your focus properly.
Be the one who doesn’t rent space in her mind to those that are unworthy of it. That is just making you waste your time. Kick them out because they are not contributing to your growth and because thinking of them doesn’t make you happy. Be the one who thinks about herself and her own happiness before anything else.
Leah Lee is a writer for Yourtango who focuses on love and relationships.
This article was originally published at Her Way. Reprinted with permission from the author.