“Oh, just forget about them and move on!” — It’s easier said than done with all the profound love and happy times you have shared with an ex. And memories keep bringing them back. Owing to which you end up thinking all sorts of things. You want to beg them to come back. You are looking for ways to make them stay in your life. You want to hurt them. You want to take revenge on them. But honestly, the best revenge here is to find out how to stop thinking about your ex and live well.

Now that you have taken down your rose colored glasses, you want to get rid of your ex’s memories as soon as you can. So you resort to the usual. You burn their pictures, block them from all your social media accounts, and you also go to the extent of throwing away all their gifts and souvenirs.

These things will extinguish your anger, but they won’t help you with your obsessive thoughts and lingering feelings for them. To help you get over your ex, we tell you all the ways you can stop thinking about them and heal better.

Why Do You Keep Thinking About Your Ex?

According to a study done by relationship experts, breakups and getting burned have the same effect on humans. So, yes, heartbreaks really do hurt. That’s why you need to find out why you still think about your ex every day. Is it because of unresolved painful feelings or because of your deep emotional attachment to them that’s causing such persistent thoughts? Perhaps the pain stems from the loss of your expectations.

You had an idea of what the future looked like. Now that image is shattered. This could be one of the reasons why your past relationships are still making you emotional. Some other reasons include:

1. You have shared happy memories

This is one of the reasons why you can’t get your boyfriend out of your head. You spent all your happy and sad moments with this person. Now that they are gone, you feel like they took away a piece of your heart. 

And one of the biggest problems here is that your mind is solely relying on positive and happy memories. Think about the pain they caused you. Their disrespect, betrayal, and the way they gaslighted and manipulated you. Think, but don’t dwell.

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2. Habitual thinking

If you spend a lot of time with your ex, thinking about them can become a habit that takes time to break. You need to shift your mind away from this obsessive thinking.  So what do you do? You try to break this habit figure out how to make your mind stay in the present. And especially restrict yourself looking at what has gone by.

3. Comparing past and present 

Comparison is the thief of joy. You have shared a relationship with this person, and it’s bound to make you wonder if reconnecting will be a good move. Especially if you have entered a new relationship, you will keep on comparing and torturing yourself and the new person in your life. If you have been constantly comparing your new relationships with your past relationships, this can evoke thoughts about an ex.

4. Regret and wishful thinking

You have a grave sense of regret about the relationship’s end, and that’s why feelings of nostalgia are making it harder for you to move on. But, you know what they say? It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. So, why harbor regret, resentment, or remorse? There is only one way, and that is moving forward. Let go of the feelings that serve you no good.

5. You are trying to cope emotionally 

Breakups are always painful, and you find yourself constantly thinking about how you could have avoided this painful experience. Thinking about your ex might be a way of coping with the emotional pain of the breakup, even if it doesn’t necessarily make you feel better. 

6. Fear of loneliness 

Having to end a relationship can be traumatizing, and it is natural to feel sad, disappointed, lost, and even sorry for yourself. If you are feeling lonely or struggling to adjust to single life, your mind might drift to thoughts of your ex as a source of comfort. The happy times and memories could be bringing warmth to your troubled heart. 

7. You still love them

This is one of the obvious reasons why you haven’t moved on. You still love them, despite the heartbreak they caused. Or maybe you were at fault here and you aren’t able to forgive yourself. This is making you think that you deserve to suffer.

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8. You lost your identity in the relationship 

This happens. When you start living with someone for so long, you end up inculcating their habits, thoughts, and perspectives. That’s why it is essential to set boundaries and have a lot of alone time to do the things that you love. But if you have lost your individuality, this can be one of the reasons why you can’t stop thinking about him or her. 

Now that we know what’s preventing you from moving on, the process of moving on will become easier. Read along and find out how you can move on from a licensed marriage or from a short or long-term relationship. 

13 Practical Tips To Stop Thinking About Your Ex

It has often been said that falling in love gives a person the same high and rush as doing drugs. Ah, the excitement makes your endorphins go crazy. This roller coaster ride is further fueled by all the feel-good and love hormones.

Therefore, when you break up with someone, the feelings are similar to drug withdrawal. So, if you want to stop romanticizing your past, you will need to go through a cleansing ritual. Let’s begin. 

1. Stay away from all the triggers 

How do you stop obsessing over your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend? Stay away from things that remind you of them. You used to binge-watch FRIENDS with them? Watch The Office or any other sitcom until you are over them. You may think this is silly, but it works wonders. Your wounds are still fresh. Take a small step toward your mental health and shift your focus to a different TV show altogether.

You can try:

  • Altering your daily routine if your current routine reminds you of things you used to do with your ex
  • Block them on social media to avoid seeing their pictures, status updates, etc.
  • Request your mutual friends to not mention your ex in your conversations with them. You are not asking them to choose, just requesting them to give you some time
  • Get rid of their belongings, or stuff you got together when you envisioned a future together. You can sell them, donate them or just ask a friend to keep them

Furthermore, don’t keep browsing through your gallery looking at their pictures. This will only worsen the situation. You won’t ever move on if you keep sharing your messages with them. You will never heal if you don’t stop picking at your old wounds. 

2. Create a “no-contact” rule

When we say the no-contact rule, we mean it as it is. No text messages, no meetings, no phone calls, no following them on social media, and no emails. You can’t inquire about them to mutual friends either.

Consider that they don’t exist anymore. That’s the answer to how to move on from a relationship. Even if you have hundreds of unresolved issues and conflicts, it’s best to give each other space and not beg them to solve them at the moment.

Your perspectives are hazy, and your thoughts are all over the place. You won’t make the right choice if you change upon them. Distance will allow you to gain a fresh perspective and heal from your heartbreak. Therefore, the only way to stop thinking about your ex is to forget they ever existed in your life.

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3. Keep yourself busy 

How to stop thinking about your ex during the no-contact period? Keep yourself busy. Try to engage in activities and stay occupied. This will help you divert your attention away from the painful experiences and sadness associated with your past relationships. You can also engage in activities you enjoy that can elevate your mood, boost your energy, and create a sense of accomplishment, which will counteract feelings of sadness. 

Some of the things you can do to keep yourself busy include:

  • Exploring hobbies you enjoy, such as  painting, playing a musical instrument, cooking, gardening, or crafting
  • Try exercising or working out at the gym
  • Dive into books, articles, or any online course you like
  • Time heals everything. Try to learn new skills like crafting, sculpting, drawing, and knitting 
  • You can also learn a new language 
  • Journal your thoughts. Write down whatever you feel. Both good and bad emotions
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation. Try yoga and deep breathing exercises to keep stress at bay

4. Set boundaries with yourself

If you want to raise your self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem again, you have to set boundaries with yourself. You need to stop wondering what your ex is doing. Stop stalking them in person and on the internet. You may be tempted to investigate their personal life through their friends and family members, but that’s not the right thing to do.

You can’t crave that emotional connection again. It’s gone. So, prioritize your mental health, well-being, and both physical and emotional needs above the impulse to check up on your ex or engage in unhealthy behaviors like drinking, gambling, or abusing drugs.

Don’t think about getting revenge or hurting them back just because they hurt you. Sit down and set boundaries with yourself. It’s one of the ways to show yourself some love and care during the healing process. 

5. Understand your feelings and accept them 

If you are thinking about your ex all of a sudden, it’s because you haven’t understood or accepted your feelings yet. This is one of the most important reasons why you are still hung up on your ex. Perhaps they left you for someone better. Maybe they cheated on you. Or they left you because you and them lacked chemistry and were incompatible. Or maybe it was an abusive relationship, and you just found out about their manipulation and gaslighting after removing your rose colored glasses.

Whatever the reason for your breakup, it’s best if you accept it instead of suppressing it. Plus, understanding your emotions enables you to cope in healthier ways rather than resorting to impulsive or destructive behaviors. And as you understand your feelings in a more accurate way, you will be better equipped to make decisions about your healing journey and future relationships. 

6. Find positive ways to deal with your emotions

If you are asking, “Why can’t I get over my ex?” or “Why is my ex suddenly on my mind?”, it’s probably because you aren’t dealing with your emotions in a positive way by creating a sense of awareness and spreading positivity. Did you even give yourself time to grieve?

You can try to volunteer or help others. This will provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Never set unrealistic goals at this time. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t think that you will turn yourself into a supermodel within just one month. That’s impossible.

Find positive ways to deal with your emotions
Image by storyset on Freepik

Instead, keep working out and following a healthy diet. Turn to small tasks and goals that provide a sense of achievement and contribute to positive feelings. Lastly, you need to practice patience. Understand that emotions take time to process. Hence, you need to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to experience a range of feelings.

7. Don’t blameshift or blame yourself for the breakup 

It was inevitable. Nothing could have stopped it. He is your ex for a reason. That reason isn’t you. So, blaming yourself, your partner, their family members, or their close friends isn’t going to help you heal. Saying things like, “My relationship ended because of his mother” or “My ex-girlfriend left me because I was not as successful as her”. All of these things are only going to fuel your hatred toward them. It will bring out the worst in you and you will be filled with negativity. Instead, blame it on time. 

Blaming yourself and others is the easiest thing you can do, and hence, people choose to do that. Look at it this way. You broke up for a reason. This has taught you many lessons that will benefit your future relationships. Every hurdle and heartbreak in life teaches you something. Take all the good and bad things from your past relationships and use them wisely. 

8. Use positive affirmations for your benefit

Positive affirmations can be helpful in building self-esteem and promoting healing after a breakup. It’s one of the ways you can practice self-care. Writing the below affirmations on a note or saying them out loud every morning will be supremely helpful in battling your painful feelings, even though you are over him:

  • I am strong and capable of healing from this
  • I am worthy of a fulfilling and healthy relationship 
  • I release the past and embrace a brighter future 
  • I choose to let go of what no longer serves me 
  • I am worthy of love, respect, and kindness 

9. Create new memories

If you keep missing your ex, it’s because you haven’t prioritized your memories yet. You keep going back to the happy times. Even if you are in a new relationship, you live in the past. Your current relationship suffers because of your obsessive thinking.

Phil Van Treuren, a famous self-help writer, quotes, “The important part first: happy memories are awesome. But dwelling on them too much — and falling victim to sentimental longing — can make us blind to the good stuff in our present.”

It doesn’t matter whether they are happy memories or depressing ones. You need to stop revisiting them if you want to know how to get over your ex. Create new memories. Attend concerts, festivals, workshops, or cultural events to immerse yourself in new and exciting experiences. You can also spend time with pets, volunteer at animal shelters, or visit a local zoo or aquarium.  That DSLR you have always wanted to buy, get it for yourself now!

10. Socialize with your friends and family 

Stephen, a 30-year-old entrepreneur from New York, says, “I can’t stop thinking about my ex when I am in a relationship. I want to move on and stop caring but my emotions are getting the better of me.” If you are feeling the same pain as Stephen, it’s because you haven’t come out of your shell yet. You need to stop living inside your head and start socializing with others. Spending time with friends and family will help you heal better and quickly.

Plan a solo trip or go on an adventure with friends to a place you have never been before. You can go hiking with them. Go party with your friends. You can also ask one of your friends to be your wingman, and they can support you like Barney by saying, “Haaave you met, Ted?”.

Talk about your feelings with a family member. Confide in a trusted friend. Get to a point where you can be yourself again, without anyone whatsoever. Trust us when we say this, having friends and family who can offer emotional support during such times is a blessing. 

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11. Seek professional help 

If you don’t know how to stop being attracted to ex and if your ex consumes your thoughts, it’s best to reach out to a clinical psychologist or a family therapist. They will offer an unbiased and non-judgmental perspective, helping you gain clarity and insight into your situation. Always remember that the healing process takes time. 

Seek professional help to get over your ex
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And when you go to therapy, you get to be in a confidential environment where you can openly discuss your feelings, concerns, and thoughts without fear of judgment. They will also provide tools and techniques to help you let go, rebuild, and move on in a constructive way. 

12. Put an end to your ruminations 

Putting an end to rumination, which is the repetitive dwelling on negative/positive thoughts, can be challenging but achievable. And according to research, rumination prolongs negative emotions and can lead to anxiety, depression, and increased stress levels. It can also distort your memory and prevent you from seeing the relationship in a balanced light. 

It will drain your energy and prevent you from moving on from your past relationships. It’s high time you put an end to this. Now, let’s say you are suddenly thinking about your ex after years, acknowledge that thought without judgment and swiftly divert your attention and focus to something else. Focus on the present moment rather than getting lost in past thoughts. 

13. Visualize closure

Closure is an important aspect of a breakup. Without it, you may keep going back to the “what ifs” and “could have beens”. Some people reach out to their ex directly and seek closure from them. But if you have a strict no-contact rule, you need to find closure from within. Allow yourself to feel the emotions you’ve been experiencing since the breakup. Recognize any anger, sadness, or confusion.

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Decide what you want to achieve through this visualization. It could be finding closure, letting go of pain, or gaining clarity. In this visualization, express everything you wish you could have said to them. Share your thoughts, feelings, and any unresolved issues. If it helps, imagine exchanging symbolic gestures of closure, like a handshake, hug, or even releasing a balloon representing your emotions. Once you complete the visualization, you will embrace a sense of empowerment and relief. You will feel a weight lifting off your shoulders.     

Key Takeaways

  • When a relationship ends, it can be painful. You keep thinking about your ex and don’t know how to move on 
  • Perhaps there are many unresolved issues that are still aching in your soul. Maybe you are revisiting your memories a lot. These things will never help you move on 
  • You can let go of their thoughts by socializing with your friends, seeking professional help, and saying positive affirmations to yourself 

You cannot start a new chapter if you keep re-reading the old one. You will never get to your happy ending that way. Leave the ruins behind. This is an opportunity for you to become stronger. New things await. New happiness awaits. A new story awaits. New love awaits. A new partner who won’t leave your hands when it gets difficult is waiting for you. You just have to hop on the train. And who knows! Maybe this time it will last forever.