It can be annoying when you can’t seem to get someone off your mind, whether it’s an unrequited crush you can’t stop wondering about or an ex who won’t go away. Here are 11 strategies to refocus your energies, divert your attention away from that special someone, and reclaim your peace:
1. Recognize that you are deserving of love.
We often make ourselves stories that something about us is preventing us from accepting love, according to psychotherapist and relationship specialist Ken Page, LCSW. “”This notion that we hold dear causes us to perform cycles of grief for ourselves and others,” he explains. And individuals who are unable to accept and appreciate us for who we are exacerbate this.”
2. Concentrate on loving and accepting yourself.
To that end, it’s critical to focus on liking and accepting yourself—even and especially the parts of ourselves that we’re ashamed of. “The degree to which we embrace and appreciate those aspects of ourselves (not simply accept them, but genuinely treasure, dignify, and cherish them!) is the degree to which we become romantically and sexually attracted to persons who are available, kind, and decent,” adds Page.
3. Rely on your friends and family for help.
Spend time with the individuals in your life who motivate and inspire you. It will not only divert your attention from your problems, but it will also remind you of how good it feels to be surrounded by people who care about you. “We need to turn to the people who know and love us for guidance on how to avoid repeating patterns of reaching out to someone who isn’t available and isn’t beneficial for us.” Page also recommends Codependents Anonymous if you have a habit of codependent conduct.
4. Ask yourself, “How important is this person to me?”
According to Stephen Snyder, M.D., a sex and relationship therapist, asking oneself, “What exactly does this person mean to me?” can assist. “It’s usually security, or prestige, or feeling accepted, loved, or understood,” he explains.
Then you should ask yourself, “Did my actual encounter with this person offer the meanings it was supposed to?” “The response will be, ‘Well, yeah and no,'” Snyder says. It’s normal for people to romanticize the past.
5. Delete their social media profile.
This may go without saying, but if you’re constantly thinking about someone, there’s a good probability you’re cyberstalking them. Pull the plug to make things simpler on yourself. Unfollow them, unfriend them, remove your text messages with them, and so on. Then No-Contact rule is always the way to go when it comes to moving on.
6. Keep your eyes peeled for “people, places, and things.”
You’ll probably want to get rid of anything that reminds you of them in general, such as souvenirs or mementos from your relationship, in addition to social media. Alcoholics Anonymous members are encouraged to watch out for people, places, and things that make them want to drink, according to Page. “If you’re trying to let go of someone, keep an eye out for people, places, and things that rekindle your desire for them.”
7. Refrain from reaching out.
Rather of acting on impulse when you sense the want to reach out, get curious about the feelings that are surfacing for you. Do you have a sense of loneliness? Abandoned? Try channeling that energy into something more beneficial, such as a fast walk or run, or some yoga. “The most hardest relationships to overcome are generally the most problematic,” Page adds. “We always want to go back and fix things, but that’s usually a horrible idea.”
8. Write down your frustrations in a journal.
Journaling may be extremely beneficial for not only channeling creative or worried energy, but also for reflecting on and learning from your experiences. Consider using the prompts in No. 4 to get you started, or think about No. 1, No. 2, or anything else on this list that speaks to you. Recognize and observe your emotions: “”[Feelings] are useful for informing you about the world around you,” Snyder points out, “but they’re not completely reliable—and they’re frequently not objectively helpful.” If this happens, you may need to show them who’s boss in a kind manner.”
9. Recognize and appreciate your own gifts and abilities.
When people grow obsessed with someone, they have a tendency to abandon themselves. To avoid rejection, feelings of inadequacy, and giving someone far too much control over your mental state, this can look like being overly kind or explanatory. Reclaiming our own originality, or the “gifts deep inside us that we have looked to the world to validate,” however, is a “powerful process of healing and transformation that actually affects our attractions,” according to Page.
10. Remind yourself of the reasons why it didn’t work out.
It’s in your best interest to remind yourself of why things didn’t or haven’t work out in the really tough circumstances, especially those where we may find ourselves romanticizing the past, as Snyder points out. “We idealize the ones we miss the most,” he explains. “And we disregard the reality that the meanings we ascribed to the relationship were not always fulfilled to our satisfaction.”
11. Recognize the difference between intuition and obsession.
Perhaps you’ve made it this far and something in your gut is still urging you to consider this individual. That’s worth noting: “Perhaps we can’t get someone out of our heads because there’s something truly remarkable there,” Page observes. “Whether those difficulties are insignificant—perhaps this person is truly worth committing to, or perhaps there are issues in the relationship that neither of you has properly addressed.”
Allow yourself time to ponder and digest, and you’ll be able to choose whether or not it’s worthwhile to contact out. “”Try putting both feet in and giving it your all if this is a relationship that has the potential to be terrific,” Page advises. Maybe it’s for a good reason that you can’t stop thinking about this individual.”
What does it mean to be unable to forget about someone?
In some ways, you can become “addicted” to someone, or at the very least reliant on them. Subjects who had just gone through a breakup but were still in love demonstrated this in a short 2010 study: The brain’s reward system released dopamine, a chemical that plays a large part in the early stages of love and addiction, when they saw photographs of their former. This loop might lead to a lack of willingness to let go. “It usually indicates you don’t want to get that person off your mind—most likely because the concept of them is highly valuable to you,” Snyder says.
Page goes on to say that the previous comments about romanticizing the past (and even the individual) are still valid. “It’s best to recognize that you’re most likely romanticizing the person you miss rather than recalling the truth. When partners reunite after a breakup, they frequently recall all of the issues that caused the relationship to fail.”
Also, there’s no evidence that if you can’t stop thinking about someone, they’re also thinking about you.
How to Get Rid of Someone’s Feelings
Perhaps a better question is: can you willingly cease loving someone? Snyder believes it is possible, but it will take time. “It’s difficult to conceive that your sentiments will ever dissipate in the moment,” he says. “It’s possible that you don’t want them to fade. Feelings, on the other hand, change over time. That’s just the way things are. You and the person you have feelings for will change over the months and years. We are never the same.”
Take care of yourself—mind, body, and spirit; connect with friends and family; remember your worth; believe in love; and, of course, return to this list if/when that individual comes to mind. We open ourselves up to attract the right individual when we do these things.
“We can never open the door to the new ones, into a new life where we eventually do discover healthy love,” Page writes, unless we lock the door on those connections with people who erode our sense of self-worth.