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14 ways you can do to stop thinking about your ex

If you're thinking about your ex all the time, it can be tough to move on. You see them in your dreams, in the mirror, when you close your eyes— everywhere! You might even start to wonder if you'll ever find someone new. But know that there are some things you can do to stop thinking about your ex!

Dating Expert James Mendoza October 6, 2022 • 8 minutes read
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If you’re thinking about your ex all the time, it can be tough to move on. You see them in your dreams, in the mirror, when you close your eyes— everywhere! You might even start to wonder if you’ll ever find someone new. But there are some things you can do to stop thinking about your ex and focus on the future.

First, it’s important to accept that your breakup recovery journey will take time and there will be setbacks along the way. Second, focus on taking care of yourself by developing healthy habits like regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. Finally, make an effort to connect with friends and family members, pursue hobbies and interests, or do other things that make you happy. By following these tips and more below, you’ll eventually be able to stop thinking about your ex and start enjoying your life again.

1. Don’t spend time alone

Make sure you keep yourself busy and surround yourself with people. This will help take your mind off things and prevent you from dwelling on your thoughts. This may be hard to do when your friends or family are busy. That’s why social media exists! Spending time with peers can be as simple as a daily 15-minute check in. Try it out!

Once you get used to spending time alone, you’ll be able to slowly get your mind off your ex. The change comes gradually but it will happen.

2. Avoid places that remind you of them

If there are certain places that always make you think of your ex, try to avoid them as much as possible. This could mean avoiding certain restaurants, clubs, or even neighborhoods. This is actually a great opportunity to explore new places too!

Check out your local tourist app or your favorite local blogger and look for new items on your bucket list. Going to new places certainly will replace old memories and any thoughts of them.

3. Distract yourself

When you find yourself thinking about your ex, try to do something else to take your mind off of them. This could be anything from reading a book to going for a run. Rekindle old passions and hobbies! Or even spark some new ones.

There are plenty of guides and tutorials on YouTube for practically anything new you want to learn. You could even ask around your circle and see if there are any eccentric hobbies that have local support clubs in your place.

4. Talk about it with someone

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk about your feelings with a friend or family member. This can help you to get things off your chest and may also give you some helpful perspective. Going to a therapist is also a good idea if this relationship has been particularly rough on your mental health.

5. Write about your feelings

If you’re struggling to stop thinking about your ex, try writing down your thoughts. This could be in a journal or even just on a piece of paper. Writing can be therapeutic and may help you to process and release your thoughts. It’s one of the things that are always suggested in therapy and you’re getting the idea for free!

6. Focus on the positive

Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of your relationship, try to focus on the positive memories. Since you can’t stop thinking about your ex, might as well make it a positive experience, right? This could be anything from the time you laughed together to the time you shared intimate moments.

Before you know it, thinking about your ex won’t be such a burdensome experience anymore. Instead, it even becomes grounding as you remember them in a better, healthier perspective.

7. Let go of any items that remind you of them

If there are certain items that always make you think of your ex, get rid of them. This could mean getting rid of gifts they gave you or even pictures you have together. If it pains you to do this, try putting it in a box and hiding it for now. Weeks, months and years will pass— by then, you’ll be ready to completely get rid of the physical memories.

8. Unfollow them on social media

If you’re finding that you’re constantly thinking about your ex because you see them on social media, it may be time to unfollow them. This will help to reduce the amount of contact you have with them and may make it easier for you to move on. Top it off with a new crush or eye candy to follow on social media so you have other pages popping on your feed other than our ex.

9. Block their number

If you’re still in contact with your ex, it may be helpful to block their number. This will prevent you from being able to contact them and may help you to stop thinking about them as much. Removing all possible forms of communication is painful, but the right step towards forgetting them.

It will deeply hurt at first, knowing that you won’t reach out to them. But it’s for the best. And always remember that the phone goes both ways! If they wanted to reach out to you too, they also have the same options. Apparently, they’re not doing anything about it and it will do you good to do the same.

10. Avoid talking about them

When you’re around other people, try to avoid talking about your ex. This can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that not everyone wants to hear about your break-up. And if you do find the need to talk about an experience that involves your ex, try focusing on your part instead. Reduce mentioning them, and talk more about you and your feelings.

When you focus your conversations more on how you feel and how you experienced things, it becomes more productive. Your friends and other people will have more reactive feedback. And it won’t turn into an emotional dumping session! Best for everyone.

11. Focus on yourself

Instead of thinking about your ex, try to focus on taking care of yourself. This could mean taking some time for yourself, doing things you enjoy, or even treating yourself to a new outfit. Focusing on one’s self after a breakup is always both the journey and the goal that resolves many problems!

12. Do something new

One way to stop thinking about your ex is to do something new and exciting. This could be anything from starting a new hobby to traveling to a new place. Doing something new can help you to move on from your old relationship and may even help you to meet someone new!

13. Make plans with friends

Instead of spending your time alone, try to make plans with friends. This can help you to stay busy and may also prevent you from thinking about your ex as much. If plans don’t fall through, make plans with yourself! You are your number one friend too you know!

Start with simple walks during the afternoon, preferably with a pet if you have one. Then you can make plans to go to a gym or yoga class. Before you know it, your schedule is filled up with activities that help you grow and think less about your ex.

14. Get a pet

If you’re looking for a new companion, consider getting a pet. This can help to fill the void that your ex has left and may even help you to stop thinking about them as much. Pets can be a great source of love and companionship, and they can also help to reduce stress levels.

You can get cats, dogs, fishes, or even reptiles as pets. Depending on your lifestyle and habits, there will be a pet that will provide you with your companionship needs.

So, how do you stop thinking about your ex? You create new healthy routines and habits. Replace those old thoughts and routines with new ones that make you feel good. When you fill up your time and mind with positive things, it crowds out the negative space left behind by your ex. It won’t be easy— breaking an old habit is always tough. But it is worth it to have an amazing life and achieve personal growth. What will your new routine be?

The best breakup books that will help you heal

It’s hard to move on after a breakup. The pain, anger, and confusion can be all-consuming. If you’re struggling to recover from a breakup, here’s a list of titles that might help. From self-help books to novels, you’re sure to find something on this list that can help you get through this tough time.

  1. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
  2. How to get over anyone in few days: Breakups will never hurt like before
  3. Don't Text Your Ex Happy Birthday: And Other Advice on Love, Sex, and Dating
  4. Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse
  5. After the Breakup: A Self-Love Journal: Prompts and Practices to Help You Get Over Your Ex
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Dating Expert

James Mendoza

James Mendoza is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about relationships, marriage, and living happily as a single. After getting through two divorces and being cheated …

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