If your mind feels like a warzone right now then I can relate. After a breakup, I found myself thinking about my ex all the time. This sucked the joy out of my life until I was able to figure out exactly how to stop overthinking about someone once and for all.
The first course of action is to face your most fearful thoughts. Thereafter, you need to focus on other people, pursue your goals, distract yourself with challenging tasks, get rid of reminders and make peace with what you cannot control.
Overthinking about someone often stems from regret or an inability to adequately depict or control what is going to happen in your life, particularly with that individual.
The problem with overthinking is that it distracts you from what’s important in your life right now.
Instead of being able to enjoy life or focus on the people and things that matter, you may find yourself brooding and fretting over thoughts you can’t control.
This probably brings about an extreme desire to feel happy again.
Overthinking is not healthy in any way. Neither does it serve you. Which is probably why you’re here seeking out help on how to stop overthinking about someone.
Here’s the best and most effective tips on how to stop overthinking about someone:
- Focus on other people.
- Pursue your goals and passions.
- Don’t fixate on the past by focusing on the future.
- Distract yourself with challenging tasks.
- Express yourself on paper to relinquish the control your thoughts have over you.
- Create a trigger that stops you from overthinking about someone.
- Face those troublesome and scary thoughts.
- Don’t feed your thoughts with reminders of that person.
- Stop taking action based on your uncontrollable thoughts and feeling.
- Submit yourself to destiny.
Let’s take a closer look at the practicality and effectiveness of all these techniques as well as how to use them in your life.
1. Focus on other people
If what you focus on multiplies and what you don’t focus on diminishes, then would it not be effective to shift your focus to someone else?
I tested this technique after a breakup. Some time had past but I still found myself thinking about my ex.
Since I was ready to date, I made a conscious decision to meet new people. Doing this allowed me to focus my attention on someone else who engaged me on many different levels.
Without even realizing it, I thought about my ex less and less until my new relationships and friendships consumed more of my thoughts.
As such, if you want to stop overthinking about someone, focus that attention on another person.
2. Pursue your goals and passions
An idle mind is a devil’s playground. That couldn’t be any truer. As human beings, we are designed for movement. Whether it is physical or not, movement is the key to longevity.
In physical movement do we find mental stillness. Think about it. The amount of gym goers who report mental clarity and stillness is resounding.
Working towards goals and your passions in life will recenter your focus on the things in life that benefit you.
One of the mistakes I made during my bout of overthinking about someone was doing nothing but thinking about them. I allowed the resistance of my mind to keep me shackled to those defeating thoughts. I neglected my personal health and personal ambitions.
When I was able to muster up the self-control to do something, I noticed a huge improvement in my life.
Because your goals and passions in life are positive in nature and stem from your own desire, they are easy to enjoy and think about.
Make a list of all the things you want to do for yourself and spend time pursuing them.
3. Don’t fixate on the past by focusing on the future
Sentimentality may keep you grounded to those things you once valued but nostalgia will blind you to the joys of the future.
I used to be the kind of person who missed out on the present and future because I spent far too much time looking at the past.
And it sucked because the things I took for granted in that present moment become the things I pined for in the future.
Like a deadly cycle, I gave myself more of a reason to stay stuck in the past.
If you really want to figure out the art of how to stop overthinking about someone, start by learning how to focus on the present moment.
Forget about everything else that is beyond your reach and control. If you live for what you have, you will find many reasons to be happy and content with your life.
This attitude of gratitude for the present moment and what it has to offer will aid you in getting over the past and to stop overthinking about someone.
4. Distract yourself with challenging tasks
Change and greatness can never be found in the lap of comfort. The more I wrap my head around this concept, the more it influences the way I approach life.
It’s easy to lay down and die. It really is. What’s challenging is refusing to give up.
And that is because the challenge is a great one. It calls for all of your focus and energy to make it through.
If that is the case, and it is, then the perfect solution for how to stop overthinking about someone is to give yourself something more challenging to think about.
Step out of your comfort zone and watch how you can reassign your focus towards something else even if you haven’t been able to up until now.
I was fixating on a breakup long after it’s expiration date and I hated it. I got so used to thinking about someone, that my routine and life became a trigger for those thoughts.
I had to make a change that would remind me of how much the world has to offer.
So I signed up for this 6 month all intensive legal course that demanded so much out of me.
That course became the catalyst of change in my life. I learned so much about myself and it gave me an entirely new perspective of what I am capable of achieving and overcoming.
It did help me stop overthinking about someone altogether.
5. Express yourself on paper to relinquish the control your thoughts have over you
I feel like pent up thoughts and emotions will always spill over until there is an explosion.
It just seems inevitable. We are expressive beings. Every single day, we are exposed to inputs and outputs.
Imagine festering all these hard to process thoughts in your head without exporting them from ourselves. It would be awful. We would be weighed down by them every day of our lives.
Since that realization, I had made journaling a daily habit and it has benefited me tremendously.
Anytime I feel bogged down by my own thoughts, I transfer them onto paper and try to figure out how it may or may not serve me. This little habit has become an outlet for me and it can do the same for you.
Reading back on what I’ve written, I see how far I’ve come and the kind of pain I’ve overcome.
Seeing that reminds me of how strongwilled I can be. It also shows me how things that consumed my mind in the past did indeed pass.
Sometimes a reminder that things will change is all we really need. Start journaling your thoughts every day instead of keeping them inside.
6. Create a trigger that stops you from overthinking about someone
I was watching an episode of Ed Mylett’s show on Youtube and he shared an interesting idea about breaking the chain of negativity.
He believes that everyone faces negative thoughts. What is defined as negative thoughts? Essentially, thoughts that hurt you or don’t serve you.
So, we think about something negative, it makes us feel something negative which in turn motivates us to act in a self-defeating and negative manner. That action we take fuels our negative thoughts. And the cycle repeats itself over and over again.
Ed found a way of breaking the cycle with a simple vocal trick.
Every time he thought about something negative or self-defeating, he would say ‘Scratch that‘. And picture himself scratching that thought from the book of his mind.
This has become a trigger or safety protocol that stops a negative or self-defeating thought in its tracks.
I’ve tried this technique with wonderful results. You should try it too.
Someone else who has a similar technique is David Goggins.
Watch any of his videos and you’ll notice that whenever he does something difficult and those negative thoughts creep into his head, he responds to them by saying ‘You don’t know me, son.‘
Find a trigger word or sentence to stop yourself from digging into thoughts that encourage overthinking or negativity.
7. Face those troublesome and scary thoughts
Often the fear of pain is far more painful than that which makes you scared.
Think about someone who has a phobia for lizards. To a lot of people, lizards are harmless innocent creatures. Whereas someone with a fear of lizards tends to project all sorts of scary possibilities, even if it extends beyond the scope of reality.
Fear tends to create an illusion that we have no power when in reality, we do.
Rather than run away from your biggest fears and thoughts, address them head-on.
Think about what scares you and break it down into it’s simplest form.
What’s the worst thing that could come from your fear coming true and will you survive it?
If yes, then is there any reason to fear it as much? Is there a reason to think about is as much.
I don’t think so.
8. Don’t feed your thoughts with reminders of that person
I’m a sentimental person who has a long history of holding onto things indefinitely. I’ve done this with letters and gifts from old partners. The problem is that I use these items as symbols for the past and my feelings.
Rather than notice everything else around me, I hold onto these reminders of people who are no longer a part of my life and that keeps me tied to the past in an unhealthy fashion.
Heck, I even deleted photos of my ex and me so that I could move on.
As much as I hate to admit it, getting rid of all the reminders of someone who is no longer in your life facilitates acceptance of what and who has passed.
You don’t have to dispose of these things. Keep them away from plain sight. Don’t allow these reminders to be a daily fixture in your life.
I have went so far as to change up my routine and get rid of small reminders that seemed insignificant so that I could move forward.
And I’d be lying if I said that this did not help me to stop overthinking about someone.
9. Stop taking action based on your uncontrollable thoughts and feeling
Every time you take action based on the thoughts and feelings you experience, the more power you give away to those thoughts and feelings.
Eventually, they will rule you. Rather than navigate your life to a place that benefits you, those thoughts and feelings will take you wherever they deem fit, even to your detriment.
It has been a battle to overcome this issue. I am the type of person who likes to take action on my feelings but this has not always served me well.
Through sheer will power and discipline, I have finally grasped an idea of how to exercise emotional control.
Another technique I use regularly is the 24 hour standby rule.
Anytime I feel emotionally charged up to do something that may have something negative attached to it, I force myself to wait 24 hours and to sleep.
More often than not, by the time I have woken up, my mind has changed.
This technique has saved me from making a ton of mistakes as well as gaining more control over myself.
10. Submit yourself to destiny
Last but certainly not least, the power of God or the universe is one to be reckoned with. We can plan as much as we want but I believe that God is the greatest of planners.
Irrespective of what you believe in, there is a greater power at play.
Spending all your time overthinking about someone or something isn’t going to affect that plan positively.
On the contrary, it delays it.
Embracing destiny and allowing life to unfold organically whilst showing up with a positive attitude will serve you well. I cannot think of anyone who has ever testified to the contrary.
Overthinking adds nothing but anxiety, uncertainty and confusion to your life.
It’s not worth it because thoughts alone accomplish nothing, especially when those thoughts are self-defeating.
Find it in yourself to let life or God or whatever you believe in to guide you. If you can do this, it will become a lot easier to let go of someone you still love.
Things will get easier
As long as you are willing to try new things and allow time to work it’s magic while making a conscious effort to move on, you will stop overthinking about this person.
It may not be easy at first but you must try.
Progress takes place in failure because it will teach you valuable lessons about what makes you happy and what doesn’t.
Everything will work out. You just need to hold onto the hope that life is working for you, not against you, even if times are tough.
Make it a priority to experience new things in life. Give yourself more to focus on and think about.
With that being said, I hope that you found this article to be of assistance to you. Please share your personal tips on how to stop overthinking about someone in the comment section below.
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