Breakups can be challenging, and it’s natural to find yourself thinking about your ex-partner during the healing process.
However, it’s essential to break free from these intrusive thoughts and focus on personal growth and happiness.
If you don’t heal your broken heart and deal with your emotional baggage, it can prevent you from creating a healthy romantic relationship with someone else.
Luckily, there are proven methods you can use to break the cycle and start thinking about your ex less, so you can look toward the future.
In this blog post, we’ll share practical tips on how to stop thinking about your ex and move forward with your life.
HOW TO STOP THINKING ABOUT YOUR EX AFTER A BREAKUP
If you just went through a breakup and can’t seem to stop thinking about your ex, it can be a frustrating and painful experience.
The constant reminders can keep you stuck in the past instead of looking toward the future.
If you’re struggling to move on, here are 11 tips on how to stop thinking about your ex after a breakup.
1. Accept your feelings
The first step to moving on is accepting your emotions. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or confused after a breakup.
Don’t bottle those emotions up; let yourself cry if you need to.
Give yourself permission to feel these emotions and understand that it’s a normal part of the healing process.
The more you face your feelings head-on, the less power they’ll have over you.
Try journaling your feelings or doing light exercises like yoga to release pent-up energy and tension. Don’t dwell on the past or obsess over what went wrong.
While it’s important to grieve the end of your relationship, try not to wallow or beat yourself up. Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time.
Your feelings will lessen in intensity over time, though it may not seem that way now. This painful period will pass. Have hope that you will heal and find happiness again.
With support from others and regular self-care, you can work through the pain. Acceptance of your feelings is the first brave step, but don’t get stuck there.
When you’re ready, start taking steps to build your own independent, fulfilling life.
2. Cut off contact
Cutting off contact with your ex is one of the hardest but most important steps to moving on after a breakup.
If you’re still in touch with your ex, it can be challenging to stop thinking about them.
Delete their number and block them on social media, so you’re not tempted to stalk their profiles or text them.
While it’s normal to miss them at first, limiting exposure to your ex will help lessen feelings of longing or regret over time.
Staying in regular contact only makes getting over them more difficult and can prolong the healing process.
Make new routines and prioritize surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family.
Keep your schedule filled with work, hobbies, and social events, so you have less opportunity to dwell on the past.
Though it’s hard, cutting ties with your ex is the healthiest thing you can do to accelerate the moving-on process.
Stay strong, be kind to yourself, and know that you will start to feel like yourself again.
3. Remove reminders of your ex
Getting over an ex means removing reminders that trigger memories of the relationship. Go through your space and get rid of:
• Photos of the two of you together, whether physical or digital. Delete them from your phone and social media.
• Gifts, letters, or other mementos from your ex. Donate or throw them away.
• The belongings they left behind. Pack them up and arrange to have them picked up.
• Places you frequented as a couple. Find new spots to shop, dine, and hang out.
Removing reminders of your relationship will help you shift your focus to self-care.
Get rid of gifts, photos, or belongings that trigger memories of the good times you shared. Don’t torture yourself!
Discarding pieces of the past clears space in your heart and mind for new relationships ahead.
While it may feel difficult, removing things that remind you of your ex is an important step to mending your heart and truly moving on.
4. Don’t stalk them on social media
Seeing your ex pop up on social media can instantly trigger painful memories and reignite longing for the relationship. Do yourself a favor—stop stalking them online.
The less you know about their life after the breakup, the easier it will be for you to move on from the relationship. Unfollow, unfriend, or block them on all social platforms.
Continuing to follow an ex on social media is like picking off a scab—it may seem satisfying at the moment, but it only slows the healing process and leaves you hurting in the end.
Take away their power to affect you with a click of a button.
Make a clean break so you can start to rebuild and redirect your thoughts to the new chapter of your life that’s unfolding each day.
5. Write a letter to your ex
Writing a letter to your ex can be therapeutic. Get your feelings out on paper by writing a heartfelt letter to your former partner about your relationship and breakup.
Tell them how they hurt you, the good times you shared, and how you truly feel. Pour your heart out in the letter without holding back.
Then, put the letter away. Don’t send it. Keeping the letter private allows you to express yourself freely without consequences.
It can help provide closure and clarity so you can stop rehashing the past and thinking about your ex.
Writing the letter is for your benefit, not your ex’s. It’s a way to work through the pain, release pent-up emotions, and gain a new perspective so you can finally move on from the relationship.
You can decide to keep the letter or destroy it when you’re ready. Either way, you’ll feel lighter and more at peace once it’s out of your system.
6. Connect with your loved ones
Connecting with loved ones can help remind you that you’re not alone and provide a healthy distraction from thoughts about your ex.
Make an effort to connect with the people closest to you.
Call a friend or trusted family member and talk about what you’re going through. Ask if they want to meet for coffee, dinner, or chat on the phone.
Share your feelings, seek advice, and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Let them know you could use their support right now.
Making plans to socialize can help take your mind off your ex, even if it’s just for a short time. Lean on your inner circle and allow them to be there for you.
7. Keep yourself busy
One of the best ways to stop dwelling on your ex is to fill your time with meaningful activities.
When your mind is idle, it’s easy for thoughts of your former partner to creep in. Staying busy and distracted will help prevent you from dwelling on the past.
Try picking up a hobby, joining a local sports league, volunteering, or pursuing a passion project.
Exercising is also a great option, as it releases feel-good hormones that can boost your mood and confidence. Call some friends or family members and make plans to get together.
The more you engage in social interaction and pursuits that bring you joy, the less headspace will be left for focusing on the relationship that’s now in the past.
Keeping a full schedule will make days go by faster and help you establish a new routine without your ex.
While it may feel unnatural at first, sticking to it will get easier over time.
Staying active and connected to others who support you will significantly speed up the process of moving on from your past relationship.
Before you know it, thoughts of your ex won’t consume you anymore and you’ll be able to live freely and happily. The key is to keep yourself busy with fun activities!
8. Focus on self-improvement
The end of a relationship is the perfect time to work on yourself.
Take up a hobby, start exercising, learn to cook, pick up an instrument, improve your career skills, or pursue any other personal interests you have.
When you focus on self-improvement, you’ll build confidence from your accomplishments and shift your mind from dwelling on the past.
Here are excellent ways to improve yourself after a breakup:
• Take a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn. This will enable you to gain a new skill as well as meet like-minded people.
• Start a regular exercise routine. Go for walks or jogs, do yoga, lift weights, or just get outside for some fresh air. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that will boost your mood and self-esteem.
• Reconnect with old friends or make new friends. Call up buddies you haven’t seen in a while or join a local group to meet people with similar interests or hobbies.
• Travel somewhere new. Exploring an unfamiliar place on your own can be liberating and help you rediscover your independent spirit.
The key is to shift your mindset from missing your ex to investing in yourself.
Make positive changes in your life that will build your confidence from the inside out. In time, thoughts of your former partner will fade into the background.
9. Create new memories
Creating fresh memories can help you redefine your life without your ex-partner.
To stop dwelling on the past, start making new memories to focus on instead. Do things you enjoy and experience life again. Here are some ideas you can try:
-Travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Visiting a new place will allow you to create new memories and gain a fresh perspective.
-Take up a hobby or learn a new skill. Pursuing an activity you’re passionate about is a great way to redirect your mind from the past to the present. Consider things like photography, cooking, hiking, or volunteering.
-Socialize and strengthen your connections with others. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, visit family, or join a local sports league or book club. Forming new relationships will help fill the void left by your past one.
-Do small things each day just for yourself. Read a book, get a massage, or watch your favorite TV show. Making yourself a priority again is key to moving on.
The more new experiences you have, the more your mind will let go of the old.
Don’t dwell on what was, focus on what can be by living in the now and creating memories to shape your future. In time, thoughts of your ex will fade into the past where they belong.
10. Set new goals
Setting new goals and working towards them can help you regain a sense of purpose and direction.
Focus on personal, professional, or academic goals that excite and motivate you.
Achieving these goals will boost your self-esteem and shift your focus away from your past relationship.
What have you always wanted to accomplish but never had the time or motivation for when in a relationship?
Now is your chance! You can learn a new skill, travel somewhere you’ve never been, pick up a hobby, or take a class on something that interests you.
Expanding your mind and trying new things will build your confidence and independence.
The more you pursue your own goals and priorities, the less your thoughts will revolve around your former partner.
Staying active and productive is key. While it may feel hard at first, redirecting your mental energy into self-improvement and following your passions will help speed up the healing process.
11. Be patient with yourself
Another step to getting over an ex is to cultivate patience. Healing from a breakup takes time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find out you’re still thinking about your ex more than you’d like.
Moving on from a relationship won’t happen overnight, and it’s normal to have setbacks along the way.
Give yourself space to grieve the end of the relationship. It’s a loss, after all, and you need to allow yourself to process the pain that comes with that.
Be gentle with yourself and know that it’s normal to feel sad. The hurt will lessen over time and it will get easier every day.
Staying busy and distracted can help speed the process, but don’t avoid the grieving altogether.
Don’t beat yourself up over slip-ups. You may have moments of weakness where you reach out to your ex or stalk their social media.
Learn from your mistakes and then forgive yourself. Each day is a new opportunity to build strength and better habits. With patience and consistency, the desire to reach out will fade.
Moving on at your own pace is key. Comparing yourself to others who have gone through breakups will only make you feel inadequate and frustrated.
Instead, focus on you and celebrate each small win along the road to recovery. In time, your ex will be a thing of the past. Be patient and trust that you will heal.
Stopping the cycle of thinking about your ex after a breakup can be challenging. However, by applying the tips mentioned in this article, you can move forward with your life.
It won’t happen overnight, but if you commit to self-care, engage in meaningful hobbies, and practice mindfulness, those intrusive thoughts about your ex will start to fade.
You have so much wonderful life ahead of you, so do yourself a favor and start living it.
Your ex was just one chapter in your story, now it’s time to start writing the next one. Stay strong, you’ve got this!
The end of one relationship is the beginning of a new adventure. Focus on your healing, so you can be ready for what’s to come.
With persistence and self-compassion, you’ll eventually find yourself thinking less about your ex and focusing more on your happiness and well-being.
About The Author
Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.
As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.
She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.
Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.