4 Tips On How To Stop Thinking About Your Ex After A Recent Break-Up

By: Nicole Beasley

Updated February 07, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Deaver, LCSW


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It was a hard choice, or maybe you had no choice at all, but the relationship has ended. The lives you shared together are suddenly put on a shelf and you're back in the single's game once more. You keep yourself active, but the problem is, you don't know how to stop thinking about your ex.

How to Stop Thinking About Your Ex After a Recent Break Up:

  • Find a New Scene

Don't go to all those old places you and your ex used to go together. Explore the neighborhood and find some hang-outs where you can meet new people with the same interests. Take up a pastime you've put aside for a while, or try out a new one. If you enjoy hiking, bicycling, or swimming, change the location. A change in environment has a habit of changing the way you look at things. Your attention will be distracted by the newness of the scene, and your opportunities for new friendships are wide open.

  • Live for Today


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Your life is in turmoil. Your routine has been disrupted. The door has closed on the past and all that is left is a very unfamiliar present. It is important to focus on living in the present rather than ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. Learning how to practice mindfulness techniques can really help you stay grounded and make positive changes step by step. A therapist can guide you and teach you how to implement mindfulness into your everyday life.

Another thing you can do is focus on placing your life in order. For example, re-organize your belongings, weighing carefully which things are truly you and which were choices influenced by your partner's tastes. Each day is a day for new experiences, for relearning your individual routines and rediscovering your preferences. If you're trying to stop thinking about your ex, you're no longer going in the same direction. You have a new path to walk. Keep yourself open to suggestions for recreation and entertainment, and be willing to participate in activities and events.

  • Keep Busy


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Most therapists agree, if you keep yourself busy, you'll find yourself thinking about your ex less and less. The hardest times will be in the evenings. Regardless of how rocky your relationship had been, you had grown accustomed to having that special somebody next to you at night. Staying busy and using distractions are good coping skill in this situation. However, staying busy to avoid your thoughts and feelings is not healthy. A licensed counselor can help you process and heal from the distressing thoughts and feelings you are experiencing from a breakup.

Plan for some relaxation time each evening before going to bed. Unwind with some television, a book, some music, or even an audio-tape. If you have a few friends who don't mind late night calls or text messages, chat with them until you begin growing sleepy.

If insomnia is keeping you up all night, plan for some vigorous activity. If you're out in the open air for several hours, engaged in work or exercise, sleep will come quickly when you call it a night.This is one idea of something to do to help with insomnia, but a licensed counselor can teach you different ways to cope with insomnia.

  • Get grief counseling from a licensed counselor.


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Maybe you're thinking, it's been years but you still don't know how to stop thinking about your ex. You may have ended your relationship, but you haven't let it go. You may even have tried a few rebound lovers, but discovered rebounding rarely worked, they ended messily and created additional stress to your efforts to get over your first love.

What you are feeling is very similar to the loss of a loved one. Grief counseling is recommended for those who have a difficult time accepting the end of a relationship. Grief counseling helps you confront that empty space left behind by your significant other and begin filling it with new life and laughter. It helps you accept the changes you are going through so that you no longer feel so alone or alienated.

If you ever need to have a heart to heart with someone who knows about grief counseling, talk to a therapist online at BetterHelp. There's no obligation and you can expect professional level treatment. Even if you don't feel like grief is necessarily your problem, a counselor can help you understand and cope with your feelings and figure out ways to grow move own.


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