Five Tips to Help You Stop Thinking About Your Ex

There's no single way to stop thinking about an ex. In fact, it's more about allowing yourself to feel the emotions and reconnect with your present. In this article we give you five helpful tips.
Five Tips to Help You Stop Thinking About Your Ex

Last update: 30 September, 2021

Do you feel like you can’t stop thinking about your ex? Is there really any way to do it? Well, in reality, there’s no magic formula. However, what can be helpful is to stop demanding that you stop thinking about them.

Instead, you should respect your own rhythms while, at the same time, focusing on the present and your life beyond your ex-partner. You’re in a new stage and you have to go on living; For this reason, it’s important to go through the pain and move forward, little by little.

How to stop thinking about your ex

We’re all different, hence we all need to find our own strategies to deal with this kind of situation. Indeed, not everyone needs the same help in moving forward. However, here are five general tips to think about.

Don’t demand you stop thinking

You can’t force yourself to stop thinking about your ex. Thoughts can’t be controlled. However, you can learn to let them go over time and avoid becoming trapped by them.

It’s rather like the famous pink elephant exercise. Imagine someone saying to you, “don’t think of a pink elephant.” What’s the first thing you do? Think about a pink elephant!  Thinking about your ex is the same. The more you demand that you don’t think of them, the more you’ll think of them. Therefore, respect your own rhythms and understand that thinking for a while about that person you’ve loved is perfectly normal.

Sad woman thinking about how to stop thinking about her ex

Validate your emotions

In grieving processes, such as a relationship breakup, it’s important to respect your own rhythms and validate the emotions you feel at all times. The fact that you continue to think about your ex-partner may be due to a thousand reasons. Perhaps you haven’t got over the break-up. Alternatively, maybe your present isn’t fulfilling, or you’re dreading the future.

Either way, what you feel is valid, it’s perfectly okay. As with your thoughts, don’t push yourself to make a quick escape from these emotions. Allow yourself to feel the longing, the nostalgia, the melancholy....it’s really not uncommon for them to take over for a while. As a matter of fact, the more you allow yourself to feel these emotions, the sooner they’ll go, leaving you in peace.

Look at your present

In general, when you’re more aware of your past (or your future), it’s because your present isn’t satisfying enough. Therefore, you should take a look at it and work out what it is you like about it. If there’s nothing, then start looking for something or create something to make your life fulfilling.

Try to turn your present into something valuable, something that’s worth your attention, that’s worth living

“The future torments ourselves, the past holds ourselves, that is why the present escapes ourselves.”

-Gustave Flaubert-

Look for what gives you back your dreams

After a break-up, it’s always really important to reconnect with what excites you. With your interests, your hobbies, your passions… Not so much because they allow you to distract yourself from the pain you’re feeling (although that too), but because they allow you to look to the future.

These are activities that you feel good about, that remind you that life goes on. The objective here is to, little by little, improve your mood and give yourself new dreams. This will help stop you stop living in the past and continuously thinking about your ex.

Say goodbye to your ex with a ritual

Saying goodbye doesn’t necessarily imply doing it physically. However, perhaps you already said goodbye but you still feel that you haven’t yet turned the page. If this is the case, say goodbye in your own way. You need to close the loop.

You can do this with a farewell ritual. It doesn’t matter if weeks or months have passed since the breakup. If you feel you need it, be kind to yourself and do it. In fact, rituals allow you to symbolically put an end to something. You can do it however you want. For example, you might want to write a letter about how you feel and then burn it, rip it up, or even keep it.

Tear up their photos or keep them in a special box. Listen to a song you both liked. The idea is to carry out a small symbolic action that allows you to express what you carry inside yourself, say goodbye to it, and, above all, let go.

Ask for professional help

Psychotherapy is a very valuable tool when it comes to offering strategies that can help you regain your well-being. Therefore, if you find yourself feeling stuck and don’t know how to manage your pain and if you need to understand what’s happening to you and how you can solve it, we encourage you to seek professional help.

Man doing therapy

Find out what you need

How can you stop thinking about your ex? It isn’t easy to identify what can help you in this process. That’s because we’re all different. Therefore, it means listening to your emotions at all times, connecting with them, and validating them.

When it comes to processing emotions, it’s important to validate them, give them their space, and deal with them.

Above all, don’t judge yourself if you find yourself still thinking about your ex. Just try to understand why it’s happening. Is it because your present isn’t fulfilling? Why are you thinking too much about your own feelings and your memories?

Analyze your situation and, depending on your findings, start with small actions that can help. For example, try and find some activities or objectives that fill you with excitement. Alternatively, ask for professional help.

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