Are you having trouble with constant, obsessive thoughts about an ex? Are you playing the shoulda, woulda, coulda game with yourself? After facing my own painful breakup with my ex-boyfriend, I realized that I kept rehashing the same things in my mind over and over and over again. Note: this page uses “he” but just substitute for “she,” this post applies to both.
What did I do wrong?
I should have gone with him/her to _____.
If only I would have…..
I could have said __.
I should have been more_____.
I wonder what he meant by ___?
Why did he mention ____?
I wonder what he was thinking when he___?
I wonder if he’s ____?
Maybe he’s doing _____ right now.
He’s probably already ___.
Do any of these sound familiar?
It’s normal to ruminate after a breakup. After all, it’s a time to do a lot of self reflection on the relationship itself and do some inventory on where the breakdown occurred. While doing your work, you may even realize that maybe this wasn’t a healthy relationship or your guy/girl wasn’t in a healthy place (more later).
Maybe you missed/ignored some relationship red flags in the beginning? Regardless, if you find that you’re having obsessive thoughts about an ex, then there’s a very effective remedy below. It’s helped me battle the obsessive game of shoulda, woulda, coulda.
One difficult aspect, for me personally, has been dealing with the obsessive thoughts on everything I did wrong in the relationship. I wonder what I could have done better, maybe I could have dressed better, straightened my hair more often (silly I know), been more fun, done more this or that, etc. Then, maybe it would have worked out.
It’ll Drive You Crazy
Do you see where all this is going? The constant, obsessive thoughts of an ex can keep you stuck in an endless feedback loop that can basically go on and on and on…. It’ll drive you crazy.
If your breakup is still fresh in your mind and you’re having problems with constant, obsessive thoughts about an ex, then here is a simple way to stop them in their tracks.
I read this tip in an excellent book called “Getting Past Your Breakup.” Chapter 3, which discusses dealing with the stages of your grief and Chapter 4 on self care are well worth the read if you’re struggling.
How to Stop Obsessive Thoughts of an Ex
If you’ve found yourself in that obsessive pattern again and again, here’s what you do. Say to yourself, “Stop! It doesn’t matter!, It doesn’t matter!, It doesn’t matter!”
This works whether you’re thinking of him/her and wondering what they are doing/thinking, etc. or obsessing over
you could have done better. In her book, Susan J. Elliott explains that there’s something about the repetitive nature of saying that to yourself three times that works and BREAKS through your pattern.
No, whatever happened doesn’t matter anymore.
You can’t change it. What matters the most right now is YOU and your healing.
Redirect Your Thoughts
Once you’ve said the mantra, it’s helpful to have another thought ready to replace your previous obsessive ones of your ex.
Think about an exciting goal you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Start saying some positive affirmations to yourself. Try to think of something very funny that your child or cat/dog did that really made you laugh or just anything that filled you with joy. Make a list of the things you want to do to treat yourself. For example, my obsessive thoughts started this morning, and then I redirected them to something positive and constructive. This blog post was born right after that! 🙂
Whatever (non-ex) thought that works for you, turn your mind toward it. You should have these thoughts ready as your go to anchors to help snap you out of the obsessive loop.
Give it a try and redirect those obsessive thoughts about an ex and turn them into something good.
Let me know if it helped by leaving a comment below or PLEASE something that’s helped you. Know that it does and will get easier the more time passes!