How to stop thinking about someone, in 5 steps
It is very frequent that throughout our lives we know directly or indirectly people capable of capturing our full attention.
There are human beings who simply attract our thoughts to them , either by their own personality and characteristics or by the situations we have lived with them. However, there are times when this is a problem. At that point, how do you stop thinking about a person?Related article: "Why can not I stop thinking about my ex-partner?"
The reasons why we may want to stop thinking about someone They are very varied.
For example, we can try to leave behind the intrusive and constant thoughts about an old relationship that jump into our consciousness all the time and without which we can avoid it, or we may try to avoid thinking about someone with whom we will never have the relationship we would like, or It may be the case that we try to leave behind the sadness produced by the death of a person.
The human mind is so complex precisely because there is an infinite number of experiences that can leave an imprint on it, and this also applies to personal relationships.
Make those thoughts disappear
No, dreaming many times with the same person does not mean that we have an internal conflict related to it. However, if when we are awake those thoughts linked to someone who has been important in our lives do not disappear and constantly intrude into our consciousness even though it produces discomfort, yes we have a problem . One that can affect our ability to concentrate, and that if prolonged for a long time can lead to increased levels of anxiety.
But ... how to solve this problem? What to do to stop thinking about someone all the time, if exactly this seems to be something independently at our will ? Although it may not seem so, there are strategies that, once implemented, can help us to "disengage" from this unconscious and annoying habit.
The idea is to avoid that our mind is trapped in the same type of memories, to stop spinning the same thing constantly. Here you have a series of strategies and guidelines to follow to adopt healthier psychological habits.
1. "Not thinking about it" is an inefficient method
Regardless of how varied our motives may be, the truth is that there is a method that simply does not work. And, in addition, it is the most simple and intuitive method, which we would try to implement all in the case of not knowing anything about how intrusive thoughts work. It is the option to try to suppress these thoughts voluntarily, that is, to make an effort to make them disappear.
The suppression of thoughts is known to be an option that is totally unproductive. In fact, it will make us think more of that person. In this regard, the investigations of Daniel Wegner in which he asked a series of volunteers to think of a white bear. Then, naturally, they were asked to prevent this thought from repeating itself. The result was that all the participants started thinking about something as unusual as white bears a lot more than before .
So, trying to suppress these thoughts and memories voluntarily not only does not work, but makes us keep thinking about what we want to keep away from our mind, which makes us feel more stressed. It is a rebound effect in every rule: the very fact of avoiding thinking about that person keeps us reproducing the way we think about it.
2. Accepting intrusive thoughts
One of the strategies to follow may be to practice accepting these thoughts, that is, not fighting to make them disappear from consciousness. There is evidence that people who follow these acceptance strategies experience fewer problems than those who try to suppress these thoughts.
However, the benefits of this method have more to do with the way in which these thoughts make us feel than the frequency with which they appear. That is the acceptance of memories and fantasies related to certain people does not stop us from thinking about them in the short term , but it does that we do not feel so much stress for it.
3. Managing the attention
So, we have one method that does not work and another that works partially. But... What is the best way to stop thinking about a person for good?
For what has been researched about it, the most effective way to get rid of intrusive thoughts is Focus your attention on a series of actions and thoughts in which we can lose ourselves and, of course, have no relationship with that person we want to stop thinking about.Getting someone out of the head, then, has more to do with proposing alternatives to those obsessive thoughts than with trying to eliminate them.
4. Fantasizing with who should not be
One of the examples of the effectiveness of this strategy is found in an experiment whose results were published in 2008 in Evolution and Human Behavior. In this experiment they wanted to explore the best alternatives when it came to making people who were in a stable relationship stop fantasizing about a person they considered attractive and who was outside the couple.
To do this, the team of researchers presented a series of images of attractive people to each of the participants in the experiment and asked them to choose the one they considered most attractive. Then, they were induced to imagine what it would be like to live a series of situations with these people, since they were asked to explain in writing why they thought that person was attractive and to describe how they think the perfect date would be with them.
Then, some volunteers were asked to stop thinking about that person. Of course, they did not get it They could not take the other person out of their heads and, in fact, they thought more about them than the participants who had not been asked to stop having those thoughts.
5. The solution to these fantasies
What worked was to focus on the couple: think about her, why she is with her, and, especially, why she loves her. These kinds of thoughts, which have the ability to catch the attention, were the reason why the participants could stop thinking about the other person. Further, the most effective thoughts when "catching" the attention of the volunteers were not those related to the sexual attractiveness of the couple , but those that had to do with the love that he felt for her.
After practicing this strategy, the volunteers forgot the details about the people they had not been able to stop thinking about before.You may be interested in reading: "Types of love: what kinds of love are there?"
Remove someone from the head
So that, the trick to stop thinking about someone is to find something that is able to make our attention go to it naturally , without effort, so that little by little the thoughts we want to avoid will become more blurred until they can not invade our consciousness constantly.