Thinking About Past Relationships? Here’s how to Stop!

Obsession is like putting yourself through a haunted house that truly can cause you harm. It’s sneaky, subtle, and once it starts it’s difficult to stop.

Woman obsessing about her ex on instagram

And once it gets going it’s like a train that picks up speed. It’s the kind of negativity of the mind that manifests physically. This kind of mental health issue can turn into:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Stress tension in the back, neck, and shoulders
  • Looking like a crazed, unhealthy, and disheveled version of yourself
  • Poor thinking as a result of the imbalanced thinking leading to more bad decisions and more stress even injuries and accidents
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Low energy that convinces you that you can’t partake in normal daily activities that make you feel good or happy

There are 5 sneaky ways you’re still obsessing over your ex

1. Social Media Obsession and Stalking

It’s really tempting to check our ex’s social media. So easy and so unhealthy if you are prone to obsessing and not yet over your ex. It’s one thing to check once in a blue moon out of curiosity.

It’s another to check obsessively to collect and analyze information.

Instagram has escalated things to a whole new level for the good and the bad. It’s so easy to look at someone’s profile and then get caught up in the deep dive of scrolling through your Instagram feed, obsessing over who is commenting on their photos, who they are following, and other such online activity.

This will quickly trigger you in a big way. Especially when you see something out of context, run with whatever your perception of what you see is, and spiral.

1. Checking up on what our exes are doing on social media is obsession.

Prior to the existence of social media, it was much easier to put people from our past out of sight out of mind.

How can we avoid the internet obsession trap?

I firmly believe in blocking people from social media or unfollowing them in the same of one’s own sanity. 

Blocking is not a petty move to hurt another person. In the case of the ex and letting go of the obsession, it’s a crucial act of self-care.

Keeping tags of our ex through social media, googling their name, or even scrolling through old messages and texts keeps us in the loop of obsession.

Photos carry energy. We can completely thrown off just by looking at pictures scrolling through our feeds. It brings up too much emotion. Some tips…

  • Unfollow your ex.
  • Block your ex if necessary.
  • Unfollow your ex’s friends who may post pictures of them.
  • Turn your phone off or put your phone away during certain times of the day.\
  • Even…Put away the phone.

Do whatever it takes to stick to your boundaries. Soon enough you will be living your life without the constant temptation to check on them. You won’t even want to. The impulse will go away.

2. Always finding a way to mention him/her in conversation

Another way obsessing about our ex shows up is our incessant need to bring them up in conversation. We’ll just find a way to do it because they are on our mind in such a profound way.

Breakups are tough. And letting go is hard. I am not diminishing that in any way.

Bring your awareness to any tendency you may have to mention your ex in conversation. How many times can you tell the story over and over again about how things finally came to an end?

When we lose our identity in a relationship, that identity often doesn’t fall away when the relationship does and instead we identify with the break up as some formative story about our lives.

The relationship was just a chapter

Relationships and breakups are formative. But they are just a chapter. Not the whole book. Perhaps this person did have a huge impact on your life. But you don’t have to walk around feeling like you have to explain or define yourself by what happened with this person.

You can walk away from it. And when you meet someone new you won’t introduce yourself as someone who just got out of this thing with that person and feel like there is some sort of explanation due.

This is especially important when starting to date again. Keep conversations about your ex to a minimum and save it for a bit later once you have had the chance to enjoy and develop the new connection you have with the person you are seeing.

If you know deep down you are thinking about this person a lot and holding out for their return, then all of the signs may be the universe showing you the output of your obsessive thoughts.

You could think about money, career opportunities, new experiences, new people, there are no limits once you free your mind of obsession.

3. Holding out hope that things will work out again, instead of making room for someone new

If thoughts of the relationship working out again persist through your mind, this may be an unnecessary obsession robbing you of the present moment and the new people you could be connecting with.

Sometimes we need that hope that it could work out again in order to survive the breakup.

But at a certain point, it does keep us on a loop of obsession.

If this has been your survival mechanism up to this point. Consider how it would feel to let that go.

Give it to the universe instead. Imagine yourself handing over the outcome of the relationship to god, a relative that has passed on, or a beloved pet on the other side. Maybe give it to the moon or anything else that resonates with you.

Once you had it over know that it’s now out of your hands and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Someone else is taking care of it for you.

This opens you up to the possibility of a new beginning with this person while also creating space and opening yourself up to someone new.

Let go of the need for it all to be figured out right now. The universe will work it out in a way that is better than you could have ever conceived of.

4. Hitting Replay and Pondering the What If’s

We can drive ourselves crazy replaying every little thing that happened in the relationship or that lead to the break up over and over again. Wondering “oh if I had just done this”, or “if I had just done that instead then everything would be okay.”

Everything is happening just as it is supposed and how it is meant to be.

Playing the what-if game is just going to drive you into madness. There really is no way of knowing that anything would have ended up differently if the most minute details had been different.

All we know is that the universe is constantly working things out in our favor, redirecting us when we go of course (if we allow ourselves to be redirected), and getting us exactly where we are supposed to be for our highest good.

Living in the past can turn into depression and living in the future can turn into anxiety.

Allow yourself to be here now.

Wherever here is. And just totally immerse yourself in the here and the now.

People around you will feel so much more appreciated and valued and you’ll create more meaningful connections with them that may completely eradicate and replace your obsession over your ex.

When you start to go near the replay button or when the what-ifs start creeping up again, just remember that there’s no point in looking back because those moments lead you to now which is exactly where you are supposed to be.

You may even be tricking yourself into believing that the what-ifs and the replay are productive. Maybe if you analyze the situation enough, you’ll solve everything once in for all. You won’t and they aren’t.

How to Stop it Before it Starts

Self-awareness and self-accountability:

The best way to stop obsessive thinking is to not let it begin in the first place. Because once it’s going, it takes a lot more energy to stop than it did to start.

Self-awareness and self-accountability really come in to play here. When you feel it coming on create a plan in place to stop it.

Maybe instead of getting into obsess mode, you call someone who can redirect you, put on some good music, exercise, or watch your favorite show.

Your ability to pause before reacting to a thought that pops into your head is crucial. If it’s tricky at first keep at it, it will get easier. Soon enough you’ll have full control over your mind and your thoughts. Meditation absolutely helps.

Should the thoughts get to you and you get into obsessing about your ex, just means you have to turn that train around. Create new train tracks to take you back the other way.

  • Breath into the anxiety.
  • Exhale all of the thoughts and worries
  • Imagine them floating away in a bubble up to the sky.
  • Remind yourself that you are safe and you are at peace.  

Everything really is okay.

Even if you have lost the love of your life. The next love can be so much bigger and better than this last one and better than you could have ever imagined.

And if you ever obsess about your ex just pause, breath, and let the universe wash it all away.

We can take our power back

Obsession is our way of trying to figure out what is wrong with us.

  • How did we mess this one up?
  • What if this had just happened instead?
  • What if I had just done this?

It’s a black hole. If you worked that hard and it didn’t work out, it just wasn’t meant to be. For those of us who grew up with less than stellar parenting, obsession can be more prevalent in our break up process. This means the process of getting out of obsession not only heals us from that moment but from our past traumas as well.

If you feel like you understand all of the above intellectually, but need some help with the practical application my coaching may be what you need to get out of obsession for good.

It’s helpful to work with a coach who has been to the burning bush. My past relationships have taught me so much. I’ve been there and back.

If you’re interested in working together to work through these feelings and move towards unlimited possibility Sign up for your free consultation session.

I’m here to help you through this passage so that maybe you will suffer just a little bit less or… free yourself from obsession all together 🙂