If you’re wondering how to get over someone and stop obsessing over a man, a relationship, or anything else, here’s what I do to nip those unproductive thoughts in the bud.
1. Consider why we obsess.
Obsession can be about controlling anxiety. I tend to obsess when I feel like I did or said something wrong, or if I’m not sure how my actions were received. Even though everything might really be okay, but I’m out there thinking endlessly about “what if” nightmare scenarios.
Sometimes, we hesitate to stop obsessing over someone because it feels like obsessing is the only way we’re able to hold onto the relationship or exercise control over a situation.
This is especially true if you’re obsessing over your ex.
People email me constantly, asking how they can move on from an ex who they broke up with months or even years ago, but they’re still stuck wondering about the time they said or did “the thing.”
It’s easy to feel as though by thinking about something enough, you can work it out or change it. It can feel like if you just think about it enough or come up with enough
“solutions”, it will make things better.
Unfortunately, obsessing about it is usually the exact opposite of repairing things. The more upset you allow yourself to get, the worse the problems become. While working through problems is healthy, constantly thinking about how things are going is not.
Remember that while obsession IS emotional work, it’s not productive nor does it change anything except your own, crappy mental state.
2. Healthfully reduce your anxiety.
Managing anxiety is incredibly difficult, but SO necessary if you’re trying to keep your thoughts away from whatever you’ve been obsessing about. If you’re often subject to free-floating anxiety like I am, protect yourself from the anxiety first before allowing yourself to decide that anything is the actual cause of your anxiety.
Letting anxiety dictate your actions can be particularly dangerous if you decide your partner or your relationship is why you feel like crap. This not only creates more anxiety but also negative self-fulfilling prophecies. Anxiety tricks your brain into feeling as though something is wrong — even if nothing is wrong.
And, when you feel as though something is wrong, you’ll act like there is, which will clue the people around you into the concept that something is off.
That’s why, if you’re prone to obsession, try to manage your anxious, upset feelings first, before you tackle whatever may be the source of those feelings.
If you try to get rid of anxiety by doing something to change whatever’s happening in that state of anxiety, it most likely won’t go well. Having an anxious, upset conversation with anyone is at best problematic and at worst, a total disaster.
Managing your anxiety should come first — before you ever approach your partner about it.
I manage my anxiety by practicing meditation, getting enough sleep, eating properly, and working out regularly. When I do this kind of self-care, it forces me to focus on whatever I’m doing for myself instead of letting my thoughts float over to obsession territory.