How To Get Someone Off Your Mind? | A Strategic Guide

We’ve all been there when someone is running laps through our heads. We repeat things in our mind that we said or didn’t say, interactions, and all sorts of imaginary situations.

To get someone off your mind, accept that something unpleasant has happened and you are thinking about them more than you should. The biggest challenge you will face is living in denial. The sooner you acknowledge your emotions, the faster you can move toward finding a solution.

You will try to run away from reality. Once you accept that there is a problem, it is then you truly start working on a feasible, long term solution.

Before We Begin

It could be an ex-partner, or it could be someone who died. It could be things unresolved with a loved one, or it could be someone you’re dating.

Maybe it is an employee or employer who’s stressing you out, or it could be a client, we understand that your peace of mind has been compromised.

One person keeps popping through your head. “Stop it! Get out of here! I don’t want to think about you….” is all you want to scream at the top of your lungs.

This is not productive, right? And quick measures just serve as a temporary respite. So what do we do?

Before we get into it, please note that the article has been written from the point of view of a breakup or the death of a loved one.

However, most of the steps are equally effective in case you want to get your newfound crush off your mind.

Steps To Get Someone Off Your Mind

1. Understand The Unresolved

This is the least pleasant one. We always want to start with why? What are we doing, what’s going on? But first, understand the way your brain works.

Your brain fixates on what is unresolved. It fixates on issues that are still in process. This is called the Zeigarnik effect.

It is heavily documented, and it makes sense because once something is complete, we just don’t tend to think about it as much.

When something is unanswered or unresolved, that’s when our brain thinks about it. It makes sense for our brain to focus on that problem.

If you’re obsessing over someone or obsessing over some interaction with someone, it could be because it’s unresolved. And the goal is to resolve things.

2. If Possible, Speak To The Person Involved

How can you resolve things then? One way you can resolve things is speaking to that person.

Though that’s not always possible for various reasons like in the instance of that person being dead or your ex refusing to speak to you.

But the bottom line here is to have a clear mindset of taking the bull by its horns whenever possible.

Whether a conversation is possible or not is not in your hands. But having a strong mindset is. They say that time heals wounds.

Time does not heal all wounds, but time certainly heals wounds faster if you find closure.

“XYZ (put your action plan here) is the exact step I am going to take to win over my situation.”

Say it out loud. That frees up the brain to work on other things.

If Possible, Speak To The Person Involved

3. Spend Time With Other People

If you keep thinking about someone, spend time with other people. We tend to think about that particular someone more when we’re alone.

We just don’t have the energy or the time to do so generally when we’re with other people. One can even daydream or might fantasize or whatever.

But if someone else is in our company or a bunch of people are around us, and we’re having a good time, then it’s pretty easy to forget everything else.

TABLE: Reported Effectiveness Of Different Methods Of Tackling Obsessive Thinking

Method DeployedReported Effectiveness
Watching a film or T.V.38%
Going online45%
Texting or calling54%
Writing thoughts56%
Meeting friends and family62%
Source: Based on a study by with 702 participants.

If you keep thinking about someone, diverge your thoughts in a healthy way by giving your time to someone else!

4. Get Busy With Your Life

Get off your phone, get off your computer, and do something outside. Go to the mall, go to the gym, play a sport. Just pick-up a basketball and leave your house.

Go and dance, join a dance class. Write something in an external setting like a park or a busy street. Or you might even meet up with some friends.

Go through your phone and hit people up. If you’re going to be on your phone or the internet, it should be about learning important things.

But primarily, your focus should lie on meeting people in person, as we said above.

So, if someone’s in your head, get them out of your head by introducing new activities in your life or by meeting new people.

5. Understand Why You Are Missing Them

Before we talk about how to get someone off your mind, we would like to explain what missing someone is.

If you’re missing somebody right now, it is because somebody that you were fond of was with you, and they’re no longer there.

Missing someone is a direct result of their absence. You just can’t escape the feeling by choosing to. When someone you adore leaves, you miss them.

That’s it. It is a feeling directly created by them leaving.

If you were left alone and this created your feeling of missing them, you wouldn’t be able to escape this feeling unless you have distracting thoughts.

Can you see that? How is missing someone just created by thoughts? When you don’t think about them, you don’t miss them.

Not thinking about them is not easy, but engaging yourself in activities that don’t leave any space for their thoughts is undoubtedly easy and in our hands.

6. Replace Their Thoughts With New Ones

This point follows the same principles as point number 4 and 5 above but explains them a bit in-depth with the psychology behind doing so.

Now, if you look at it, are you doing anything for fun? Do you have anything that you enjoy? Think about some hobbies that you have.

Maybe you can watch a movie, read a book, go dancing or exercise. Whatever it is you are doing right now, can you have fun while doing it? Probably not.

And this is precisely why you cannot get that person off your mind because you are not allowing other thoughts to get some space in your head.

If you can enjoy yourself by simply distracting yourself from thoughts, then clearly the person you love, and their leaving cannot create a void.

You can only miss them when you think about them.

7. Differentiate Between Your Imagination And Reality

The reason why we think about them and continue to think about them is that we believe we would be happier if that person were here. Do you see that?

The bottom line here is that you ‘think’ you’d be happier. It may not necessarily be true.

If you didn’t think that you would be happier if they were here, then you wouldn’t think about them. When you’re already happy, there’s no reason to think about them.

But when you’re just sitting there and letting your mind wander, it keeps thinking that you would be happier if a specific person were here.

When we’re missing someone, what we do is remember moments of pleasure in the past. And then we say, “I would be so much happier if they were here.”

The next point will help you get out of this trap.

Differentiate Between Your Imagination And Reality

8. Focus On The Negative Experiences

Let’s stop for a moment and answer the following questions. Were all of the times that you had enjoyable?

Or were there any moments when you were annoyed with them? Were there any moments when they judged you?

When you got in arguments or when you were worried about whether they were cheating on you? Did you ever have doubts about whether they loved you or not?

Maybe they could’ve cheated on you, or the relationship could’ve turned sour in a few months or years.

While we’re thinking about how we would be happier if that particular person were here, we’re thinking about a specific moment and how it was pleasurable.

But we can’t just take that particular moment or experience and treat it as the absolute reality.

We are sure that after answering these questions, your fantasy world would be broken. That person doesn’t seem as sweet or kind as before, right?

9. Don’t Lose Hope Easily

Are you sure that you won’t be happy anymore? Maybe whatever has happened will give you more opportunities to be with friends.

To make new friends, to engage with your hobbies, and perhaps you’ll find somebody else that you find more worthy of your time.

It is very much possible that all these things could wind up, making you happier without this person.

You being unhappy will always act as a catalyst for further negativity. You will fall into the trap of feeling and behaving like a victim.

Feeling hopeless is another feeling you might encounter. Start examining what thoughts create your unhappiness and how to deal with them.

Just by dealing with these thoughts, you’ll end up a much happier person. If you lose the thoughts that make you unhappy, you end up being happy.

Don’t Lose Hope Easily

10. Stop Calculating Your Worth Through Someone Else’s Eyes

If the person whom we cannot get off our mind dumped us, it makes us feel bad about ourselves. We feel hurt. Being hurt worsens our opinion about ourselves.

If they helped to convince us that we were lovable, and then they break up with us, it’s harder for us to feel lovable.

It makes us feel less worthy, and we feel terrible. And that worsening of the opinion makes us feel hurt.

Since we want to feel better, we think about winning them back and just talking to them once to explain ourselves so that we can be happy again.

We want to prove to them that we are an improved and a changed person. Now, even if we win them back, then will we feel worthy and lovable again?

There is no surety. If one person doesn’t want to be with you, does that mean that you’re not good enough?

Does that mean that you’re not worthy of love? Is their opinion somehow more valid than everybody else’s opinion?

Could somebody else’s opinion about you always be correct?

Think over these things and realize that your equation turning bad with one person doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person.

And once you start feeling good about yourself, it would be much easier for you to get that person off your mind.

11. Your Anger Will Only Poison You

It is quite reasonable to hold grudges when you have unresolved feelings.

There is no black and white in a relationship, and there are two sides to the coin when it comes to who was at fault.

Thus, the sooner you realize that, the easier it will be to get someone off your mind.

Just like that person is the culprit in your eyes, in their eyes, you are the one at fault. It is useless to wait for them to ‘realize’ their mistake and hold grudges till then.

We know you must have heard a zillion times to forgive and move on. Howsoever cliched it might sound, it is one of the most effective methods.

The pain, the anger, the grudges that you hold will only take away your peace of mind. The person on the other end doesn’t bother or care.

They have their own life to take care of.

12. Deliberately Change Your Environment Or Action

And last on this list is something that will work every time.

The moment you find yourself thinking about them again, the best way to get them off your mind is to change your physical setting or whatever it is that you are doing.

Suppose you are watching TV, and you suddenly remember how you two cuddled up while watching your favorite TV series, just get up and leave the room.

Maybe you can do something as simple as going to the kitchen for a glass of water, or you can even call a friend.

Similarly, if you cannot sleep as your thoughts are fixated on them, play a competitive online game that requires you to press keys frequently.

The key is to engage in a rigorous physical activity that requires your active concentration.

Make this a habit. Initially, it would feel bizarre and would only work for a short time.

However, as days go by, you would notice that after changing your environment or activity, you can keep that person off your mind for longer durations.

Deliberately Change Your Environment Or Action

When You Can’t Get Someone Off Your Mind, Are They Thinking Of You?

When you can’t get someone off your mind, it doesn’t mean they are thinking of you. No scientific study says that there is a connection between you thinking about a person and vice-versa. The isolated instances were purely coincidental. The statement isn’t universally true.

There is a whole community of psychology enthusiasts that are of the view that if you cannot get someone out of your head, then probably they are thinking about you.

Now, we are not going to get into the debate of whether this is true or not as we respect everybody’s view.

The Truth Is Unpleasant

However, it’s better to give actionable advice and practical reforms. Therefore, we are just going to provide you with our opinions and suggested actions.

You are free to take or reject it. Yes, there have been some cases where two people have been found to think about each other at the same time.

But those have been merely termed as coincidences.

Chances of someone else thinking about you when you are thinking about them at the same time are freakishly low.

And the odds of this happening when that person has dumped us tend to be even lower.

Most probably, they are trying to move on in their life and engaging in activities that distract them from thinking about us.

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Get Someone Off Your Mind?

When you can’t get someone off your mind, it means that you are thinking about them more than you should. Constantly thinking about this person has driven you to the point where you are trying to find abstract meanings and signs. Going down this road can be bad for your mental health.

In the case of the death of a loved one or a breakup, it is harder to get the person off your mind as compared to when they are just a simple crush or someone you admire.

We suggest you not to overthink about the meaning behind this and instead focus on how you can make sure that you are not thinking too much about someone.

The goal is to get that someone off your mind ultimately. This would be a far better approach in terms of moving on with your life.

It is way more fruitful rather than sticking around and finding meanings behind your thoughts and actions.

Life is better when its beauty is enjoyed. Being stuck up on someone will give you nothing.

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Get Someone Off Your Mind


Most people when thinking about someone and trying to stop, focus on pushing the thoughts away. But actively trying to divert your mind never helps.

That’s why you should focus on accepting these thoughts and feel no shame that you are obsessed about someone. Living in denial only prolongs the healing process.

Now it’s your turn to share how will you get your life back on track? Will you take up a new activity or plan a trip with friends? Either way, share your thoughts in the comments.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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