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As you may have noticed, though, trying to suppress certain thoughts often only brings them back in full force , leaving you overwhelmed and frustrated. The 12 strategies below can help you refresh your focus. Say you had an intense crush on a classmate but never got the chance to ask them out. Now, you spend a lot of time imagining yourself making this conversation happen. Maybe your crush says no. People have more nuance to them than right and wrong or good and bad, but memory biases can increase your chances of remembering wonderful or terrible things over more normal, everyday traits or events.
These exaggerated perceptions can take over your mental space pretty easily, making it even harder to let go. You can combat them by gently nudging your memories back toward the realm of strict facts. That might sound completely illogical, but this technique can really work. Unrequited love , humiliation, unjust treatment, plain old spite — any of these can cause plenty of distress, which you reject to protect yourself. Shoving the thoughts in a mental box and hiding the key can make them seem forbidden, off-limits.
Accepting them, and the circumstances around them, can help you navigate distress more productively. Opening the box and letting your thoughts loose reduces their urgent need for acknowledgment. Meditation is one helpful way to practice exploring and accepting unwanted thoughts. A regular meditation practice can teach you to sit with thoughts and let them pass as you observe them with compassion and curiosity.
Other methods can help you begin exploring and accepting thoughts of someone in order to finally get them off your mind. Journaling is one such approach. Many people associate journaling with their teenage years, but a journal can have benefits at any stage in life. Journals offers private space to vent frustrations and come to terms with difficult emotions. It might even feel a little easier to identify potential reasons behind persistent thoughts in writing. Many people find journaling cathartic. Distraction can help you manage any kind of emotional distress, as long as you use it correctly.
It can help to try focused distraction or redirecting your thoughts to something specific, instead of simply letting your mind wander where it will. Some dedicated self-exploration can distract you from thoughts of whoever you want to stop thinking about.
It can also help you get back in touch with your hobbies, personal interests, and other things you find meaningful. You know, those things that so often fall by the wayside when you get wrapped up in thoughts of someone else. Believing you need someone makes it much harder to let go. Your answers can help you begin to identify a clearer path forward. Remember, nobody can fulfill all of your needs , though friends and partners provide important emotional support. Creating some space between yourself and the other person can help you redirect thoughts more successfully. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes.
Mindfulness, or your awareness of the present, can improve well-being in a of ways. Staying present in your daily life can strengthen your relationships with others. It can also boost self-awareness and have a positive impact on emotional health. Find more mindfulness tips here. Still, time does seem to pass much more slowly when you want something specific to happen.
You might scoff at the idea that your pain and the intensity of your thoughts will someday diminish, but time generally does do the trick. Maybe you go over the injustice again and again, fixate on the pain of betrayal, and think of all things you could do to balance the scales.
Yet retracing this path generally only fuels more misery, while forgiveness offers a more reliable route toward healing. It becomes easier to forgive when you remember everyone makes mistakes, and many of these mistakes have no bad intentions behind them. In therapy, you can learn productive ways to challenge unwanted thoughts and break their hold, along with mindfulness practices and other helpful coping skills.
Struggling to forgive someone? A therapist can help with that, too. The mind can be a tricky place. This can feel particularly frustrating when thoughts of someone you want to forget pop up as fast as you push them down. Other people can affect you deeply, for better or for worse. Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health.
Forgiveness might seem challenging, but when you think about it, it simply means letting go of your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance. Having friends makes you feel good, but it can affect your physical health, too. Here are 6 ways friends can enrich your mind, body, and soul.
We often talk about toxicity in terms of romantic partners, but certain types of friends can be just as toxic. Most of can't relax on cue, but with practice we can learn this sometimes elusive skill. This popular personality tool can help you uncover the deep desires that drive your behavior.
Learn how. The desire to eat soap isn't as uncommon as you might think. Ingesting a small amount is usually not toxic, but habitually eating soap can cause…. Simone Biles dominated headlines this week after she withdrew from the Olympic women's gymnastics team final and then the all-around competition…. Medically reviewed by Marney A. Figure out why. Focus on the facts. Accept instead of reject. Write it down. Find a positive distraction. Work on self-discovery. Prioritize meeting your own needs. Keep a healthy distance. Stay in the here and now.
Give it time. Try to forgive. Talk to a therapist. The bottom line. Read this next. White, PhD, MS. In a Toxic Friendship? Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph. Medically reviewed by Alex Klein, PsyD. What is Sapophagia, the Compulsion to Eat Soap?Just wanting to be real
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