5 Ways To Stop Thinking About Something

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How do you stop thinking about something [1]? This is a question you have probably asked yourself multiple times whenever a thought takes control over your mind, feels you with anxiety, and makes it impossible to focus on other important things.

It’s not just you. This is a topic a number of people struggle to explore. They try to find an idea of how they can control the wild thoughts occupying their brains and wonder how to get happy again.

There are moments when something in your mind just won’t go away. You find that you can’t stop thinking about a person, school, work, your relationship, the difficulties your child is facing, bad decisions you have made, a mistake you did, fear about the future, or something else. And this worry cripples your productivity and robs your joy.

This will guide you through the steps you can take to find relief from your mind. We will show you how to stop thinking of something or someone. These tips will show you how to gain power over your thought process and stop the bad habit of overthinking.

5 Effective Ways To Stop Thinking About Something

Here are the five tips that will show you how to stop thinking about something that’s bothering you. If you take these steps, you will learn how to get rid of whatever is troubling you and in the course of it, gain the ability to only think of the things that matter.

1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a meditation technique of being in the moment and engaging all your senses in the place you are at. It is the best way to stop thinking about something. Rather than getting sucked in by your thoughts and feelings, observe your surrounding and engage every sense.

Whenever the unwanted thought invades your mind, it is a good reminder to bring your awareness back to your surroundings and the task at hand. Pay attention to the things you can hear, taste, see, smell, and touch. By being in the present moment, you keep yourself from obsessing about the past or the future.

Mindfulness has proven to be effective in alleviating stress and anxiety, but it takes lots of practice to master the technique. You can start by slowing down. Whatever you are doing, whether eating, doing chores, or walking, do it slowly.

Feel every motion of your body, take in everything your eyes can see, and take note of every bit of event happening in your world. Plan on how you will bring your awareness back to the present whenever your mind strays.

If you feel your mind straying back to the issue bugging you, talking to yourself about the thing you are doing out loud is an effective tactic. Say ‘I am cleaning the dishes,’ it will bring your consciousness back to the present.

You can also bring your attention back to the flow of your breath. Over time, you will learn how to control your mind and stop thinking about something by focusing on the present experiences and environment.

You should also set aside a specific amount of time everyday where you unplug and bury yourself in activities that you are passionate about. These habits will ground you and teach you to be more fully present.

lesson on how to distract yourself

2. Distraction 

Telling yourself to stop thinking about something will rarely work. One of the easiest and quickest ways to get rid of the thought you are thinking about is to distract yourself by engaging in something physical that also requires using your mental energy. It will also give you a much-needed break from your routine.

For example, instead of ruminating about the issue bothering you, try dancing to your favorite music or challenge yourself to clean the clutter in your room in two minutes.

You can try working a crossword puzzle, reading a book by your favorite author, or anything enjoyable that will engage your body and keep your mind distracted. Alternatively, build new hobbies, start a new project, or try out things you have always wanted to attempt.

If you want to learn how to stop thinking about someone or something, exercise. Exercising works well as a distraction. You can run, cycle, or try yoga. Working out will not just distract you, but it will help get rid of the inner tensions and worries you carry from the trouble bothering you. It will also add clarity to your mental space.

Distracting yourself with nature is also a good choice. You can walk your dog or take a walk yourself. Combining nature and physical movement will soothe your nervous system, and help you focus on other things other than your issue.

As you engage in distracting activities, practice mindfulness so that your thoughts cannot be drawn back to your issue. Notice the form your body takes as you exercise, fix your attention on your breathing, and feel your heartbeat.

talk to couple of friends

3. Talk It Out

Sometimes, all you need to do to stop thinking about something is talking them out. Search for someone you can trust, such as your best friend or a family member who shows concern for you. It will provide a release and prevent you from overthinking. The proverb ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ can also come in handy in helping you to stop thinking about the thing bothering you.

By talking it out, you could gain perspective as to understanding why you are having a hard time getting rid of the thought. And you will be halfway done with resolving the mess. Talking also releases some of the stress that comes with having another matter constantly in your mind.

If the burden on your mind is a difficulty that needs a solution, finding time to talk to someone could help you get a fresh approach. They could ask questions that can help you find reasons as to why you cannot stop thinking about whatever is bugging you. And in the course of it, there is a possibility you will find solutions or clarity about the subject.

This is also the best way to stop thinking about someone, especially after breaking a relationship. Find a friend that you can always talk to when you feel overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts about the person.

If there is absolutely no one you can talk to, you can write it down on your computer or if you are artistic, write a song about it. Always have a notepad and pen nearby or keep a journal. Whenever these thoughts come to you, interrupt your sleep, and make your head hurt, list them down.

Capturing your unwanted thoughts on paper gets them out of your system. And if they are negative thoughts, throw the piece of paper away or destroy it.

tools that everyone can take on being positive

4. Be Positive

Sometimes, you may find that disturbing thought results from negative thinking and assuming the worst about things and others.

For example, you could be having fears that you are about to lose your job, which will make it had to pay bills and take care of your children. All these ideas and assumptions could result from one suspicious look you got from your boss, which probably meant nothing.

But negativity will have you interpreting the worst from that one look. You will consistently think your career is about to end and assume any new person you see at work is your replacement.

Being overly critical about your worries and thoughts is also not the best way to learn how to not think about something. You need to give the opportunity to be compassionate with yourself. Negative self-talk will only fuel your overthinking and pile up your thoughts.

Rather than blame and shame yourself for past mistakes, something you said or something you did not do, treat yourself like you would treat a friend. Encourage yourself with positive words and most of all, forgive yourself and focus on the good memories.

You can’t learn how to stop thinking about someone and move on if the company you keep is not helping your situation. If they encourage you to give up on love because of a bad relationship you had, you are hanging out with the wrong people.

Surround yourself with positive persons who in turn do not overthink or speak negatively. Research shows that your social environment will play a big part in how you think and what you feel like. It could help you resolve your overthinking or fuel it.

The same applies to the things you read and listen to. If they carry negative energy, it will transfer to you and negatively affect your thinking. If you want to learn how to stop thinking about something that bothers you, make an effort to check the type of content you are reading and the kind of thinking and talks the people around you engage in.

Experts also suggest that in situations where the source of the negative emotion is loneliness, one of the steps you can take to get comfort is warming up. Have a hot cup of tea or hold a hot pack. It lets you substitute physical warmth for emotional warmth.

Gratefulness is also of importance when trying to cultivate positivity. There is a long list of things to be grateful for in your lives, such as the people that love you, good health, and a house. Take a step and start each day with a reflection of these things. It will impact your thinking and make you a more positive person.

high-risk seek professional help

5. Seek Help If Necessary

Unhealthy thinking could lead to more serious problems like inability to sleep or practice self care, hurting people you value, poor eating habits, uncontrolled anger, and low productivity. The psychological torture could affect your physical wellness and cause body aches and pain. And even rapid weight loss. It could ruin your relationships, career, and life.

If left unresolved, the persistent thought could develop into more serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety. And the opposite is true as well. Mental health troubles could be the reason you can’t stop thinking about a certain thing or find rest.

In case all the other four methods – mindfulness, distraction, positivity, and talking to friends do not have an effect, intervention is needed and do seek professional help. Search for a psychotherapist or doctor in your location with a high level of experience and have handled cases like yours.

A qualified therapist could guide you into treatment and finding the root cause of your trouble, helping you gain control over your thoughts. A psychotherapist will also guide you into building your present life instead of obsessing about the past or future. They will fill you with hope.

Therapists can show you how to stop thinking something or overthinking everything by showing you a different perspective about your situation. They will help you develop acceptance of the things you cannot change and make it easier for you to find a way to process your pain and emotions. They will give you the ability to move on from lessons lie broken relationships and past failures.

Note that there is nothing shameful about seeking professional help. And it is not a sign of weakness or disorder. It means you have the willpower to crush the thoughts holding you from living your best life and achieving your goal.

It shows you are courageous and strong enough to admit that you do not have the answers to the problems you are facing in your life. And that you cannot learn how to stop thinking about someone on your own, the only key is to seek help.

Most psychiatrists will allow you to discuss whatever is bothering you in your own terms. You can talk to them face to face about your persistent thoughts. Or if you want to remain anonymous, connect with the professional online and talk to them through messaging, or a phone call.

types of methods to decrease frequency of thinking about something


You now have the information you need on how to stop thinking about something. You know the step to take to stop overthinking about everything, to stop obsessing about a bad memory, and you now know how to stop thinking of someone. But no tip, no matter how good, will work unless you take the actions needed.

Practice mindfulness. It may take time to learn how to think only of the present and task at hand. But you will learn to control your mind to only hold the thoughts you desire. Distracting yourself is also an excellent approach. It will take your mind of the things in your mind. You can distract your thoughts through other aspect like exercise, an activity that engages your mind, a hobby, or developing new skills.

Talking to someone is also a great way to clear the thoughts in your head. During the times that you feel your brain is overwhelmed with the thing bothering you, develop the habit of sharing the thoughts in your head with a person you trust.

Make a resolution to become a positive person. Only give attention to the kinds of people, experiences, and things that leave you feeling better. They should promote happiness in your life, and discourage you from overthinking and having any negative thought.

When all doesn’t work and your overwhelmed brain won’t let you sleep or enjoy life, find a way to talk to a qualified therapist for the analysis on the nagging thought in your head. Find one you can be free with and who allows you to unload the information in your head. They will provide a method that will enable you to find peace and happiness again.

By using these techniques, you can get the mental clarity you need in order to achieve your dreams and purpose in life. Over time, the possibilities of you stop worrying about your job, your kids, someone in your life, or other things that are out of your control will decrease.