What It Really Means When You Can’t Stop Thinking About Someone

Some people may think hate is the opposite of love, but in actuality, it’s indifference, as Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel once said (via Oxford Reference). He was not wrong. As the human psyche has shown us time and again, both love and hate can spark some very intense emotions in people.

These feelings, regardless if they’re the product of a relationship, a crush, or a breakup, may propagate nonstop contemplation about a specific someone, which can then lead to many questions and frustrations (especially if the person you’re thinking about is not someone you’re particularly fond of). Some of these questions may include, “Is this type of rumination normal?”, “Why is it occurring?”, and “What can I do about it?”

The fact of the matter is, thinking about a significant other or a past lover is normal. Unhealthy obsession, however, is not. With that in mind, here is what it really means when you just can’t get someone out of your head.

Why you are thinking about said person

If you catch yourself in deep thought about someone throughout your day-to-day living, your initial reaction may be to force yourself to stop. However, studies how shown that suppressing uncomfortable thoughts and/or feelings can lead to them returning stronger than ever, according to Healthline.

Hence the best course of action to take in this situation is to dive deep and figure out just why you’re pondering so much. Here are some possible reasons: (1) you are in love, (2) you are insanely sexually attracted to said person, (3) they are giving you mixed signals that have left you overthinking, (4) you are an avid daydreamer fixating on unrealized hopes, (5) you are in a relationship but unsure of where it’s heading, (6) your love is unrequited.

There are many other potential reasons, but only you can identify them (and if you find your introspection yielding no results, therapy can be a great place to start).

What you can do to move on from these thoughts

Once you’ve identified the why, it becomes much easier to figure out the next course of action. If the object of your rumination is someone new, perhaps you can ask them out — if only to eliminate the idealized version of them you’ve created in your head. And if they say no, well, at least you know you tried and can move on!

If it’s an ex-lover who broke your heart and left you without closure, you can take it as an opportunity to work on your own self-worth (because FYI you don’t need closure from anyone, though we understand it’s helpful). Perhaps you can do a social media cleanse, or pick up a new active hobby. Focusing on yourself in healthy ways that can enhance your body and mind is one of the best ways to stop fixating on someone else, according to Healthline.

You can also journal as a way to get your thoughts out of your head and in front of you. This can in turn help you reflect and work through your emotions. Another great way to get out of your own head is to do something beneficial for others. Studies have shown that charity or volunteer work make us feel good and connected to one another, according to The Washington Post. If all else fails, therapy/counseling is a great way to work through many mental-health issues.

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