Sometimes you are your own worst enemy after a breakup – such as when you allow negative thoughts to control your mood and mind. These tips on how to stop negative thinking will help you regain control of your life. After breaking up, you can feel better about yourself than you ever have before!
Breaking up is never easy. Even if your boyfriend or husband was unhealthy or abusive – or if he left and you have no choice but to move on – it’s hard to let go. You’re learning a whole new life, a different way of being and acting and relating to people. Your home is different. So is your car, workplace, even where you eat lunch or watch tv.
Negative thoughts after a breakup are normal. That’s the bad news. But wait, I have good news, too! No matter how old you are, you can retrain your brain. You can rewire how you think and feel about yourself. You can learn how to stop thinking about your ex and get on with your life.
Not only can you learn how to stop negative thinking after a breakup, you can actually create new neural pathways in your brain. These new pathways will boost your thoughts and change your feelings from bad to good.
7 Easy Ways to Stop Negative Thinking After a Breakup
More good news: you have power to change how you feel.
When you choose activities and exercises that help you heal and grow, you literally change how your brain operates. When you practice different Blossom Tips for moving forward, you plant seeds in your life that grow forever. And the more you do it, the easier it gets.
1. Remember that negative thinking is a habit
You are NOT what you think. Your negative thoughts are simply a habit that you’ve fallen into. They are NOT the truth about who you are or where your life is going. Your negative thoughts are not the truth about your value, self-worth, or ability to love and be loved in the future.
Thinking negative after a breakup is simply a habit that your brain – which is lazy even though it’s smart – has fallen into. Remember this, because it is an easy and effective way to stop negative thinking after a breakup. You’ve simply fallen into a bad habit, and you can train your brain to think differently.
2. You have power over your thoughts
You can change how you feel and think. Sure, certain negative thoughts about the breakup will pop into your head and make you feel sad, guilty or lonely. You’ll struggle with pain and grief at unexpected times, in unexpected places. Or maybe you always struggle at the same time and in the same place. But your painful, negative thoughts don’t have to control or overwhelm you.
Your thoughts are incredibly powerful – but you have the upper hand. You have more power over your thoughts than they have over you. This is really important; many of my She Blossoms readers say they can’t control their thoughts, they’ll never get over a breakup or loss, and they have no power over their lives. This is extremely negative thinking that has a toxic effect on their emotions, body, and spirit. An easy and effective way to stop these types of negative thoughts is to remember that you have more power than you think.
3. Increase your awareness
Notice your feelings of loneliness and sadness. When do you feel the baddest or saddest? Does a place or person always trigger negative feelings? What specific thoughts make you feel worse?
Paying attention to the how, what, when, why and where of your negative thought patterns will help you retrain your brain after a breakup. Sometimes it’s as easy as realizing that you always feel bad when you walk your dog down this particular street, for example. That’s the street you and your ex shared a kiss, or had the huge fight that led to the breakup! Guess what? It’s time to avoid that street. That will help stop the negative thoughts that rise from that particular place.
4. Write down the negative thoughts about you or your breakup
Make a list of all the thoughts that are creating negativity and pain in your life. Take time to do this, with an actual pen and paper. This will help you see what you’re dealing with. The enemy is darkness, shame and secrets. Shine light on the pain and shame, and it will start to dissipate.
Sign up for my free weekly "She Blossoms" newsletter
That is the third way to stop negative thinking from controlling your life after a breakup. See how easy it can be? But I admit it’s not simple. Learning how to retrain your brain to think more positively requires you to actually take action and do a little work.
5. Savor the feeling of thinking good thoughts
Bad thoughts make you feel terrible; good thoughts make you feel awesome. Changing how you feel is as easy as choosing to think thoughts that uplift, inspire, and encourage you. It really is that simple.
You can’t control how often those thoughts pop into your head. But, you can control which thoughts you choose to dwell on. You can also control who you listen to. You can decide to hold on to certain thoughts, and let others pass through your mind. Notice them, them let them go. Feed and savor the true, healthy thoughts. Instead of obsessing about the distressing thoughts that make you feel terrible, make a list of positive thoughts that brighten your spirits.
6. Give your brain good thoughts to “eat”
I don’t mean actual physical food – though your brain definitely needs omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients, and minerals. But when you’re dealing with negative thought patterns after breaking up with someone you love, your brain needs something different to focus on.
In other words, you can’t just eliminate negative thoughts without giving your brain something else to do, plan, hope for, dream of. After a breakup your brain is looking for something to chew on. Feed it good, positive, uplifting thoughts.
Read Getting Out of the “Couples Mindset” After a Breakup for ideas. But first take a look at our last way to stop negative thinking….your blossomy moments.
7. Train your brain to focus on your blossomy moments
Remember a time you achieved something you’re proud of. Maybe you successfully completed a project at work or school, and it was praised. Maybe you inspired or encouraged a friend.
When you find yourself dwelling on a painful thought, refocus on a “life word” or phrase you chose in advance. Mine is freedom. I take a deep breath when I say it. Then I think about things that make me feel free: Jesus, forgiveness, grace, love, joy, peace.
You have power to change how you feel and think after a breakup. Don’t throw your power away.
Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! Writing is one of the best ways to discover what you really think and feel. Take time to stop and listen to the still small voice, and you will start healing and moving forward.
I read every comment, but don’t worry. I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.