How To Stop Thinking About Someone Who Hurt You: Effective Ways to Feel Better

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 17, 2023
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Ever felt like a ghost from your past keeps haunting your thoughts, no matter how hard you try to move forward? If so, you are not alone. This article is designed for individuals like you struggling to free their minds from someone who left a painful mark in their lives.

The problem of being unable to let go of a person or relationship that ended negatively is more common than you might think. It’s a silent battle many people fight daily, often damaging mental and emotional well-being. The constant replay of hurtful memories can cause stress, anxiety, depression and even hinder personal growth.

At Online Mental Health Reviews, we understand the gravity of this issue. Our team, led by Jared Levenson, a former Zen Buddhist monk with a master’s degree in counseling psychology, is dedicated to providing practical solutions to such mental health predicaments. With years of professional experience in mental health services, we are well-equipped to guide you through this journey.

In this article, our main objective is to provide you with effective strategies to stop thinking about someone who hurt you. We aim to empower you with knowledge and techniques that can help you regain control over your thoughts, heal from past hurts, and move toward a healthier future.

By the end of this piece, you will have learned how to manage your thoughts better, cope with your feelings, and find peace within yourself. Your journey toward liberation starts here.

How To Stop Thinking About Someone Who Hurt You

  1. Acknowledge Your Pain: The first step in healing is acknowledging your pain. It’s normal to feel hurt when someone has wronged you, and allowing yourself to experience these emotions is important.
  2. Practice Forgiveness: Forgiving the person who hurt you doesn’t mean you’re excusing their actions, but it can help you move on. Remember, forgiveness is more for you than for the other person.
  3. Stay Active: Physical activity can boost your mood and be a healthy distraction.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If your feelings of hurt are overwhelming and affecting your daily life, consider receiving support from a mental health professional. They can provide you with strategies to cope and move forward.
  5. Limit Contact: If possible, limit contact with the person who hurt you. This can give you the time and space you need to heal.
  6. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: These techniques can help you stay present and avoid dwelling on past hurts.
  7. Self-Care: Prioritize activities that nourish your body and mind. This could be anything from taking a relaxing bath, or yoga, reading a book or spending time in nature.

Remember, healing takes time, and everyone’s journey is unique. Be patient with yourself as you navigate this process.

Why Does Love Hurt So Much?

Love can often hurt due to various factors rooted in our emotions, expectations, and brain chemistry. Here are some key reasons based on research and expert insights:

  1. Emotional Highs and Lows: Love can bring about intense emotions, both positive and negative. The euphoria that comes with love can often be followed by lows when things don’t go as planned or when conflicts arise.
  2. Fear and Insecurity: Fear of losing a loved one, fear of betrayal, or fear that things won’t work out can cause emotional pain.
  3. Expectations and Disappointment: We often place high expectations on love and our partners. When these expectations aren’t met, it can lead to disappointment and pain.
  4. Physical Pain: Research shows that the pain of rejection activates the same part of the brain associated with physical pain, which is why heartbreak can feel so physically painful.
  5. Biochemical Reactions: Love triggers the release of hormones and neurotransmitters that can create feelings of happiness and attachment. However, when love isn’t reciprocated or a relationship ends, the absence of these chemicals can lead to feelings of withdrawal and pain.
  6. Memory Recall and Rumination: People often ruminate about their loss after a heartbreak, which keeps the pain active and makes it harder to move on.

While love can be painful, it’s important to remember that it can bring immense joy and fulfillment. It’s all about navigating the complexities of love and relationships, understanding your needs and emotions, and knowing how to heal and grow from painful experiences.

Allow the Negative Emotions to Flow

It’s important to allow negative emotions to flow rather than suppressing them when dealing with emotional pain.

According to psychological research, acknowledging positive feelings and expressing your feelings can be crucial to the healing process.

Here are some steps you can take to allow your negative emotions to flow:

  1. Acknowledge Your Emotions: Recognize and accept what you’re feeling without judgment. It’s okay to feel hurt, betrayed, or disappointed.
  2. Express Your Feelings: Find safe and healthy outlets to express these emotions. This could be talking to a trusted friend or therapist, writing in a journal, or engaging in creative activities like painting or music.
  3. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves staying present and fully experiencing your emotions as they come without trying to change or avoid them.
  4. Self-Care: Engage in activities that help you relax and improve your physical health. This can include exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques.
  5. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if your negative emotions overwhelm or affect your daily life.

Remember, it’s okay to feel negative emotions, and it’s an important part of the healing process. With time and the right strategies, you can navigate through these emotions and move toward healing and recovery.

Create a Positive Mantra to Counter the Painful Thoughts

Creating a positive mantra can effectively counter painful thoughts and foster a sense of resilience. A mantra is a phrase or sentence you repeat to yourself, which can help shift your focus from negative to positive thoughts.

Here are steps to create a positive mantra:

  1. Identify Your Negative Thoughts: Understand the recurring negative thoughts you want to overcome.
  2. Craft a Positive Statement: Turn your negative thoughts into a positive affirmation. For instance, if your negative thinking is “I’m not good enough,” your positive affirmation could be “I am capable and deserving “.
  3. Keep It Personal and Present: Your mantra should resonate with you and be in the present tense. For example, instead of saying, “I will be happy,” say, “I am happy “.
  4. Repeat Your Mantra: Regularly recite your mantra, especially when you find yourself slipping into negative thought patterns.
  5. Visualize: While repeating your mantra, visualize a positive outcome. This can enhance its effectiveness.

Remember, practicing patience and consistency while using this technique is important. Over time, your positive mantra can become a powerful tool to combat painful thoughts.

What Are the Benefits of Forgiving Someone?

Forgiving someone who has hurt you can be a powerful step toward healing and peace. According to Hopkins Medicine, here are some key benefits of forgiveness backed by research:

  1. Improved Mental Health: Forgiveness is associated with lower depression, anxiety, and stress.
  2. Better Physical Health: Studies have found that forgiveness can improve physical health, including lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart attacks.
  3. Enhanced Relationships: Forgiving others can help improve existing relationships and build stronger new ones.
  4. Greater Life Satisfaction: Those who forgive will likely experience greater satisfaction and positive emotions.
  5. Resilience: Forgiving someone can help you develop greater stability, enabling you to handle future difficulties more effectively.

Remember, forgiveness is a personal process that takes time. It’s about freeing yourself from resentment and making room for positive growth and well-being.

Permit Yourself to Forgive

Permitting yourself to forgive can be a significant step in stopping the cycle of painful thoughts about someone who has hurt you. Forgiveness is not about that forgiveness means excusing the person’s actions or forgetting the pain they’ve caused. Instead, it’s about releasing the hold that resentment has on you.

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: Recognize your hurt and anger and understand these feelings are valid.
  2. Express Your Emotions: Safely expressing your emotions can be therapeutic. You might write in a journal, talk to a friend or counselor, or engage in creative outlets.
  3. Decide to Forgive: Make the conscious decision to let go of the resentment and negative feelings.
  4. Empathy: Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. This doesn’t excuse their actions but may help you understand them.
  5. Acceptance: Accept that the past can’t be changed. Focus on what you can control – your response and feelings.
  6. Seek Support: If you’re struggling to forgive, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Remember, forgiveness is a process that takes time and patience. It’s about freeing yourself from negative emotions and moving toward peace and healing.

What Happens If I Can’t Forgive Someone?

It can have psychological and emotional implications if someone can’t forgive another person. Here’s what the research suggests happened:

  1. Increased Stress: Unforgiveness is often associated with increased stress levels. Holding onto negative feelings can trigger the body’s stress response, leading to physical symptoms like high blood pressure and heart disease.
  2. Impact on Mental Health: Not forgiving can contribute to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  3. Impaired Relationships: If you cannot forgive someone, it might affect your relationships with others, causing you to become guarded or defensive.
  4. Reduced Life Satisfaction: Holding onto resentment and anger can decrease overall life satisfaction and well-being.
  5. Stunted Personal Growth: Forgiveness is often seen as a key component of personal growth and resilience. With it, personal development may be improved.

While forgiveness can be beneficial, it’s also important to recognize that it’s a personal process and not always possible or appropriate, depending on the situation. In many cases, seeking help from a mental health professional can be beneficial.

Practice Self-Love and Self-Compassion

Practicing self-love and self-compassion is vital to maintaining our self-esteem, good mental health, and overall well-being. It involves treating ourselves kindly, accepting our flaws, and having patience during difficult times.

Here are some steps to practice self-love and self-compassion:

  1. Mindfulness: Stay present and aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  2. Self-Care: Prioritize activities that nurture physical, emotional, and mental health.
  3. Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
  4. Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and protect your time, energy, and emotional needs.
  5. Forgiveness: Forgive yourself for past mistakes and view them as opportunities for growth.

Remember, self-love practice empathy, and self-compassion are not about being self-centered or selfish. They’re about acknowledging your self-worth and treating yourself with the same kindness you’d extend to others.

Surround Yourself with People Who Fill You Up

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can significantly impact your mental health and overall psychological well-being. These people can inspire you, boost your mood, and help you navigate life’s ups and downs.

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Identify Positive Influences: Recognize the people who encourage you, make you feel good about yourself, and inspire you to improve.
  2. Spend More Time With Them: Make an effort to spend more time with these positive influences in your life.
  3. Seek Out New Positive Relationships: Join clubs, groups, or communities to meet new people with similar interests and values.
  4. Set Boundaries: Learn to distance yourself from negative influences that drain your energy or bring you down.
  5. Be a Positive Influence: Practice kindness and positivity towards others. Positivity attracts positivity.

Remember, having a diverse network of relationships is important, each of which may fulfill different emotional needs.

Talk to Your Family and Friends

Conversations with family and friends can be instrumental in helping you stop thinking about someone who hurt you. They can provide support, perspective, and advice during difficult times.

Here are some steps for talking to family and friends:

  1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a quiet, comfortable setting where you won’t be interrupted. Ensure you have enough time to express your feelings fully.
  2. Be Honest About Your Feelings: Open up about how you’re feeling. It’s okay to admit if you’re hurt or struggling.
  3. Listen to Their Perspective: They might offer insights or experiences to help you see things differently.
  4. Ask for What You Need: If you need advice, ask for it; if you need someone to listen, communicate that.
  5. Stay Open to Advice: They might offer suggestions on coping or sharing their experiences with similar situations.

Remember, while friends and family can provide great support, professional help like a counselor or therapist can be beneficial if you find it difficult to move on from the painful situation.

Can We Avoid Getting Hurt in Relationships?

Getting hurt in relationships is a part of the human experience and is often inevitable because we care deeply about our partners and are vulnerable to them.

However, there are strategies to manage hurt feelings and mitigate the pain of relational disappointments and conflicts.

  1. Self-awareness: Understand your emotional triggers and patterns. Consider an evidence-based emotion journal. This can help you communicate your needs effectively and avoid misunderstandings.
  2. Healthy Communication: Express your feelings honestly and assertively, not aggressively. Listen to your partner’s perspective without interrupting.
  3. Set Boundaries: Define what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t. Boundaries create a sense of security.
  4. Forgiveness: Holding onto resentment can cause continual hurt. Forgiveness allows healing.
  5. Seek Therapy: If you find it hard to navigate through the hurt, professional help such as a counselor or therapist can provide tools and techniques to handle the situation better. You should know there are free CBT online resources.

Remember, while it’s impossible to avoid getting hurt in relationships entirely, these steps can help create healthier dynamics in new relationships and cope with the hurt when it occurs.

How To Stop Thinking About Someone Who Hurt You Conclusion

In conclusion, overcoming the pain and preoccupation with someone who has hurt you is not a quick process but achievable. It requires acknowledging your feelings, applying self-care, practicing forgiveness, transforming negative thoughts, and often seeking professional help.

Remember, it’s okay to grieve and feel hurt, but don’t let these feelings control your life. You are more than your past experiences and have the strength to move forward.

With time, patience, and the right strategies, you can regain control over your thoughts and emotions, ultimately leading to a healthier and happier life. You owe it to yourself to heal and grow from this painful experience.

Many ‘stop thinking’ techniques are similar across multiple problems as well! For example, the same basic strategies also work if you can’t stop thinking about death before bed, an affair partner, lost money, past hurts, negative thoughts, breathing, and ultimately transforming your mind.

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If You Are In Crisis

Don’t wait for an online therapy session if you’re in a crisis and need immediate help. For immediate assistance, dial 911, especially if there’s a risk of self-harm or harm to others. You may also want to learn more about a voluntary psychiatric hold. If you’re contemplating self-harm, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 – they are available 24/7. Alternatively, contact the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This free, confidential helpline offers round-the-clock support and information about treatment options for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.

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