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Erasing Your Ex From Your Mind
Why Your Ex Keeps Popping Into Your Mind
One of the most annoying problems that someone who has just been through a bad break-up often has to deal with is the fact that the ex-lover keeps popping back into the person’s mind. This is true even if you believe that you really want to get over your ex and you are really trying your best to get over this person.
For example, your ex might pop into your mind whenever:
- You hear a popular song that you both liked or that you listened to when you were out on a date
- You visit certain hangouts that you used to go to together
- You see certain people with whom you used to hang out with before
When this happens, you might start thinking of your ex for the rest of the day – or at least an hour before you are able to forget about this person temporarily until you encounter another reminder. Unfortunately, this can weigh down upon anyone and is not very good for your mental health.
What Can You Do?
While it is true that it is very difficult to control your own thought processes when your brain is working through several dozen thought processes all at once at any time of the day, you can actually take action when the thought of your ex actually pops into your mind. While the memory of the break-up is still fresh in your mind, you might indeed be powerless to try and prevent the thought of your ex from coming back into your mind, but you can still do the following when the thought does occur:
- Fight back and simply ignore or push this thought away
- Feed this thought and dwell upon your memories of your ex
Whether consciously or not, most people tend to pick the second option by default and this results in feelings of resentment and eventually, self-loathing. Furthermore, by feeding these thoughts, you will actually be entrenching the psychological anchors that you have for your ex even deeper.
What Are Psychological Anchors?
A psychological anchor is formed when one unrelated event is associated with another. For example, your ex and a particular song etc. When an anchor has been formed, the happening of one event (playing of the song) triggers memories of the second event (your ex).
While this can be quite troublesome, you can actually train your mind to either disassociate or re-assign a psychological anchor. For example, by listening to this particular song so often that you get tired of it and start to hate it, you will be re-assigning the anchor to your ex with that of feelings of hatred. Therefore, when the song plays, you will automatically be thinking of how tired you are of hearing the same song over and over again rather than your fond memories of your ex.
Train your mind to get rid or re-assign the psychological anchors that you have for your ex once you have positively identified them. Meanwhile, if your ex really keeps popping into your mind and you are unsure as to what exactly triggered these thoughts, make an active effort to push these thoughts away instead of feeding them.
- The Anchoring Effect: How it Impacts Your Everyday Life | World of Psychology
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