Are you struggling with ruminative throughs about your narcissistic ex?

If so, you’re not alone. During a masterclass we held inside Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse, one of our members asked us the following:

“What can I do to stop thinking about my narcissistic ex?”

So, we sent out a survey to 300 people who’ve had a relationship with a narcissist to learn the strategies they used to stop thinking about their ex.

Here are the ten most common answers we received:

  1. Find new hobbies or revisit old ones.
  2. Limit your social media use.
  3. Start a gratitude journal.
  4. Create a support system.
  5. Set personal goals.
  6. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  7. Rearrange or redecorate your living space.
  8. Limit conversations about your ex.
  9. Engage in volunteer work.
  10. Explore new places.

In this post, I will explain the benefits of each of these to help you understand how to use them to stop thinking about your narcissistic ex.

If you have or currently are experiencing narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse for help.

1) Find New Hobbies or Revisit Old Ones

One way to stop thinking about your narcissistic ex is to dive into new hobbies or pick up old ones that you might have left behind. 

When you’re doing something you enjoy, your mind gets a break from the thoughts of your ex. 

It could be anything like painting, playing a sport, or learning to play an instrument. 

A survivor of narcissistic abuse playing tennis to stop thinking about their narcissistic ex.

These activities aren’t just fun; they also help you meet new people and build your confidence. 

You’ll start to see that life has a lot to offer beyond your past relationship. 

Think of it like this: every hour you spend doing something you love is an hour you’re not thinking about your ex.

2) Limit Your Social Media Use

Social media can make it hard to stop thinking about your ex. 

You might see pictures of them or updates that remind you of what you used to have. 

Here’s a simple tip: Take a break from social media for a while. 

If that sounds too hard, try unfollowing your ex or even blocking them. 

This way, you control what you see online. 

Remember, your peace of mind is more important than knowing what your narcissistic ex is up to. 

By cutting down on social media, you give your mind a rest and create space for healthier thoughts. 

It’s like clearing out old clutter to make room for new, positive experiences.

3) Start a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal can shift your focus from your narcissistic ex to the positive aspects of your life. 

Every day, write down three things you’re thankful for. 

These could be as simple as a sunny day, a good cup of coffee, or a call from a friend. 

A survivor of narcissistic abuse drinking coffee and practicing gratitude.

Focusing on gratitude helps you see the good in your life, making less room for negative thoughts about your ex. 

It’s like turning on a light in a dark room; suddenly, you can see all the beauty that was hidden in the shadows. 

This practice not only improves your mood but also helps you appreciate the present moment rather than dwelling on the past.

4) Create a Support System

Building a strong support system of friends and family can provide you with a much-needed outlet for your feelings. 

Talking to people who care about you and understand what you’re going through can be incredibly healing. 

They can offer you a different perspective or just listen when you need to vent. 

It’s like having a team in your corner, cheering you on when times get tough. 

You’re reminded that you’re not alone and have people in your life who want to see you happy and thriving. 

Plus, spending time with loved ones can fill your days with joy and laughter, making it easier to move on from thoughts of your ex.

Suggested Resource: How to Build a Healthy Support Network

5) Set Personal Goals

Setting personal goals gives you something to work towards and helps shift your focus from the past to the future. 

These goals can be related to your career, personal development, or even your physical health. 

For example, you might aim to run a 5K, learn a new language, or achieve a new professional milestone. 

Having clear objectives not only keeps your mind busy but also boosts your self-esteem as you make progress. 

It’s like planting seeds for a garden you want to grow; each goal is a seed that will eventually blossom into achievements that make your life more prosperous and fulfilling. 

This forward-looking mindset can lessen the mental space your ex occupies.

If you need help with anything related to narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.

6) Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help you stay grounded in the present moment, making it easier to let go of intrusive thoughts about your ex. 

Start with just a few minutes a day, focusing on your breath or practicing guided meditations, which are available through apps or online. 

A survivor of narcissistic abuse practicing mindfulness and meditation.

These practices teach you how to observe your thoughts without getting caught up in them. 

What am I talking about?

Well, imagine sitting by a river and watching leaves (your thoughts) float by without grabbing onto them. 

Over time, you’ll find it easier to manage your emotions and reduce the mental chatter about your past relationship, creating a peaceful inner environment.

7) Rearrange or Redecorate Your Living Space

Changing up your living environment can have a surprisingly refreshing effect on your mindset. 

Rearrange the furniture in your room, add some new decorations, or paint the walls a new color. 

This activity does more than just beautify your space; it symbolizes a new beginning and helps break the association with memories of your ex. 

It is like setting the stage for a new chapter in your life, one in which you get to decide what happens next. 

Each change you make is a step towards creating a sanctuary that reflects who you are now, not who you were in the relationship.

8) Limit Conversations About Your Ex

While it’s important to process your feelings, constantly talking about your ex can keep you stuck in the past. 

Try to limit how often you bring them up in conversations with friends and family. 

Instead, focus on discussing your interests, goals, or how you’re feeling in the present moment. 

It’s like choosing to walk down a new path rather than circling the same old track. 

This doesn’t mean you should ignore your feelings, but shifting the focus away from your ex and onto your own life and growth can be empowering.

It helps you reclaim your narrative and ensures that your ex doesn’t dominate your conversations and thoughts.

9) Engage in Volunteer Work

Diving into volunteer work is a powerful way to shift your focus from your narcissistic ex to something bigger than yourself. 

By helping others, whether it’s through community service, assisting at a local animal shelter, or contributing to environmental clean-up efforts, you step outside of your own experiences and contribute to the well-being of others. 

A survivor of narcissistic abuse engaging in volunteer work at animal shelter.

This act of giving not only occupies your mind and time with positive activities but also helps you feel connected and valued, qualities that might have been absent in your past relationship. 

It’s like planting a garden in a community space; as it grows and flourishes, so do you, surrounded by the beauty of collective effort and kindness.

10) Explore New Places

Exploring new places, whether it’s a park in your city that you’ve never visited, a nearby town for a day trip, or planning a vacation to a destination you’ve always wanted to see, can provide a refreshing change of scenery and perspective. 

New experiences stimulate your mind and senses, creating new memories that don’t include your narcissistic ex. 

It’s similar to opening a new book and getting lost in its pages; you become absorbed in what’s before you, not what’s behind you. 

This physical and mental journey of discovery can reignite your sense of adventure and joy, helping you to move forward with your life.

If you are ready to be more than a victim of narcissistic abuse, visit Unfilteredd’s Institute of Healing from Narcissistic Abuse today.


Thank you so much for reading; I hope you found this article helpful.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

Have you tried any of these strategies to move past thoughts of your narcissistic ex, and if so, which ones did you find most effective?

Or perhaps you have other techniques that helped you shift your focus and heal from the relationship. I’d love to add them to this article!

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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About the Author

Hey, I’m Elijah.

I experienced narcissistic abuse for three years. 

I create these articles to help you understand and validate your experiences.

Thank you for reading, and remember, healing is possible even when it feels impossible.

Unfilteredd has strict sourcing guidelines and only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our content. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate, actionable, inclusive, and trustworthy by reading our editorial process.

John Donovan. (2022. December, 13). Self-Care and Recovery After Trauma. WebMD.

Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, Jeanne Segal. (2024. February, 5). Emotional and Psychological Trauma.

BetterHealth Channel. Trauma – reaction and recovery. BetterHealth Channel.

Nicole Arzt. (2023. August, 18). Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 15 Ways to Cope. Choosing Therapy.

Cynthia V. Catchings. (2022. February, 3). How to Heal From Narcissistic Abuse. Talkspace.

Ashley Laderer. (2023. May, 16). 6 Tips for Healing From Emotional Trauma. Charlie Health.

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