How to Stop Ruminating About Your Narcissist Ex?

It’s 2am. You’re thinking about your narcissistic ex.

You’ve so far not had a wink of sleep, and every time you try to clear your mind, those racing thoughts just crop back up. 

Time and time again, you feel as though you’re going to go crazy, but you cannot seem to shake the questions whirring around your mind, like an orchestra of ruminating loops stuck on repeat.

I understand. And to help you out marginally at this point, you are not alone. This happens a great deal, and I want you to know that there are ways you can help yourself.

You just have to remember, after the abusive narcissistic relationship, that you are worth helping.

What is Rumination?

Rumination isn’t just thinking about something, it is the almost obsessive thought process of going over and over something in your mind, to the point where it distracts you from anything or everything else you need to do with your day.

Rumination doesn’t just stop at one thought; it’s like a cog turning and doesn’t have a stop button. It can lead people down real rabbit holes. You might find you cannot concentrate on anything else; before you know it, other parts of life are forgotten. This can include work, your self-care – anything. 

Why Can’t I Stop Ruminating About My Narcissistic Ex?

One of the most common snippets of feedback I hear from people who are freshly out of a narcissistic relationship is that they cannot stop thinking about it, or their narcissistic ex. 

They often come to me confused, wondering why somebody so terrible is draining them of energy every day, and my answer is always the same.

Rumination occurs when we try to make sense of what happened.

Your relationship with your narcissistic ex was wild, right? The ups were so high, and the downs were lower than you thought possible. Each day was a ride, and you never knew if you were coming or going. 

It’s as if you were stationary at a set of traffic lights, and they were constantly changing from red to yellow to green and back to red again. Do you go? Do you get ready? Do you stay put? 

Now that the ex is out of the picture, you’re still seeing these lights changing and wondering why on earth it all happened in the first place. 

What could I have done differently?

What if I wasn’t good enough?

Was I responsible?

Was I not clear enough?

What if they change?

It’s almost over stimulating, isn’t it?

If that wasn’t enough, you could find yourself stuck creating pretend conversations or scenarios with the narcissist. What if you saw them again? What would you say? How would you act? What might happen?

Please Do NOT…

Share your ruminations with your narcissistic ex. 

It does not matter how bad things get for you. 

Do. Not. Press. Send.

They will love that they still manage to get under your skin even though you are no longer together, and they will use that to try to gain access back into your life, knowing the power still lies with them.

How To Stop Ruminating About Your Narcissistic Ex

Letting go of that rumination will unlock so many doors for you, but it all starts with the idea that rumination will not change them, or how they feel about you. 

  1. Distract Yourself

Walk, run, paint, sing, dance, see a friend do the housework, take a bath. 

Do all the good things that make you feel great to cut that loop. 

Distraction is a great way to get unstuck from your ruminating thoughts, and I know it might seem as though you are avoiding the thoughts, but actually that’s the aim here.

The thoughts aren’t doing you any good, and no matter how much you tick over everything in your mind, it won’t change what happened, and it won’t change the future. 

Using things that fill your soul with positivity is an effective way of ensuring you are going to lead yourself to brighter days away from the narcissistic ex. 

  1. Be in the Moment

Mindfulness is talked about so much – but for good reason – it works!

To be in the moment is to appreciate everything around you, from the butterfly passing you by to how you feel physically and mentally. Look at the ways you ignore the present and start thinking about the gift it truly offers you. You’re no longer in that relationship, and it will take a while for your nervous system to acclimatize to the calm you’re now in. 

Understanding that can open doors of gratitude waiting for you, and being mindful is a great place to start. 

  1. Breathwork is Key

People are beginning to understand that breathwork is a huge accompaniment to healing. When you experience rumination, you can begin to dilute your thoughts by deep breathing.

Think about a glass of cranberry juice. Now imagine a jug of water above it, slowly pouring in water. Eventually, the cranberry juice will disappear as it spills over the edge and is replaced by that water. 

This is what you want to try to aim to do with your thoughts. ASlowly replace them with clarity, with fresh air. With the ability to rationally breathe through the inner chaos that your narcissistic ex created. 

  1. Make a List of Yuck

That’s right – all the reasons your narcissistic ex gives you the yuck factor.

Does it seem a little far-fetched? No, it doesn’t. It seems like a very cathartic reason to remind yourself of everything you didn’t like about them. It doesn’t matter what they are, but the longer the list, the better. 

Certain behaviors count here, so nothing is off limits. Just be sure to write consciously, and really get into each point because they are going to save you from falling back into that rumination trap cycle you’ve been so far finding it hard to retrieve yourself from. 

  1. Rebel, Rebel – and Do it Well!

What about all those things your narcissistic ex hated you doing? Eating your ice cream from the tub? Going out every Friday with your friends? Binge watching your favorite show you’ve already seen a hundred times?

Do them all! Do them without guilt, and know that you are actually living your best life the way you want, not how they want you to live it.

Rebelling against the narcissistic ex doesn’t have to be letting them know what you’re doing, it can just be taking advantage of your new-found freedom.

Start right now!

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