Is someone really interested in someone else?
What helps when you can only think of one person?
modeled by Chloe Snower; photographed by Erin Yamagata; produced by Julie Borowsky; produced by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez.
Have you ever found yourself thinking about that one person every second that you were awake? A new crush you couldn't stop stalking on Instagram? The one or the ex that you couldn't get over? The new acquaintance you wanted to spend more time with at all costs?
Psychotherapist Kate Stewart says that if you can't think about anything other than someone else, you can blame the chemical processes in your brain, especially if you have this obsession with someone you've just met.
When you feel a connection with someone new or fall in love, it triggers the release of dopamine in your brain. This good-mood neurotransmitter is usually released when you've achieved a goal you've worked hard to achieve.
"If we have to think about someone all the time, it's because our brains responded to the dopamine," explains Stewart. We want more of it in order to continue to feel good and are therefore fixated on the trigger, i.e. our crush. That is why these feelings tend to come from people we have only just met and not from our partner, with whom we have been living for five years. “Dopamine makes people feel attracted to one another. When they have been together for a while, the oxytocin, the bonding hormone, kicks in. That creates trust and stability, ”said Stewart.
At some point we stop thinking about the other person for hours. Either we get together with the person and get used to him or her a little - as unromantic as that may be. Or, the other person is not interested in a bond with us and over time we also noticed that the person we fell in love with was not as great as we had thought. There is of course variant three: We fall in love again and find someone else to worry about.
But anyone who has ever been in love knows: the initial phase is particularly tough. The person we can't stop thinking about has a tight grip on our thoughts. Getting through it can be extremely difficult. If you want to turn this carousel off, Stewart unfortunately has a sobering answer: Unfortunately, there is no safe method that guarantees that you will be cured of your short-term lovesickness. However, what can definitely help is distraction.
“I usually advise my patients that every time they catch themselves thinking only about the other person, they should consciously turn to other things. Whether this is a new project they want to tackle or something positive is irrelevant, ”explains Stewart. A bit like learning to meditate: When you find your mind wandering, take a deep breath and try to consciously bring yourself back into your meditation. Or in this case, turning your mind to something other than that person. And, this applies to newcomers to meditation as well as to (unhappy) lovers: Don't beat yourself up if your thoughts keep drifting away. “It often happens that people who notice that they have fallen back into the spiral of thought also blame themselves on top of that. You think: I really shouldn't think about her or him anymore. But that doesn't help. On the contrary, it only makes things a lot worse. But if you concentrate on turning your thoughts in different directions over and over again, you cannot blame yourself. You just keep trying to think about something else. "
So, if you can't stop thinking about your crush, ex, new acquaintance, or friend who has ghosted you, try consciously shifting your mind to something positive. And remember that one thing is certain: it will pass. Give yourself some time and don't be too strict with yourself.
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