Your ex isn’t responding to texts, you’re feeling anxious and worried, how do you stop negative thoughts? Stop yourself from getting to point where you act on your feelings instead of what is actually happening?
Our emotions, thoughts, and behaviour are all connected, but you probably already know that.
What you may not know is that you can easily stop an emotion from getting to point where you feel overwhelmed or find yourself acting in ways that are self-sabotaging and in some cases, hurtful to others.
But first you have to understand what’s causing you to feel overwhelmed with emotions – anxious, worried, angry or fearful.
Stage 1 : Questioning why your ex isn’t responding to texts
You send your ex a text and she doesn’t respond. You immediately have an unpleasant feeling that turns into all kinds of thoughts about the experience.
- What did I do wrong?
- She’s Pulling away
- She must be mad at me for what happened yesterday
- My God, I pushed her away
- Maybe she needs space?
- Is there someone else?
You are feeling anxious and worried but not to a point where you feel the urge to act on your feelings
Stage 2: Trying to figure out what to do since your ex isn’t responding to texts
Your mind is trying to calm itself down by trying to make sense of what’s going on.
- I am sure it is nothing, I am being needy, she is probably busy. But still…
- Maybe I should ask her what’s wrong
- I’ll just leave it alone and see what happens
- I’ll just ignore it and act like normal
Stage 3: Escalating
- Are they upset?
- What if they want me to apologize?
- Will my ex ever speak to me again
- Does this mean my ex will never come back?
- I need to apologize, but what do I say?
- What if they still don’t respond?
- Have I blown my chances?
Some people at this point act our their thoughts and feelings.
Stage 4: You get angry because your ex isn’t responding to texts
Anxiety and worry turn into anger and resentment.
- Why don’t they respond, don’t they know it’s rude?
- They’ve been stringing me along all this time
- I need to confront my ex and ask why they’re not responding
- Maybe I’ll just cut off all contact
Next thing you know you are acting on how you feel, all because you let your thoughts spin out of control.
How do you stop acting need because your ex isn’t responding to texts?
There are 3 methods you can use to stop your anxiety thoughts from spinning out of control.
1. Breathing in and releasing your breath in meditation – This helps calm and ground you.
2. Change your thoughts by thinking about positive things – This shifts the focus from doom thoughts to more pleasant ones.
3. Welcome, honour and accept your thoughts and emotions – Africans call it, “Sitting With Myself” (I write more in detail about Sitting With Myself and the emotionally-stabilizing and resilience-building African concepts of Zamani and Sasa in my book It’s Just A Break-Up).
“Sitting With Myself” is not for everyone because it’s sometimes painful and takes time to thoroughly examine one’s thought process and accompanying emotions but when you’re done, you’ll feel emotionally stronger, calm, grounded, clear-minded and ready to deal with the situation that is causing to feel anxious and needy.
So if you are like me, the breathing thing doesn’t work for you and “positive thinking” feels like burying your head in the sand and pretending that what’s happening isn’t really happening, you might want to try paying attention to your thoughts and following them to the emotion and what it’s trying to tell you about how you are interpreting what’s happening.
It’s always better to stop the thoughts as soon as they begin
Next time your ex isn’t responding to texts, interrupt the negative thought build-up by asking yourself:
- What is it that’s really making me feel this way’?
- Why am I reacting so strongly?
- Is this about what’s happening now or is it my fears about what might happen tomorrow? Next week? Next month??
- What’s the worst that could happen if I acted on how I feel?
- Is the worst that could happen really as scary as I am making it out to be?
- What happened the last time I felt this way and acted on it?
- How important will this be tomorrow? Next week? Next month?
- If I survive this feeling how will I remember this experience and how I reacted ?
You can tell me if it works or not (I won’t take it personally).
Just remember, the only things we can control in life are our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
If you know or suspect your ex is an avoidant, you might want to read: Attract Back An Avoidant Ex Pt.1 – How Attachment Styles Can Help